Inspired by bell hooks’ tools from Teaching to Transgress and others, I am less interested in unquestioningly upholding elitist traditions and disciplinary canons and more in interrogating with my students the gatekeepers of academe and decolonizing our learning environments.
My teaching philosophy is based on two primary principles: that narrative is the most natural form of communication and that learning happens at intersections.
I designed an upper-level undergraduate course on Consumer Culture that ran co-curricularly with the Consumer Identities & Social Change Symposium. It featured guest lectures from symposium panelists. Students helped plan the conference, studied the work of visiting scholars, and presented their own research.
Drawing from my experiences as a Writing Across Communities (WAC) Faculty Fellow and from Foss & Griffin’s notion of invitational rhetoric, my courses center personal narrative, diversity, and inter-community connection to building on students’ existing communicative literacies. For one WAC initiative, I worked with an undergraduate WAC collaborator to redesign my Introduction to Mass Communication course and develop more diverse and inclusive writing practices, including a Media Memoir assignment.
Critical theory underpins my approach to teaching and allows me to invigorate learning experiences with active research. Connecting the two exemplifies for students the urgency of theory and the call to infuse our ideology with the following action principles:
*analysis of the forces that shape society
*diagnosis of ruptures and antagonisms
*mobilization of agents for social change
“Against the urgency of people dying in the streets, what in god’s name is the point of cultural studies?”
Stuart Hall, on teaching critical ideology