I regularly teach college courses on the following subjects:
Global Narratives of Illness and Disability
What can we learn about the various meanings of illness and disability when we read literature and film from different places and times? Texts include fiction, nonfiction, poetry, testimony, and film authored by individuals born or living in Anglophone Africa, the Caribbean, and the U.S. Class discussions will consider questions related to identity, ability and disability, health and healing, representation, stigma, belonging, social movements, and the relationship between narrative and politics.
Literature of Human Rights
What is the role of the witness and of art for those who suffer the pain and trauma of human rights violations? In this class, we examine literary representations of pain and trauma, resistance, witness and testimony, memory and countermemory, and redress and reconciliation. Class discussions will explore various conceptions of rights as articulated in political documents such as The Universal Declaration of Human Rights and consider how writers around the world write about rights as well as how literature can be used in pursuit of social justice.
Women, Gender, and Literature
This course examines a selection of women’s writing in English from around the world. Reading texts from a variety of genres, we will consider how the idea of authorship relates to gender and how gender itself has been understood and used by writers across time and place. How do the categories of gender, race, class, ethnicity, sexuality, religion, culture, disability, and nationality inform and complicate the stories that writers tell?
Writing for Change
This course is designed to teach students how to write with authority about what they know. We discuss the role of opinion writing in the public sphere, the ethics of opinion journalism, and the elements of good opinion writing (such as argument, evidence, and credibility). Students examine editorials, op-eds, letters to the editor, reviews, columns, and blog posts. Students also practice writing and pitching their own opinion pieces.
Mothering and Motherhood
Cultural constructions of motherhood frequently depart from the lived experiences of mothers. This course provides historical, cultural, theoretical, and economic frameworks for understanding dominant constructions and images of motherhood in a range of locations. We explore topics such as gender and parenting, mother blame, the relationship between mothers and children, the diversity of mothers’ experiences, feminist parenting, mothering and fathering, the politics of motherhood, and the connections between mothers’ activism and feminism.
This course explores the evolution of transnational feminism (also known as global feminism), paying particular attention to postcolonial histories, the impact of globalization on women’s and feminist movements, the political and ethical issues surrounding solidarity between women, the development of human rights approaches, grassroots and NGO feminism, regional and global activism, and the challenges and possibilities of feminism in a global and digital age.