Fenderhardt, the title of this blog, comes from “Meela Fenderhardt”—a pseudonym derived from another pseudonym, ”Myla ven der Heart” (oddly, pronounced the same way), created by Laura Maguire, who likes to be clever and hide. Many years ago, Laura started to use the name “Meela Fenderhardt” to write poetry she never showed to anyone. There is little poetry here, thank God.
These days, Laura mostly writes about music, dance, the performing arts, and also on philosophy (though not here on Fenderhardt).
As well as curating Live ‘n’ Local SF, a blog dedicated to supporting the thriving local music scene, Laura co-directs SF Offside, a fresh new festival celebrating the creativity of the Bay Area jazz scene. Between 2011 and 2012, she was also the main music programmer for San Francisco’s sweetest little underground venue, Viracocha.
Laura is originally from Dublin, Ireland, where she studied Philosophy at Trinity College. She moved to the Bay Area to pursue her graduate studies, but ended up becoming a San Francisco slacker instead. She eventually graduated with a PhD in Philosophy from Stanford University.
Since moving to the Bay Area, almost two decades ago, Laura has studied many forms of dance and movement, including Argentine Tango and Contact Improvisation. She also co-produced a number of multidisciplinary dance performances at Theater Artaud in San Francisco. Unsurprisingly, after finishing her PhD, her philosophical interests, which have always been focused on the mind, shifted towards bodies and the embodied nature of cognition, perception, and action.
When Laura’s post-doc ended in 2009, she moved to Thailand and lived in the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai for most of 2010. While there, she taught classes in Contact Improv, formed the still-thriving Dance Chiang Mai community network, collaborated with local Thai performing arts collective CNX Art Connex, produced several multidisciplinary art and performance events, started this blog, hung out at the North Gate Jazz Co-Op, ate a lot of delicious Thai food, and generally slacked off. The vital Bay Area music scene and a quarter-long teaching gig lured her back to San Francisco in 2011. Although she had been planning to return to living in Chiang Mai later in the year, magical forces conspired to keep her by the bay.
Laura is now Director of Research for Philosophy Talk, a nationally syndicated independent radio program, and she is also editor of the new Philosophy Talk online magazine, where she regularly writes about various philosophical issues. She continues to teach Philosophy at Stanford.