Augusta X. Thomson

Writing Associate

Augusta X. Thomson earned her BA in Archaeology and Anthropology from Oxford University. She is currently a PhD student and Teaching Fellow in Anthropology at New York University, where her research meanders between mobility studies, ecology, theories of place and space, memory, digital media, visual culture, video ethnography, personhood, material culture, art, religion, and pilgrimage. Trained in NYU’s Graduate Certificate Program in Culture and Media, Augusta makes (often) abstract and experimental films that reflect on the natural world. She is the director and DP of Nine-Story Mountain, a feature film about the pilgrimage around Mount Kailash; the director, DP, and editor of flotsam, a short film about Brooklyn’s Dead Horse Bay; and is currently working on Crossings, a multi-media, interactive documentary and mapping project, inspired by the Camino de Santiago, her ethnographic field site. As a scholar committed to the trend towards “open access” in academia she has contributed to several journalistic publications, including Al Jazeera English, New Internationalist, The Daily Beast, and Geographical Magazine. Augusta often finds herself pondering the pedagogical, philosophical, and theoretical potentialities of “walking.” 

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.