I often use the odd, the curious and the unusual as gateways to prompt in both my research and teaching more incisive questions about gender, sex, race, class, and the politics of literary canon formation. In the summer of 2019, I taught an embedded study abroad course in London, England. Place-based, my course focused on literature set in London and England with a magical or mystical bent. We were also able to take advantage of multiple fortuitously timed exhibits, such as "Dorothea Tanning" at the Tate Modern and "Smoke and Mirrors: The Psychology of Magic" at the Wellcome Collection. We also went on an occult tour of the British Museum. Although occasionally initially bewildered by the fantastical writing of Leonora Carrington or Aleister Crowley’s alchemical ceremonies, after returning to the “basics” of describing the who, what, when, and where of their stories, we as a class were able to move from comprehension to critical analysis of gender and nationalism in post-World War I England.
I also have extensive experience teaching upper and lower level rhetoric and composition courses. My introductory composition courses are typically focused on issues of race, gender and class. I construct my syllabi with an eye towards encouraging my students to examine their own standpoints, biases, and differences and enhance their critical capacities. I also encourage the use of different media and creativity in response to my essay prompts. As a result, my students have explored a variety of argumentative styles and media in their projects: one built a website about children’s vaccinations, one wrote each essay in the course as a newspaper article, and one of my Business Writing students completed her final project on greenwashing at the clothing boutique she worked at, then presented it to her supervisors, who in turn took her concerns to upper management.