Professor John Thomas keeps it real. The Carmen A. Tortora Professor of Law, he is responsible for more than 170 publications ranging in topic from gun violence and U.S.-Mexico relations, to health policy, autism and juvenile justice. Thomas also heads five nonprofit organizations, including The Buddy Holly Guitar Foundation.
An avid guitar player and historian, his research on the women who built Gibson’s World War II-era guitars culminated in his book “Kalamazoo Gals: A Story of Extraordinary Women and Gibson’s ‘Banner’ Guitars of WWII” (American History Press, 2012). This research also formed the basis of his “X-Ray Project,” which used diagnostic imaging techniques to illustrate the superior quality of guitars crafted by female luthiers. Slides from the X-Ray Project also featured prominently in Thomas’ art show, “Vintage Steel: the Art and History of the American Steel String Guitar,” which premiered at the River Street Gallery in New Haven, Connecticut.