Cross-Cultural Studies of Sexuality, Identity, and Politics
I created and taught several versions of this seminar in Spring 2010,2011, 2012, and 2014. The seminar is designed for 20 freshman students, some of whom are sociology majors, but which fulfills general education requirements, honors requirements, and writing intensive course requirements. The course explores the basics of the sociology of sexualities with a focus on the relationship between law, social movements, and cultural context across different countries and historical time periods. The students are responsible for writing a research paper. During this process they are introduced to core qualitative sociological methods and apply them to learning about a specific social phenomenon, related to the course, that they are interested in.
Across teaching environments and course types, I aim to accomplish three broad goals: 1) provide useful, portable skills, 2) make materials accessible and personally relevant, and 3) engage students to grow personally and intellectually. I believe that students should be able to take something useful away from any course, regardless of the substantive focus or their major. Thus, when appropriate, I emphasize critical thinking, conceptual development, writing, presentation fluency, historical literacy, and/or reading comprehension. Each of these skills would be useful in any personal or professional endeavor.
At Dickinson College (Spring 2016) - Links to syllabi
Students come to the classroom with their own stances, experiences, and expectations based on their social and cultural circumstances. This diversity is an immense source of richness that I encourage students to bring to the table to help provide perspective to me and their fellow classmates about what we are learning. At the same time, I push them to think sociologically about how their own experiences fit into or contradict broader social phenomena. In so doing, I believe that they can understand and play with difficult theories while also seeing why what we are learning matters. Finally, I recognize that learning can also mean confronting and overcoming challenge. I therefore seek to help students push themselves to grow intellectually by seriously considering ideas they disagree with and learning to articulate their views in logically and analytically coherent ways.
As an instructor and teaching fellow, I have had the opportunity to lecture, develop and teach seminars, and run discussions sections. I have worked for the interdiscplinary "Freshmen Cluster" program at the University of California Los Angeles, for the American Studies and English departments at the Université de Toulouse and the Université Champollion in France, and at the French School of Civil Aviation.