Teaching Philosophy & Syllabi
My utilization of a feminist pedagogical praxis signals a commitment to understanding the intersections of systemic oppressions and working towards a just future. As an educator, this means providing students a rich socio-historical context so they may critically evaluate how the actions (or inactions) of individuals and communities function as responses to power. The classroom environment I create encourages students to connect the materials to their lived experiences. This both enriches their understanding of the reading materials and affirms the knowledge they bring into the classroom. These projects work in-tandem with one another. By examining the material histories which have produced our current context, I want students to situate themselves as social actors within a larger historical trajectory whose lives are the result of intertwining of histories and forces.
In introductory courses and survey courses, I offer a lecture at the start of the week that outlines historical contexts and intellectual genealogies. These interactive lectures integrate visual media whenever possible and are interspersed with discussion questions. The remainder of the week is dedicated to classroom discussion that analyzes the major themes and key concepts in the course readings. Students are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning and the learning of the classroom community via the regular use of in-section group activities. This gives students the opportunity to earn participation credit as they gain confidence in presenting their discussion to the class and allows them to learn how to actively listen and re-articulate the central points of their discussion.
As a regular creator and contributor to multiple Digital Humanities projects, I look forward to integrating meaningful use of technology in the classroom while teaching critical digital literacy. I utilize content on social media platforms like YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram to discuss how representations and information circulate in popular discourse. I often employ forms of data visualization to help students “see” the links between bodies of literature or to comprehend real-world implications. For instance, I ask students to create digital maps which tie a key concept from a reading to a real-world occurrence. This allows students to see patterns of, for example, racialized or gendered violence on an international scale. My task is to supply the analytic framework for students to position themselves in a global economy and to understand how they do/ do not benefit from global structures of inequity. Digital technologies provide a fruitful opportunity to make these connections.
I also make space for creative or digital assignments alongside the written and oral components of the course. The use of creative and digital assignments allow students to claim authorship, produce communally wrought knowledge, and circulate the information they have learned beyond the classroom. Creative reflections and journaling give students a chance to voice their concerns, questions, and interests informally. This affords me the opportunity for a more holistic assessment than would be possible by relying only on formal papers and examinations. I am committed to providing a learning environment that is engaging, rigorous, and empowers students to continue their thinking outside the classroom.