As I have learned from designing and teaching over 26 courses, including first-year composition courses, Honors courses, and intermediate and advanced literature courses, the same interests that fuel my own research, namely drawing connections among diverse narratives, is a robust means of prompting and guiding student involvement. Inviting students to articulate and value their own interests in the classroom creates a more equitable and robust academic conversation.
In addition to having spoken on my approach to pedagogy in conferences, this approach to pedagogy has led to me receiving a Graduate Syllabus Prize (2017), the 2018 Excellence in Graduate Teaching Award, Fordham’s prestigious 2018-2019 Senior Teaching Fellowship, as well as being selected to participate in the week-long 2021 MLA Teaching Institute, and being appointed as a Fordham Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow (2021-2022).
I believe that innovative approaches to pedagogy are central to a liberal arts education, and in turn that asking students to value and articulate their own interests in an academically robust way can lead to greater insights and development, both for them and for the academy as a whole.
Courses I have taught include:
Interspecies Friendship (Fall 2021, advanced literature course)
Aliens and Encounters with the Unknown (Summer 2021, advanced literature course)
Briny Exchanges: Literature, Commerce, and the Sea (Spring and Fall 2021, intermediate literature course)
Journeying and Storytelling (Fall 2020, advanced literature course)
Ocean Life (Summer 2020, intermediate literature course)
Honors: Speech and Rhetoric (Fordham Honors College, Spring 2019)
Honors: Writing Intensive (Fordham Honors College, Fall 2018)
Science Fiction and the Social Imaginary (Spring 2018, advanced literature course)
Literary Oceans, Economic Currents (Fall 2017, intermediate literature course). This course was developed especially for Fordham Gabelli School of Business students.
Writing and Food (Fall 2016 – Fall 2021, first-year composition course)
Writing NYC (Summer 2017, introductory level composition course)
First Year Composition (Spring 2014, at Manhattan College, NY, first-year composition course)
College Composition (Fall 2011-Spring 2013, at University of Maine, ME, first-year composition course)
In this video I offer a brief introduction to my Fall 2021 advanced literature course “Interspecies Friendship.”
Course Description, “Interspecies Friendship”
Humans and killer whales, gorillas and cats, pigs and spiders, and even a lion, meerkat, and warthog: stories of interspecies relationships abound. What can we learn from literature about friendships that cross species boundaries? What insights are to be found in considering how other species experience the world, and how might friendship traverse differences? This course will consider examples of interspecies friendships in works ranging from Aesop’s Fables and Charlotte’s Web to scientific and philosophical texts by Aristotle, von Uexküll, and Donna Haraway. We will consider a wide range of works, including poems, nonfiction essays, short stories, children’s tales, films, video games, and your own experiences.
In the short video, below, I briefly discuss my intermediate literature course Briny Exchanges: Literature, Commerce, and the Sea, which I taught in the Spring and Fall of 2021.
Course Description: Briny Exchanges: Literature, Commerce, and the Sea
This literature course considers texts that takes place on or within multiple oceans, including the Atlantic, Caribbean, Pacific, and Arctic, and how such texts reflect developing connections between culture and commerce. Topics of discussion include the Middle Passage and insurance, fishing and whaling, and the labors of sailors and shipwreck survivors, among others. This literature course is designed especially for Fordham Gabelli School of Business students.
The following are reading lists for a few courses I have taught:
Please also see “Caribbean Revolts and Revolutions,” a teaching guide I created to help high school and first-year college students better understand the diverse history of Caribbean uprisings.