I primarily teach literature published in England in the very long Early Modern period, between 1500–1830, with an emphasis on the technologies of literature, authorship, and the intersections of race, gender, and empire. I also teach literary theory classes that combine traditional discourses of critical theory with book history and the digital humanities.
A significant part of my pedagogy is critical making, or having students re-create historical practices of literary technology to better understand how medium and form affect ideas and interpretation. I frequently blog about these exercises at Sammelband, including this post on manuscript circulation and this post on pamphlet binding. As an example, here is a syllabus for a senior-level class on literature of the English Renaissance that includes a unit on critical making alongside ones on race, gender, and mondernity and authorship and self-fashioning.
I also promote critical making in the CPP Maker Studio, which opened in fall 2019. The studio was a multi-year effort by faculty across the campus to build an amateur making space that makes technology accessible to all students at the university regardless of their major. It combines newer technologies like 3D printing and laser cutting with older technologies like letterpress, zine-making, sewing, and embroidery. This space is still growing, and I am working to make the letterpress, book arts, and zine areas accessible and exciting to students, faculty, and staff. I run monthly trainings, and I am proposing new classes that encourage students to cross-pollinate technologies, experimenting with laser-cutting and 3D printing blocks that we can use on the letterpress, or thinking about sewing and cross-stitching as a deliberately slow kind of “writing.”
In addition to critical making and text technologies, I am committed to teaching English literature as a construction of empire and expansion, in line with the #shakerace and #bigger6 movements on social media and in the academy. As an example, here is a recent syllabus from a graduate-level class on the global 18th century that combines the literature of colonization with indigenous theories and narratives and critical race theory and narratives of transplanted Africans. A mapping projects asks students to think about the literature of the long eighteenth century spatially and geographically, breaking free from the boundaries of a single island.
Lastly, I teach feminist literary histories, especially in the Anglo-American world where I focus. For a general education undergraduate course, I teach “Early English Feminism” where students read mostly English authors before Mary Wollstonecraft, often the ones left behind in feminist histories that trace their roots to the early 1800s. The class breaks students out of their modern assumptions about feminism and instead asks them to explore the multifaceted ways women claimed authority to speak. The syllabus is here.