Teaching has been, by far, the highlight of my academic career. I can think of very few tasks as rewarding as the opportunity to help students become motivated, perceptive, and enthusiastic thinkers.
In all my courses, my teaching philosophy emphasizes the creation of a cooperative and active learning environment, and one of my main objectives is to foster critical thinking about diversity.
On this page I list information on the courses I have taught in the past, as well as courses I am currently teaching or developing. Please feel free to download the syllabi and course materials attached.
How can one complete an ethnographic project during a pandemic? What does it mean to do participant observation online? What changes when interviews move to a digital format? This methods course prepares graduate students for ethnographic research in an online environment. We will discuss practical steps to put together a research project—from research design to data collection and analysis. We will cover epistemological, ethical, and practical matters in online ethnographic research, and read articles and books showcasing methods for the study of virtual worlds (both game and nongame). Students will be required to formulate a preliminary research question at the beginning of the course and will conduct a few weeks of ethnographic research in a virtual field site of their choosing. Each week students will produce field notes to be exchanged and discussed in class, and as a final project they will be asked to write a research proposal or a short paper based on their observations. This is an online course which features a blend of synchronous discussions and asynchronous ethnographic assignments.
Taught at The University of Chicago: Fall 2020, Winter 2021
For a syllabus, click here.
Transnational Queer Politics and Practices
This course aims to examine gender and sexual practices and identities in a transnational perspective. As people and ideas move across national, cultural, and racial borders, how is sexuality negotiated and redefined? How are concepts such as “global queerness” and the globalization of sexualities leveraged for change? How are queer identities and practices translated, both culturally and linguistically? To explore transnational articulations of queerness we will draw on a range of theoretical perspectives, including postcolonial, feminist, queer, and indigenous approaches to the study of sexualities. We will engage with scholarship on the politics of global gay rights discourses, on the sexual politics of migration, and on the effects of colonialism and neoliberal capitalism. By analyzing queer experiences and practices in a transnational context, our goal is to decenter and challenge Western-centric epistemologies and to dive into the complexities of cultural representations of queerness around the globe.
Taught at the University of Chicago: Spring 2020 (online)
For a syllabus, click here.
Ethnographic Approaches to Gender and Sexuality
This methods course aims to prepare graduate students and advanced undergraduates for ethnographic research on topics focused on gender and sexuality. We will read articles and books showcasing ethnographic methodologies, and we will discuss benefits and limitations of various research designs. Class debates will cover epistemological, ethical, and practical matters in ethnographic research. We will discuss issues of positionality, self-reflexivity, and power. Students will be required to formulate a preliminary research question at the beginning of the course, and will conduct a few weeks of ethnographic research in a field site of their choosing. Each week students will produce field notes to be exchanged and discussed in class, and as a final project they will be asked to produce a research proposal or a short paper based on their observations.
Taught at The University of Chicago: Fall 2019, Winter 2020
For a syllabus, click here.
Happiness in Western Thought, Art, and Culture
This pre-college course will explore “happiness” as a set of ideas, artifacts, and problems in the cultures of Europe and the Americas. We will study works ranging from ancient Greek and Roman philosophy to modern short stories, lyric poems, and films, by authors such as Plato, Aristotle, Epictetus, Seneca, Kant, Mill, Keats, Shelley, and Dickinson. As we do so, we will examine the different definitions and understandings of happiness put forward by these texts. “Happiness” is defined sometimes as a set of qualities of a human life that mak it worth living and worthy of praise, and sometimes as a set of thoughts and feelings that give a sense of satisfaction and meaning. Sometimes happiness is defined in terms of an individual’s experience, and sometimes it is seen as something achieved in community. Finally, we will ask if it makes sense to speak of specifically “Western” notions of happiness, and how a different cultural or historical perspective can affect our understanding of the texts we will study and the views of happiness they exemplify.
Co-taught with Prof David Wray (University of Chicago): Summer 2017-2020
For the 2020 syllabus, click here.
For examples of the weekly quests I developed for the online course, click here.
MA Thesis Proposal Workshop
This workshop is designed for 20 students in the MA Program in the Social Sciences, and it guides participants towards developing an effective thesis proposal. The workshop meets weekly over the course of five weeks in January and February. Students submit drafts of their proposals and comment on the work of their peers. As an instructor, I provide students with clear guidelines and examples of effective proposals, and I help them develop critical analytical skills in analyzing their peers’ work. As their mentor and thesis reader, I also provide feedback and help them develop their thesis project over the course of our meetings.
Taught at the University of Chicago, Winter 2018-2020