Teaching Experience

Here you will find descriptions of courses that I have taught at Brown University, Free University, and University of Freiburg.

Brown University American Studies Department (Graduate Teaching Fellow)

  • Ethnic Eats: Immigration, Identity and Americanization through Food: Do you like tacos, fried rice, pad thai or collard greens? People in America do. This course explores why they eat ethnic food. We will treat “food” as something that can be discussed and analyzed. We seek to understand the experience of immigration and processes of identity formation through food. We will discuss what scholars have said, but students will also interpret social behavior for themselves. Students will have a chance to learn the methods of oral history and to conduct original research. The intent is to think critically about food and to draw conclusions about American behaviors and tastes. What foods do immigrant groups eat and why? Why do people in America eat the foods of diverse cultures? What are the consequences of eating cross culturally?

Brown University American Studies Department (Teaching assistant-instructed weekly discussion sections)

  • American Advertising: History and Consequences (Professor Susan Smulyan): This course traces the history of American advertising, particularly in the 20th century, to understand the role advertising plays in our culture.  Topics to be discussed include the rise of national advertising, the economics of the advertising industry, the relation of advertising to consumption, the depiction of advertising in fiction and film, advertising to children, and broadcast, internet, and international advertising.

Free University North American Studies Institute History Department (Guest Lecturer)

  • Queer Unions: Interracial, Same Sex, and Cross Class Relationships in the 19th and 20th Centuries: This course introduces students to the histories of race, gender, and sexuality in the United States by examining the friendships, romances, and partnerships that defied social conventions. In this class, we will cover the topics of Victorian romantic friendships, interracial coupling, Boston marriages, and the urban same sex cruising scene. We will also become familiar with the methods of historical research by studying historical documents, like memoirs, fictionalized biographies, and news accounts in class and for the final research paper.
  • In Search of Equality: This course covers the history of struggle for women, immigrants, and people of color for political rights in America. Beginning with the American Revolution, which established the philosophical basis for challenging inequalities, we will trace the expanding conceptualization of rights in unionism, abolitionism, and suffragism. In addition to secondary sources, we will consider the works of critical thinkers such Thomas Jefferson, Elizabeth Stanton, and W.E.B. DuBois.

Free University North American Studies Institute Cultural Studies Department (Guest Lecturer)

  • Asian American Literature and Film of the Last Half-Century (2006, 2007)Since the 1950s, Asian American writers and filmmakers have sought to tell Americans what it means to Asian in America. In this course, we will examine works by self-identified Asian American artists who sough to forge Asian American consciousness, community, and identity. This course presents a cross section of their perspectives on the challenges to Asian American solidarity. To understand their messages, we will address the important issues fragmenting the group from within, namely its heterogeneity, and the forces from without, such as the varying political conditions of the various ‘homelands.’
  • Model Minority and Alien Pollutant: Asians in America 1850-1950: Between the first wave of Asian immigration in the 1850s and the end of World War II, Asians in US popular culture moved from being portrayed as alien pollutants to model minorities. In this course, we will study the historical events that compelled Americans to hold such contradictory views of Asians over this 100 year period. This is a cultural history of race in the United States; as a class, we will explore the relationship between representations of race to the legal status and material opportunities of peoples being racialized.

University of Freiburg American Studies Department (Teaching assistant-led bi-monthly, 3 hour seminars)

  • Black American Literature (Professor Sieglinde Lemke): The history of black American literature is rather unusual because in the 19th century black authors had to write against the insidious presupposition that people of African descent were incapable of producing high art. The antebellum slave narrative represents a peculiar genre, while serving primarily propagandistic functions it also provided the basis for the first black Renaissance. Around the turn of the century, a few black authors gained national visibility but it was only in the twenties during The Harlem Renaissance that African American arts and letters experienced an unprecedented cultural flowering that was nationally acknowledged.  This lecture will give a broad overview of the major literary texts and cultural trends culminating in the Black Arts Movement of the 60s. Moreover, it will examine recent developments in contemporary American literature, music, and the visual arts. Apart from analysing the novels of the noble laureate Toni Morrison, this lecture will address the new avant-garde of black writers and artists shaping America´s cultural landscape at the beginning of the 21th century.

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