Teaching

Classes I have taught are listed below. I am happy to share syllabi and other resources upon request.

Courses at University of Maryland, Baltimore County

“Experimental Writing by Women,” Perspectives on Women in Literature, ENGL 364/GWST 364 Spring 2020; Spring 2023

This course will examine multiple feminist theories of writing as we trace the relationship of the categories “experimental” and “avant-garde” to gender and race. From the women-run Little Review, the central outlet for modernist texts of the 1920s, to recent debates about the “whiteness of the avant-garde,” we will study how women-identified people respond to white supremacist heteropatriarchy with experimentation in literary form and textual circulation. This course fulfills the diversity requirement for English majors as well as the Writing Intensive requirement for all majors. To be registered in this class, you should have taken a 200 level English course with a C or better.

Literary Methodologies Research, ENGL 302 Spring 2022; Spring 2023

Paul Klee Angelus Novus, 1920

This course is an introduction to contemporary literary theories and methodologies for English majors in the Literature Track. Students will acquire an understanding of the history and methods of theoretical approaches underlying contemporary literary studies. Students will wield these methods to analyze a variety of texts and they will develop a theoretically informed research-based project of their own design.

“Baltimore Poetry and Politics,” Currents in American Literature, ENGL 243 Fall 2021
This class will conduct a deep investigation of the connection between poetry and activism in the communities surrounding UMBC. To focus on the relation between local events, social justice, and literature, students will read recent work of Baltimore poets and organizers as we learn about the history and continuation of the 2015 uprising, Baltimore #BlackLivesMatter, and mobilization around red-lining and underinvestment in the city. The course is built on a series of Baltimore experiences such as guest speakers and workshops, collaborations with local organizations, and field trips. We begin with historical background of Baltimore and a foundation on what it means to be what Langston Hughes calls a “social poet.” We then study the 1960s and 70s in Baltimore with a focus on poetry of the Black Arts Movement and the 1968 uprising after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. After that, we move to the 2015 uprising and more contemporary political literary works. Our three units, “Defining Poetry and Politics in Baltimore,” “Baltimore Black Arts Movement,” and “The Uprising” and “Poetry Now” allow us to trace how radical history and radical poetry are intertwined in the city.

Note: This course was developed and taught through a Dresher Center Inclusion Imperative Humanities Teaching Grant. It was featured in the Baltimore Sun Education Supplement in an article entitled “Universities Expand Liberal Arts Studies.”

“Poetry and Capitalism,” Seminar in Literature and Culture, ENGL 448/648 Spring 2019; Spring 2021; Spring 2022

How have poets responded to changes in political economy in the United States since 1960? Poetry is often a mode of resistance, critique, and illumination of shifts in capitalism that drive both labor and everyday life. We will study poets’ responses to the decline of the welfare state, corporatization, and racial liberalism. We will also consider neoliberalism, an economic and cultural project that sediments gender, racial, and class-based disparities through privatization. Our focus will be on poetry that creates experimental alternatives. Units include: Fluxus (the 1960s), the New York School (1960-1970s), the Black Arts Movement (1970s), Language Poetry (1970-1980s), and Documentary and Conceptual Poetry (1990-present). Senior standing, Engl 301, 302, and instructor permission required. Graduate students will complete special projects.

Image from the cover of Djuna Barnes’s Book of Repulsive Women, 1915.

“U.S. Modernism: Revolution in Form,” American Literature, Civil War to Present, ENGL 308 Fall 2018, Spring 2019; Spring 2021; Fall 2021 

This course studies how U.S. literature responds to four major changes of the era from the Civil War to the midcentury: changing notions of gender or “first wave” feminism; the rise of industrial capitalism; the impacts of the World Wars; the Great Migration and new racial imaginaries. Our special focus will be on how experimentation in literary form—including modernist fragmentation and avant-gardism, for example—responds to each of these categories, describing, unraveling, shaping, and critiquing them. To this end, we will explore readings by authors as diverse as Emily Dickinson, Langston Hughes, the Baroness Elsa von Freytag Loringhoven, Gertrude Stein, Gwendolyn Brooks, T.S. Eliot, and Yoko Ono. The image above is from Djuna Barnes’s Book of Repulsive Women, a chapbook she wrote, designed, and published in 1915.

“Race, Capitalism and the Environment,” Analysis of Literary Language, ENGL 301 Fall 2020; Spring 2021

This course is an introduction to the study of literary texts for English majors and prospective English majors. We will focus on the qualities of literary language and particular attention will be given to techniques of close reading and critical analysis. We will develop these skills by interpreting fiction, poetry, and film about the human impact on the environment. Because environmental catastrophe is tied to histories of European colonialism, transatlantic slavery, and patriarchal systems, we will analyze the ways in which these multiple modes of oppression are linked.

A photo by James Prinz of Nick Cave’s Soundsuits, 2009

“Confession and Protest Today,” Currents in American Literature, ENGL 243 Fall 2018Save

Take this class if you want to be introduced to what is happening in poetry right now. We will read radically contemporary poetry (published since 2015) that is concerned with the ways in which the personal and the political spheres overlap. Poet, activist, and professor June Jordan wrote that “poetry is a political action…poetry means taking control of the language of your life. Good poems can interdict a suicide, rescue a love affair, and build a revolution.” The poetry that we will read for this course tackles personal, intimate details of its speakers’ lives while also critiquing systems of everyday racism and sexism, US involvement in wars in the Middle East, US appropriation of land and its histories of genocide, increasing wealth accumulation for the rich, and immigration policy. The center of gravity for this course is poetry of the United States but important conversations happen across borders. Because we will study poetry as it is alive in our current historical social context, students should be prepared to discuss contemporary politics and should be interested in forms of activism and protest. Most broadly, the course will introduce students to a range of contemporary poetry in order to study how poetic form takes on expressive and political power, and the course will focus on improving students’ writing across the board. In addition to academic papers and presentations, students will write reading responses, go to poetry readings, engage in the process of poetic production, and even memorize a poem. Reading for the course includes full collections by Solmaz Sharif, Claudia Rankine, Ocean Vuong, Layli Long Soldier, and Morgan Parker. The cover image is of one of Nick Cave’s Soundsuits.

Courses at Vanderbilt University

“Contemporary Poetry: Confession and Protest Today,” Introduction to Poetry, Department of English, Spring 2017 (three sections).

“Intersectional Feminism and Pop Culture,” Women in Popular Culture, Upper Division Women’s and Gender Studies, Fall 2016.

“Modern and Contemporary Poetry of the United States,” Introduction to Poetry, Department of English, Spring 2016 (two sections); Fall 2016.

“Postwar Experimental Literature and the Arts,” Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis, Department of English, Fall 2015 (two sections); Spring 2016.

“Reading Poetry, 1540-2015,” Introduction to Poetry, Department of English, Fall 2015.

Courses at University of California, Santa Cruz (as primary instructor)

“Modernism and Its Afterlives,” Upper Division Modern Fiction and Poetry, Department of Literature, Spring 2015.

“Introduction to Creative Writing: Poetry and Fiction,” Creative Writing Program, Department of Literature, Fall 2012; Winter 2014.

“Pedagogy of Literature,” Graduate Level, Department of Literature, Fall 2014.

“Getting Lost: Collecting Pieces, Exploring Cityscapes and Straying Afield,” Rhetoric and Inquiry, Writing Program, Winter 2013.

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