As a Brittain Fellow at Georgia Tech and a graduate instructor at Emory University, I have taught literature and composition courses on global Anglophone, British, Irish, and postcolonial literature; crime literature; urban spaces; and literature and religion. I have also acted as the Dean’s Teaching Fellow through Emory University at Arrendale State Prison, an institution for women in Alto, Georgia, where I taught a writing lab in the fall of 2017 and a literature course in spring 2018, and I currently teach and tutor on a volunteer basis at Philips State Prison in Gwinnett County, Georgia. My goal when teaching, no matter what context, is to get students to think critically about their environment and to trouble preconceived notions surrounding literature, history, space, place, identity, and culture. Below is a summary of my teaching experience.
ENGL 1102: But First, Atlanta (as Brittain Fellow at Georgia Tech)
- Taught one section of a composition course in Summer 2021. This course was conducted online/remotely due to COVID-19.
- Course description: “Whether you go to heaven or to hell, first you must pass through Atlanta.” This quote, originally a tongue-in-cheek reference to Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, is also a framing reference for the centrality of Atlanta to national conversations, particularly discourses surrounding cities and urban planning. In this remote and asynchronous ENGL 1102 course, we’ll discuss and interrogate cities in the hopes of developing a more complex understanding of what a city is, who lives there, what a city is meant to do, and what a city means in reality and in popular imagination. We will focus on historical, theoretical, and place-specific texts with a specific focus on our shared city of Atlanta woven throughout the course as a whole. Lectures will be focused on broad urban planning, historical, and cultural concepts, with specific attention paid to Atlanta throughout the course of each class period. Assessments will take the form of written, oral, visual, electronic, and nonverbal compositions about cities and Atlanta, and all required materials will be found on Canvas.
ENGL 1102: Scholarly Pursuits (as Brittain Fellow at Georgia Tech)
- Taught three sections of a composition course in Spring 2021. This course was conducted online/remotely due to COVID-19.
- Course description: “I mean, it’s one banana, Michael. What could it cost, $10?” “I heard the jury’s still out on science.” “I’ve made a huge mistake.” These quotes from the early twenty-first century sitcom Arrested Development have entered the cultural lexicon, along with Buster Bluth’s semi-dignified, “I’m a scholar. I enjoy scholarly pursuits.” In this class – our own scholarly pursuit – we will look at the first season of Arrested Development through a cultural studies lens, considering topics like U.S. imperialism in Iraq, the late-2000s housing crisis, the rise of evangelical subcultures in the early 2000s, southern California Reagan conservatism, and white flight and suburban sprawl. Class sessions will be held remotely and asynchronously (“no touching!”), with optional virtual synchronous screenings of sitcom episodes. Assessment will be conducted through both individual and group projects, as well as via lower-stakes engagement and discussion activities. As we proceed through the semester, remember one thing – there’s always money in the banana stand.
ENGL 1102: Crime and Punishment (as Brittain Fellow at Georgia Tech)
- Taught three sections of a composition course, two affiliated with the Honors Program, in Fall 2020. This course was conducted online/remotely due to COVID-19.
- Course description: About a century ago, Emile Durkheim noted that crime “consists of an action which offends certain collective feelings which are especially strong and clear cut.” More recently, Jean and John L. Comaroff have postulated that crime, in the twenty-first century, “has become the metaphysical optic by means of which people across the planet understand and act upon their worlds.” In this class, we will investigate how crime structures our world: the literature we read, the films and television shows we watch, the media we consume. We will begin by exploring how contemporary notions of crime arose in 18th and 19th century Europe, and move from there into discussions of the death penalty and capital punishment by reading Hannah Kent’s Burial Rites and watching the film adaptation of Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy. The course will conclude with a unit on prison and police abolition, taking into account the events of the summer of 2020. Throughout the semester, we will ask questions about why our societies have constructed crime they way that they have; what role punishment plans in the ordering of our world; and what alternatives might exist in opposition to current prevailing structures.
ENGL 1102: Migration and Refugee Literature (as Brittain Fellow at Georgia Tech)
- Taught one section of a composition course in Summer 2020. This course was conducted online/remotely due to COVID-19.
- Course description: In an article in The Guardian, Pakistani-British writer Mohsin Hamid writes, “I believe in a human right to migration.” We often talk about migration in terms of rights – who belongs to a country, who gets to stay and who must leave – but reading the literature of migration turns up a number of additionally thorny questions. By taking The Penguin Book of Migration Literature as our core text and supplementing with audio and visual material, we will explore representations of migration, refuge-seeking, and imperialism from the 17th to the 21st centuries. This course will be conducted entirely online and asynchronously. You will have three major projects – one individual, one with a partner, and one with a group. All assessment will be process-oriented and build upon previous work completed for the course.
ENGL 1102: The Way We Live Now: Crisis in Atlanta and Beyond (as Brittain Fellow at Georgia Tech)
- Taught three sections of a composition course, one section affiliated with the Honors Program, in Spring 2020. This course began as face-to-face instruction but went online due to COVID-19.
- Course description: In 1875, Anthony Trollope wrote The Way We Live Now, a novel that furiously satirizes capitalism as practiced in late Victorian England. Taking on financial speculation, cutthroat competition, and social fakery, the novel criticizes a city and a world based on capitalist logic, painting a world where everything, including romantic relationships, has been distilled down to the level of the transactional.Trollope recognized a crisis in the way his society was organized, a crisis based primarily on methods of financial organization. This semester, we will look at various crises as they present across the globe and locally in Atlanta. Taking on housing in Ireland; migration and refuge-seeking in the Mediterranean; and border issues in Mexico and the United States, this class will interrogate how crises are depicted in contemporary literature, as well as the political, economic, and social conditions that create and sustain them.
ENGL 1101: From “Gin Craze” to “Reefer Madness”: Drug and Crime Epidemics” (as Brittain Fellow at Georgia Tech)
- Taught three sections of a linked composition course at Georgia Tech in Fall 2019
- Course description: In 2016, John Ehrlichman, a former aide to President Nixon, reminisced about the 1968 presidential campaign, “We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black. But by getting the public to associate hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin and then criminalizing both we could disrupt their communities.” Ehrlichman’s quote neatly encapsulates the ways in which drug use and criminality are often intertwined in American and broader discourses. From eighteenth-century Britain to the contemporary United States, rhetoric about drugs has often been utilized to justify criminalizing marginalized populations.
This course will consider how rhetorics of drug use and abuse and narratives of crime and criminality reinforce ideas about race and otherness. Texts may include Samuel Johnson’s The Life of Savage, The Days of Wine and Roses, 19th century Australian penal colony narratives, Harry Jacob Anslinger’s work as the commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, the twenty-first century television show Atlanta, and the 2016 documentary 13th. Assignments may include written work, group work, and other multimodal artifacts.
ENGL 1101: Rhetorics of Crisis (as Brittain Fellow at Georgia Tech)
- Taught one section of a composition course at Georgia Tech in Summer 2019
- Course description: “Rhetorics of Crisis” will study the literary, cultural, and scientific rhetorics surrounding what are often depicted as independent crises: race, climate change, refugee and migrant issues, and terrorism/ISIS. Throughout this course, we will make connections among these major global events, which are too often thought of as separate, but are in reality closely interlinked. We will also work to identify the differences between true “crises” and moral panics; connect discussions of climate change and energy to global events like migration and violence; and consider how all three of these major crises look in various communication modes and methods. Assessment will consist of three major projects, as well as smaller low-stakes assignments scattered throughout the term.
ENGL 1102: The Global Novel in English (as Brittain Fellow at Georgia Tech)
- Taught three sections of a composition course at Georgia Tech in Spring 2019
- Course description: In Salman Rushdie’s 1988 novel The Satanic Verses, the character Whisky Sisodia laments the fact that “the trouble with the En-english is that their hiss hiss history happened overseas, so they do-do-don’t know what it means.” In this course, we will explore the idea that English literature and history has never been contained strictly within England, and that many novels we think of as “English” –whether via nationality, language, or some other organizing principle – are, in fact, global in nature. Starting with Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe (1719) and ending with Zadie Smith’s NW (2012), this course will examine literary, historical, and philosophical movements such as the Enlightenment, imperialism and postcolonialism, Victorianism, modernism, and postmodernism. Authors may include Jane Austen, Virginia Woolf, and Samuel Selvon, among others. Assessment will consist of written, oral, visual, electronic, and nonverbal compositions; group projects, and a final portfolio.
ENGL 1101: Composing Empire and Revolution (as Brittain Fellow at Georgia Tech)
- Taught three sections of a composition course at Georgia Tech in Fall 2018
- Course description: In the exuberant Lin-Manuel Miranda Hamilton musical, the American Revolution is re-imagined as a modern hip-hop rebellion against the stodgy, Beatles-esque musical stylings of the British Empire. Led by “young, scrappy, and hungry” Alexander Hamilton, the upstart crew of young friends – Hamilton, John Laurens, Hercules Mulligan, and the Marquis de Lafayette – lead a revolution against the confused and vain King George. The victory is presented as a joyful one – “We won! We won! We won! WE WON!” – and the losers as desperate and confused old men, mourning the fact that “oceans rise, empires fall.”Though Lin-Manuel Miranda deserves a great deal of credit for composing his worldwide phenomenon, it’s important to realize his work builds on the shoulders of previous portrayals of empire and revolution. In this class, we will study compositions of empire and revolution in the forms of history, literature, podcasts, film, and music in order to understand rhetorical devices such as argument, genre, audience, arrangement, evidence and support, and revision. You will create compositions of your own that respond to and interrogate existing arguments and conversations, finishing off the semester with a final portfolio that showcases your own ability as a writer and composer of texts. Along the way, we’ll learn about communication via discussing rhetoric, process, and multimodality so that we are able to compose our own texts for the twenty-first century.
Scandalous Women: Crime and Sin in Postcolonial Women’s Writing (as Dean’s Teaching Fellow at Arrendale State Prison)
- Taught a class on literature, crime, and sin at Arrendale State Prison in Spring 2018
- Course description: This course will look at how crime and sin are conceived and expressed in a variety of women’s writing from Charlotte Bronte (1847) to Zadie Smith (2012). We will use postcolonial and feminist analysis to think through ways in which crime and sin are used as frameworks to define, subjugate, and at times liberate, women in varying historical, social, and geographical contexts. Assessment will be based on attendance and participation, in-class writing exercises, and two larger projects.
Research and Writing with PhD Students (as Dean’s Teaching Fellow at Arrendale State Prison)
- Taught an introduction to research and writing at Arrendale State Prison in Fall 2017
- Course description: This course aims to hone students’ skills in research and various genres of writing. From mechanics to developing full research papers, “Research and Writing with PhD Students” will cover a broad range of topics to meet students’ needs and interests. As an enrichment course in the Emory theology program, this course will equip students with the necessary skills to thrive in their credit hour classes.
ENG 212W: Literature & Popular Culture: Postcolonialism & Popular Culture (as graduate instructor at Emory University)
- Taught literature seminar at Emory University in Spring 2017
- Course website may be found here: https://pocoandpopculture.wordpress.com/
AFS 389W/ENG 387W/REL 387W: Literature & Religion: Literature Beyond Secularism (as graduate instructor at Emory University)
- Nominated to teach an upper-level literature course at Emory University in Fall 2015
- Course website may be found here: https://emoryliteraturebeyondsecularism.wordpress.com/
ENG 101: Writing About Cities (as graduate instructor at Emory University)
- Taught first-year composition at Emory University in Spring 2015
- Course website may be found here: http://emorywritingaboutcities.wordpress.com/
ENG 101: Writing About British and Irish Detective Television (as graduate instructor at Emory University)
- Taught an additional section of first-year composition at Emory University in Spring 2015
- Course website may be found here: https://emorybritishandirishdetectivetv.wordpress.com/
ENG 181: Writing About Contemporary British Literature, Culture, and Film (as graduate instructor at Emory University)
- Taught first-year composition at Emory University in Fall 2014
- Syllabus with course description and assignment descriptions may be found below
- ENG 181 syllabus
TA Experience (all at Emory University)
- TA’ed for Dr. Susan Tamasi, History of the American Languages (Spring 2015, Fall 2015)
- TA’ed for Professor Paul Kelleher, British Literature from 1660 to Today (Spring 2014)
- TA’ed from Professor James Morey, British Literature to 1660 (Fall 2013)
Further details about all these courses may be found on my CV.