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  • Professor
  • Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor
  • University Research Professor
  • Environmental and Sustainability Studies
  • Geography
  • Philosophy
  • Social Theory
  • Sociology
867 Patterson Office Tower
(859) 257-5822
Other Affiliations:

Ted Schatzki

Research Interests:
Theory of Social Life
Contemporary Social and Critical Theory
19th and 20th Century Continental Philosophy;

Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, 1986



Ted Schatzki is Professor of Geography, and of Philosophy and Sociology.  He is also former Senior Associate Dean in the College of Arts & Sciences, former Chair of the Department of Philosophy, and cofounder and former codirector of the University’s Committee on Social Theory, which oversees a multidisciplinary graduate-level teaching and research program in social thought. Schatzki earned a degree in applied mathematics from Harvard University (1977) and degrees in philosophy from Oxford University (1979) and UC Berkeley (1982, 1986).  His research interests lie in theorizing social life, and he is widely associated with a stream of thought called practice theory that is active today in a range of social disciplines, including geography, sociology, organizational studies, education, anthropology, international relations, and history.  Schatzki is the author of five books: Social Practices (1996), The Site of the Social (2002), Martin Heidegger: Theorist of Space (2007),The Timespace of Human Activity (2010), and Social Change in a Material World (2019).  He has also co-edited multiple volumes, including three on practice theory: The Practice Turn in Contemporary Theory (2001), The Nexus of Practices (2017), and Questions of Practice in Philosophy and Social Theory (2018).  In addition, he is author of numerous articles on such social topics as flat ontology, social space, learning and educational practices, large social phenomena, institutional theory, art, social change, materiality, governance, and discourse, as well as many essays on human action and the philosophies of Wittgenstein and Heidegger. Among his current research interests are a practice-theory-of-institutions account of blockchain and, more generally, algorithmic organization; the digital mediation of social relations and associations; and the conceptions of space needed to understand digitalized society.  Schatzki has been a research fellow of the Fulbright Commission and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. He has also been a visiting professor or researcher at the University of Exeter, The Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin, Aalborg University Copenhagen, the Karl-Franzens University in Graz, the Institute of Advanced Studies in Vienna, Lancaster University, the University of Zurich, The University of Bielefeld, The Free University in Berlin, The Charles Sturt University in Australia, the Catholic University Eichstaett-Ingolstadt in Germany, and the University of Bergen.  In the spring of 2018 he received an honorary doctorate from Aalborg University in Denmark.

A November 29, 2021 article in the Daily Nous based on the Scopus index listed Schatzki as the 13th most cited philosopher in the world in 2020.




Recent and Selected Articles


  • "The Trajectories of a Life," in Doing Transitions -- on the emergence of transitions in the life course, Barbara Srauber, Andreas Walther, and Richard Settersten Jr (eds), Springer, forthcoming.
  • "Spatial Troubles with Teaching under Covid-19," Studies in Continuing Education, published online May 27, 2021,
  • "Social Change in a Material World," in Praktiken und Raum, Jonathan Evers and Susann Schaefer (eds), transcript, 2019, 77-92
  • "On Practice Theory, or What's Practices got to do [got to do] with it?," in Education in an era of schooling: Critical perspectives on educational practice and action research, Christine Edwards-Groe, Peter Grootenboer, and Jane Wilkinson (eds), Springer, 2018, 151-65.
  • "Pas de deux: Practice Theory and Phenomenology," Phaenomenologischen Forschungen, issue on phenomenology and practice theory, Thomas Bedorf and Selin Gerlek (eds), no. 2 (2017): 25-40.
  • “Practices and Learning,” Practice Theory Perspectives on Pedagogy and Education - Praxis, diversity and contestation, Peter John Grootenboer, Christine Edwards-Groves, and Sarojni Choy (ed), Berlin, Springer, 2017, pp. 23-43.
  • "Sayings, Texts, and Discursive Formations,” in The Nexus of Practices: Connections, Constellations, Practitioners, Allison Hui, Theodore Schatzki, and Elizabeth Shove (ed), Abingdon, Routledge, 2017, 126-40.
  • “Crises and Adjustments in Ongoing Life,” Österreichische Zeitschrift für Soziologie, Special Issue on Crises in Action and Interaction, Frank Adloff, Alexander Antony, and Gerd Sebald (ed), 41, 2016: 17-33.
  • “Practice Theory as Flat Ontology,” in Practice Theory and Research: Exploring the Relevance for Social Change, Gerd Spaargaren, Don Weenick, and Michelle Lamers (ed), Abingdon, Routledge, 2016, 28-42.
  • “Keeping Track of Large Social Phenomena,” Geographische Zeitschrift 104 (1), 2016: 4-24.
  • “Practices, Governance, and Sustainability,” in Beyond Behaviour Change: Intervening in social practices for sustainability, Yolande Strengers and Cecily Maller (eds), London, Routledge, 2014, pp. 15-30.
  • “Art Bundles,” in Artistic Practices. Social Interactions and Cultural Dynamics, Tasos Zembylas (ed), London, Routledge, 2014, pp. 17-31.
  • “The Edge of Change: On the Emergence, Persistence, and Dissolution of Practices,” in Sustainable practice: social theory and climate change, Elizabeth Shove and Nicola Spurling (eds), London, Routledge, 2013, pp. 31-46.
  • “Human Activity as Indeterminate Social Event,” in Wittgenstein and Heidegger: Pathways and Provocations, Stephen Reynolds, David Egan, and Aaron Weneland (eds), London, Routledge, 2013, pp. 179-94."Practice Theory as Flat Ontology," forthcoming in Praxistheorie. Ein Forschungsprogramm, Helmut Schaefer (ed), Bielefeld, transcript.
  • “Landscapes as Timespace Phenomena,” in The Place of Landscape: Concepts, Contexts, Studies, Jeff Malpas (ed), Cambridge, MA., MIT Press, 2011, pp. 65-89.
  • "Materiality and Social Life,” Nature + Culture 5, no, 2 (2010): 123-49.
  • "Timespace and the Organization of Social Life," in Time, consumption and everyday life, Elizabeth Shove, Frank Trentmann, and Richard Wilk (ed), London, Berg, 2009, 35-48.
  • "Dimensions of Social Theory," in Reimagining the Social in South Africa: Critique and Post-Apartheid Knowledge, Peter Vale and Heather Jacklin (ed), University of KwaZulu Natal Press, 2009, 29-46.