Teaching

My Teaching Philosophy:

My teaching philosophy has been largely shaped by my experiences as a Black first-generation college student. My first experiences with college were rife with feelings of helplessness. I struggled to keep up in courses. I floundered in class discussions, feeling that I could not articulate the things that I knew to be true. I believed that I lacked the language to make my knowledge claims and questioned my own intellect when my ideas ran counter to those of my peers, people who I perceived came into college with a superior set of skills. It was not until I was mentored by professors in my major discipline that I felt empowered and was able to see myself as an agent of knowledge – as a person who was capable of both consuming and producing knowledge. This feeling of empowerment alongside my growth as a scholar has transformed me into the educator that I am today. My teaching philosophy is centered around the idea that students should feel empowered as active producers of knowledge and that the classroom should act as a safe space for them to engage in this endeavor.

Teaching Awards:

Elizabeth Baranger Excellence in Teaching Award, University of Pittsburgh. 2013-2014.

Courses Taught: 

Race and Ethnicity (2020)- Macalester College 

This course is focused on the sociological study of race and ethnicity. In the midst of current social unrest, it is important for us to understand how race as a social construct can have real material consequences. In this course we will look at the history of race and work toward understanding the ways that race operates institutionally, conceptually, and in terms of our everyday realities. We will focus on race and racial inequalities as intertwined and deeply embedded in the history of the United States. We will discuss the ways that race acts in conjunction with other axes of inequality such as gender, class, sexuality, and citizenship. We will analyze the meanings and values attached to racial categories, and the ways in which the social construction of race helps to rationalize, justify, and reproduce social inequality. Using in-class discussions, readings, and multimedia, we will also explore how individuals and groups have used race to form and re-imagine identities and push for new ways of understanding the social world while pushing for social transformation. The main objective of this course is to gain an understanding of the social construction of race and the ways that it is intertwined with other power relations like class, gender, sexuality, etc. You will learn how to examine the concept of race critically through the use of the sociological imagination. By the end of this course, you will have a handle on the social construction of race, and the way that it has real material consequences for people’s everyday lives.

Foundation of Critical Studies of Race and Ethnicity (2020)- St. Catherine University

This course is focused on the study of race and ethnicity. In the midst of current social unrest, it is important for us to understand how race as a social construct can have real material consequences. In this course we will look at the history of race and work toward understanding the ways that race operates institutionally, conceptually, and in terms of our everyday realities. We will focus on race and racial inequalities as intertwined and deeply embedded in the history of the United States. We will discuss the ways that race acts in conjunction with other axes of inequality such as gender, class, sexuality, and citizenship. We will analyze the meanings and values attached to racial categories, and the ways in which the social construction of race helps to rationalize, justify, and reproduce social inequality. Using in-class discussions, readings, and multimedia, we will also explore how individuals and groups have used race to form and re-imagine identities and push for new ways of understanding the social world while pushing for social transformation. The main objective of this course is to gain an understanding of the social construction of race and the ways that it is intertwined with other power relations like class, gender, sexuality, etc. You will learn how to examine the concept of race critically. By the end of this course, you will have a handle on the social construction of race, and the way that it has real material consequences for people’s everyday lives.

Progress and Identity: Race, Gender, and Social Movements (2020) – Macalester College

In many contemporary social movements, the roles of race and class may either seem obvious or relatively easy to ascertain. But what happens when we add gender to this mix? What are the different roles that women take on in social movements and how can we account for differences across movements? How do gender, race, and class intersect in social movements? For example, what happens when we compare the ideas of progress in Black Lives Matter and white nationalist movements with particular emphasis on women’s place(s) in the future? In this course, we scrutinize the intersections of race, class, and gender as they relate to the ideals to which movements aspire. Social movements that emphasize concepts such as progress, development, and nation-making indicate visions of the future that can illuminate how gender, race, and class shape peoples’ lives. We will focus on the experiences of women (as individuals and as members of groups or organizations) in their historical and structural locations and explore what concepts such as progress, development, and nation-making mean for women in the struggle over feminist meanings and claims. This course is designed to help you develop your own informed perspectives on race, gender, and social movements. You will be asked to move beyond your experience and perspectives to sociologically analyze and evaluate explanations of past and contemporary issues as they appear in our readings. Leaving this course you will be able to: synthesize the themes of progress, development, and nation-making to describe the roles that race, class, and gender play in social movements and understand the ways that intersecting identities inform and are informed by ideas of progress, development, and nation-making.

Social Movements (2019) – Macalester College

In this course we will explore the frameworks, concepts and theories developed by sociologists for understanding the nature and dynamics of social movements through exploring cases of social movements in 20thand 21stcentury U.S. history. We will be applying sociological approaches to these cases, exploring different facets of collective action. We will examine why and how movements emerge as well as the strategies and tactics of those movements. In the course we will cover a wide range of movements, such as the civil rights movement, the Black Power movement, feminist movements, the gay liberation movement, as well as the Occupy and Black Lives Matter movements. By the end of this course you will be able to identify and analyze various facets of movement making and collective action. You will be able to examine how grievances transform into action when activists and participants band together around common causes. It is my sincere hope that this course empowers you to see your potential role in movements for social change.

Comparative Historical Methods (2019) – Macalester College

In this course we will explore methodological approaches taken by social scientists who engage in historical research. We will begin the course by discussing the issues surrounding historical fwork in the social sciences and learning what comparative-historical methods are generally. Next, we will engage with how these methods can be used through reading various pieces of comparative-historical work. Throughout the course of the semester you will have opportunities to take part in your own comparative-historical work through mini-projects. By the end of this course you will be able to identify and analyze comparative-historical work. You will leave the class with the skills to take part in your own comparative-historical projects. Ultimately, you will leave this course with the understanding of the importance of historical work to the social sciences.

Sociology of Sexuality (2019)- Macalester College

In this course we will examine social theories and sociological research on the topic of sexuality. We will explore the concept of sexuality as it intersects with race, gender, age, and class. The course will be divided into three different sections. In the first section of the course we begin by defining sexuality and discussing why and how we should study sexuality sociologically. Second, we will focus on theories of sexuality. The third section of the course will focus on applying these theories to everyday life through looking closely at contemporary issues of sexuality and sexuality in popular culture. This course is designed to give you a basic understanding of sociological implications of sexuality in the United States. By the end of this course you will be able to engage with the topic of sexuality through a scholarly lens. You will have the skills to identify how sexuality intersects with race, gender, age, and class. Additionally, in this class you will be pushed to move beyond your own experiences and perspectives to sociologically analyze and evaluate over-simplified explanations of past and contemporary issues of sexuality.

Principles and Concepts of Sociology (2019)- St. Catherine University

This course is an introduction to the discipline of sociology. In this course we will discuss the major concepts, theories, and research in the discipline in order to form a sociological perspective. You will learn how to use what C. Wright Mills calls the “sociological imagination” to understand and explain the world that you live in. Leaving this course, you will be able to apply major concepts and theories of sociology to issues and events in the world that you live in. You will be able to identify, think critically about, and make sociological arguments. Lastly, you will be able to use an intersectional lens to inform your critical thinking skills when examining issues and events of the past and present.

SOCI 1000 D01 Syllabus

Social Theory (2019) – St. Catherine University

This course is designed to give students an overview of sociological theory. In this course we will critically engage with the many different theoretical orientations and theorists that help to shape the ways that sociologists go about conducting their research. We will begin by studying classical theory and thinking critically about what is considered the sociological “canon.” Through this examination, we will discuss the importance of including subjugated voices into our understanding of foundational sociology. This will highlight the invaluable work of scholars like W.E.B. Dubois and Ida B. Wells.

SOCI 3700W Syllabus

Senior Seminar for Critical Race and Ethnicity, Women’s Studies, and Women in International Development (theme: Afrofuturism) (2019) – St. Catherine University

This writing intensive capstone seminar is focused on the topic of Afrofuturism. In this course we will use speculative fiction, or, what Imarisha and Brown (2015) have coined as “visionary fiction” to explore that it means to “decolonize the imagination.” According to Imarisha and Brown, visionary fiction is “vital for any process of decolonization, because decolonization of the imagination is the most dangerous and subversive form there is: for it is where all other forms of decolonization are born. Once the imagination is unshackled, liberation is limitless” (pg.). Working through this process of decolonization, we will explore what a liberated future would/could look like. All of this exploration will be done through an intersectional lens that takes into account power relations like race, gender, class, and nation. It is my hope that exploring these concepts and their connections to social justice and movements will be fulfilling to you and will spark an interest in imagining your own future. With that in mind, each of you will have the opportunity to concentrate on your own areas of academic interest that will culminate into an amazing final research paper.

WOST seminar syllabus

Women’s Issues from Global Perspectives (2018) – St. Catherine University

In this course we will examine gender and social movements from a transnational perspective. We will begin the course by taking an in-depth examination of the construction of gender the cultural meanings of gender, and the ways that gender intersects with other power relations. Next, we will apply the concepts and ideas that we have learned about gender to global and local women’s movements to explore different conceptions of feminism and women’s agency.

Womens Issues Syllabus

Challenging Oppression (2018) – St. Catherine University

The purpose of this course is to provide students with an in-depth understanding of the dynamics of inequality, intersecting oppressions and social change. This course represents an innovative collaboration that bridges the curriculum/co-curriculum, the classroom and the community, theory and practice. Student participants explore classism, racism, sexism, heterosexism, ableism and speciesism through interaction with community presenters, service work, academic reading and student initiated projects. In addition to breaking down stereotypes, and gaining practical multicultural knowledge, students will be engaged in a community building process, and learn how to become effective allies and activists by acquiring new skills in this area.

This course will examine issues of inequality from an interdisciplinary perspective that is based on the work of Adams, Bell and Griffin (2000). Their model of social justice education addresses inequality from multiple vantage- points (i.e. humanities, social sciences, public policy and professional areas of study). Adams, et al. approach the “isms” with a theory of oppression that emphasizes intersection, privilege, prejudice, and power, identity and internalization, the systemic foundations of domination and subordination, and options for social change. Students will examine classism, racism, sexism, heterosexism, ableism and speciesism in detail through readings, discussions, guest speakers from the community, visits to community partner agencies, a civic engagement/community work and learning component, and a research project.

Challenging Oppressions Syllabus

Race, Class Gender (2018) – University of Minnesota

In the midst of social unrest, it is important for us to understand social inequality. In this course we will analyze the impact of three major forms of inequality in the United States: race, class, and gender. Through taking an intersectional approach at these topics, we will examine the ways these social forces work institutionally, conceptually, and in terms of our everyday realities. We will focus on these inequalities as intertwined and deeply embedded in the history of the country. Along with race, class, and gender we will focus on other axes of inequality including sexuality, citizenship, and dis/ability. We will analyze the meanings and values attached to these social categories, and the ways in which these social constructions help rationalize, justify, and reproduce social inequality. Using in-class discussions, readings, and multimedia, we will also explore how individuals and groups have used these social categories to form and re-imagine identities and push for new ways of understanding the social world while pushing for social transformation.

Sociology 3251W

Progress and Identity (2017) – Macalester College 

In many contemporary social movements, the roles of race and class may either seem obvious or relatively easy to ascertain. But what happens when we add gender to this mix? What are the different roles that women take on in social movements and how can we account for differences across movements? How do gender, race, and class intersect in social movements? For example, what happens when we compare the ideas of progress in Black Lives Matter and white nationalist movements with particular emphasis on women’s place(s) in the future? In this course, we scrutinize the intersections of race, class, and gender as they relate to the ideals to which movements aspire. Social movements that emphasize concepts such as progress, development, and nation-making indicate visions of the future that can illuminate how gender, race, and class shape peoples’ lives. We will focus on the experiences of women (as individuals and as members of groups or organizations) in their historical and structural locations and explore what concepts such as progress, development, and nation-making mean for women in the struggle over feminist meanings and claims.

Progress and Identity Syllabus

Sociology of Sexuality (2016) – Macalester College 

In this course we will examine social theories and sociological research on the topic of sexuality. We will explore the concept of sexuality as it intersects with race, gender, age, and class. The course will be divided into three different sections. In the first section of the course we begin by defining sexuality and discussing why and how we should study sexuality sociologically. Second, we will focus on theories of sexuality. The third section of the course will focus on applying these theories to everyday life through looking closely at contemporary issues of sexuality and sexuality in popular culture. This course is designed to give you a basic understanding of sociological implications of sexuality in the United States.

MacalesterSexualitySyllabus

Race, Class, and Gender (2016) – University of Minnesota 

In the midst of social unrest, it is important for us to understand social inequality. In this course we will analyze the impact of three major forms of inequality in the United States: race, class, and gender. Through taking an intersectional approach at these topics, we will examine the ways these social forces work institutionally, conceptually, and in terms of our everyday realities. We will focus on these inequalities as intertwined and deeply embedded in the history of the country. Along with race, class, and gender we will focus on other axes of inequality including sexuality, citizenship, and dis/ability. We will analyze the meanings and values attached to these social categories, and the ways in which these social constructions help rationalize, justify, and reproduce social inequality. Using in-class discussions, readings, and multimedia, we will also explore how individuals and groups have used these social categories to form and re-imagine identities and push for new ways of understanding the social world while pushing for social transformation.

Sociology 3251W

Social Theory (2015)-University of Pittsburgh:

Social theory is the basic foundation of the discipline of sociology. In this course we ask the following questions: What is Theory? How does it relate to our lives? What is its utility? This course will examine both “classic” and “contemporary” developments of social theory through the examination of stratification and power, culture, social order, pragmatism and revolutions, in addition to more contemporary issues such as theories of deviance, symbolic interaction, feminist theory, critical race theory, queer theory, and neoliberalism.

Social Theory Syllabus

Race, Gender, and Development (2014-2015)-University of Pittsburgh:

In this upper-level course we will look closely at the intersection of race and gender as they relate to the concept of “nation-making,” “development,” and “progress” within the context of the United States. We will also explore what these concepts mean for women of color in the struggle over feminist meanings and claims. Focusing on the historical and structural location and biographical, group, and organizational experiences of women of color in the US context, we will investigate (a) conceptual paradigms which address questions of “intersectionality”(b) the social relations of race, class, and gender in “nation-making,” “development,” and “progress” through the lens of social movements and organizations of women of color. The course will be conducted through a mix of lectures, discussions, and film/video presentations. Students will be expected to prepare an eight to ten-page term paper on a particular sociohistoric experience, or theoretical point related to course material.

race-gender-and-development syllabus

Sociology of Gender (2014) -University of Pittsburgh:

In this course we will explore how gender shapes our lives and the world around us. The course begins with the distinction between one’s sex, which is biologically determined, and one’s gender, which is learned, socially constructed, context specific, and malleable. Through class discussions of theory and empirical research, we will explore the social forces that shape our perceptions of sex, gender, and sexuality. We will focus on the gendering of institutions, such as education, media, religion, work, politics, and the family. We will also be attentive to the ways in which gender intersects with other social identities, such as race, social class, and sexual orientation. Although the primary context for this course is contemporary American society, issues and examples from other cultures may be introduced.

Sociology of Gender- Syllabus

Courses TA’d:

Black Media (2010-2011) – Ohio University

Introduction to Sociology (2013-2014) – University of Pittsburgh