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Philosophy Professor Debuts Rock Band in Capital City

CONWAY, Ark. (February 24, 2020) – By day, Hendrix College philosophy professor Dr. James Dow rocks the mic(rophone) in class, teaching courses on Sanity and Madness, Environmental Aesthetics, and Theories of Reality, to name a few. 

By night, Dow and fellow professor friends rock out as THISNESS, a band that aims “to blend sounds from psychedelic rock, post-punk, and southern gothic genres.” 

The group’s debut public performance will be Thursday, Feb. 27, at Stickyz in Little Rock, supporting Midnight Wagon, a four-piece indie punk rock band from Mena, Ark., and Notice to Quit, a three-piece rock band from Hot Springs. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., and the show starts at 8:30 p.m. THISNESS plays around 9:30 or so. Admission is $6. 

In addition to Dow’s vocal and rhythm guitar contributions, the band includes UCA philosophy professor Dr. Jesse Butler (lead guitar), Arkansas Tech University poetry and creative writing professor Dr. Chris Carrier (drums), and University of Arkansas at Little Rock philosophy professor Dr. Michael Norton (bass guitar). 

The group practices at Dow’s farm home in Hickory Hill, and they are currently working on a concept album called “Flood” based on a tragic narrative about a rough hero that discovers a feral woman in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The band hopes to begin recording this spring in Little Rock.  

Dow, who joined the Hendrix faculty in fall 2011, is chair of the College’s Neuroscience Program and director of The Marshall T. Steel Center for the Study of Religion and Philosophy. Naturally, he is also taking music classes to complete a music major at Hendrix. 

To learn more, visit to listen to the group’s live demo, and follow the band on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.     

About Hendrix College 

A private liberal arts college in Conway, Arkansas, Hendrix College consistently earns recognition as one of the country’s leading liberal arts institutions, and is featured in Colleges That Change Lives: 40 Schools That Will Change the Way You Think About Colleges. Its academic quality and rigor, innovation, and value have established Hendrix as a fixture in numerous college guides, lists, and rankings. Founded in 1876, Hendrix has been affiliated with the United Methodist Church since 1884. To learn more, visit