(Arènes de Lutèce, Paris, 2018)

Zachary V. Sunderman, Ph.D.

Hi! I'm Zack. This site is my way of aggregating all the relevant information about me and things I'm working on in one convenient space. Whatever brought you here, thanks for stopping by.

I'm from the vicinity of Youngstown, Ohio, USA. From 2013-2018, I lived in Manhattan, where I pursued my graduate degrees and my spouse, Kirsten, baked bread for Thomas Keller Restaurant Group. We now live in the city of Youngstown with our pitbull mix Molly. In addition to loving our city and the people in it, we spend a lot of time in nearby Cleveland and Pittsburgh (and sometimes Columbus).

My primary activity is my educational and research work as a sociologist. I have always been driven to understand people (including myself) and how they work, and this led me down a path of introspection and investigation that eventually - with no lack of twists, turns, and temporary stops along the way - culminated in both a passion for sociological education and my particular sociological specialty, which I like to refer to as the search for "empirical answers to philosophical questions." You can access my full curriculum vitae by clicking here.

In addition to sociology, I have a serious interest in philosophy (particularly existentialism) and history (particularly ancient). The latter has inspired me to some degree to investigate my own origins. My best-attested lineage is that of my paternal grandmother, who was a Murray. The Scottish Clan Murray formed when the 12th century Flemish knight Freskin married into the House of Moray, the rulers of an ancient northern Pictish territory that seems to have once been independent from the Kingdom of Alba (ancient Scotland). (One of our kings, in fact, was the real-life MacBeth.) Freskin's descendants assumed the title "de Moravia" or the simple surname "Moray," later spelled "Murray," and my grandmother's family were members of one of the resulting lineages (Murray of Atholl). This means that somewhere in my ancestry are Scottish-Moravian royals and nobles - for example, I'm at least distantly related to Andrew Moray, who co-led the 13th century Scottish Wars of Independence with William Wallace ("Braveheart"). In 2022, I was officially admitted to the Murray Clan Society of North America.

On my mom's side, I descend from the Calvins of Pennsylvania, who may descend directly from John Calvin's brother Antoine - though the definitive roots of my particular line grow fuzzy further back than the 18th century.

I'm also a former musician whose life has been fundamentally formed and transformed by music, and after a nearly 10-year hiatus, I've recently returned to performing. You can find me handling guitar duties with Fear of Dancing and in a duo with my wife called Meowma.

Outside of these activities, Kirsten and I like to travel as much as possible. Sometimes we take advantage of the wide variety of great places available right here in the United States, checking out coffee shops, record stores, vegan-friendly eateries, art museums, and beautiful scenery all over the country. I've particularly enjoyed visiting Asheville, Boston (where I stayed for five weeks when I was 17), the Catskills, Chicago, Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, Indianapolis and Bloomington, Mackinac Island, Philadelphia, Salt Lake City, and DC (so far).

Other times, we go further afield. I didn't go abroad until I was 30, when a chance conversation with Amanda Williams convinced me I needed to start. I've been trying to make up for lost time since then. So far, I've been to Marrakech and the Moroccan Sahara (2013), the Big Island of Hawai'i (2013), Transylvania (2017), Paris (2018, 2023), Iceland and Westman Islands (2019), the Mexican Yucatán (2020), London and Stonehenge (2022), Rome and Pompeii (2023), Lyon (2023), and Copenhagen (2023).

"Dilemmas" publisher pre-order now live

In addition to being available from online retail stores, my book can now be preordered directly from the publisher. Follow this link: "...