Geraldo Jay Scala is currently a freelance musician, writer, and aspiring oral historian. He has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Philosophy from Columbia University. Geraldo recently finished a master’s degree at New York University’s Draper Program in Humanities and Social Thought in August 2015.
Geraldo’s recent master’s thesis is entitled, “Socially Inclusive Approaches to Addiction: The Stories of Sanitation Workers in Recovery.” In coordination with Dr. Robin Nagle (Director of the Department of Humanities and Social Thought and Resident Anthropologist for the New York City Department of Sanitation), Geraldo’s oral history project juxtaposes the stories of two sanitation workers who have struggled with substance abuse issues with the story of a heroin addict unaffiliated with the Department of Sanitation. Geraldo contends that the aforementioned personal stories reveal how trauma, social ties, usefulness, purpose, and personal responsibility all contribute to the ways individuals experience addiction and recovery. Addicts are only addicts in relation to a whole system of symbolic rules and obligations.
Geraldo’s research interests include continental philosophy, political economy, phenomenology, existentialism, ethnography, urban anthropology, oral history, social exclusion, and substance abuse. His geographic focus is on the continental United States, particularly inner cities and suburbia.