Teaching

Rutgers University - Camden

Fall 2017


Women and Speculative Fiction

This course is a study of the ways in which speculative genres such as fantasy, utopian and dystopian literature, and science fiction have taken as their focus gender identity and in particular the construction and policing of the idea of femininity or womanhood. This course is cross-listed with Women and Gender Studies and also qualifies as an elective for Digital Studies.


My Favorite Books

In this Senior capstone course for the English Department, titled "My Favorite Books," students will think critically about their relationship to literature and the work of reading. To do this, students will curate their own reading list out of their favorite books across a variety of genres. As we work through these books we will be thinking about popular genres and pleasure, as well as building a critical vocabulary connecting the things we do to the things we like to do.




Spring 2017


American Literary History

A graduate course tracing the history of American letters from narratives of discovery and settlement in the sixteenth century to electronic poetry and textual performance at the close of the twentieth.


American Horror Story


This course looks at a broad range of American literary and cultural artifacts in order to better understand how horror has shaped they way Americans have encountered their land, their history, and even each other over the past 300 years. Critic Leslie Fiedler wrote that in order to understand American literature, one must understand the horror it describes. "Horror," he said, "is essential to our literature." In this course we will study a number of major American writers, as well as a few popular films and even a comic book, in an attempt to better understand why Fiedler would make such a claim, to think critically about how Americans have used horror to explore their world or to imagine others. We will be studying the work of horror itself, its conventions, tropes, and relationship to the reader, and using that study to think critically about how horror shapes, reflects, or troubles an American literary voice. We will also expand our understanding of the literary to account for how film, and comics contribute to or challenge our understanding of narrative and the work of horror.





Fall 2016

Early American Women Writers

What does it mean to scribble write as a woman in America? In 1855 Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote what is now an infamous letter to his publisher, William Ticknor, in which he lamented the success of women writers in American letters. "America is now wholly given over to a d-----d mob of scribbling women,” he wrote, “and I should have no chance of success while the public taste is occupied with their trash--and should be ashamed of myself if I did succeed." The proliferation of female authors signaled by Hawthorne’s letter, the era that is later dubbed the “feminine fifties,” presents contemporary students of American literature with an interesting problem: while Hawthorne ponders his very ability to survive in a publishing environment so dominated by women, today it is his work (and that of his aesthetic kinsmen) that in many ways eclipses the important role that women played in the development and sustainability of national literature. Why would Hawthorne, already famous for his Scarlet Letter, transform the woman writing into the woman “scribbling,” diminish her accomplishments as “trash,” and why would the academy in turn canonize that rejection? In this course we will look at a number of women who wrote in the foundational years between 1660 and 1860, paying particular attention to the ways in which *they* imagined their role/roles as writers. What is it about their writings that challenges or pushes the boundaries of traditional considerations of literature, the self, or even the national character? We will examine the gendered expectations of literacy in early America as it relates to both production and consumption and in particular the connections between literacy and sexuality, reform, domesticity, citizenry, power, and resistance. In the process we will consider how these women’s writings negotiated a place for their writers (and their readers) in public discussions of moral, social, and political problems facing the American citizen.

Literature of Horror

Kim Rosen Horror StoryIn this course we will study a range of authors who use horror as a central narrative device, thinking critically about the conventions of the horror genre and the way that texts construct meaning and move their readers through language, style, and structure. During the semester, we will focus our study on the ways in which authors use the experience of horror to manage threats of difference and disorder. We will be thinking about how horror attaches to threats of otherness and insecurity, a terror that comes from without, but also an intimate, unsettling fear of the self and the potential for our own monstrous transformation. Authors studied include Charles Brockden Brown, Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, and Shirley Jackson.



Spring 2016

The Vanishing American

A graduate seminar on early national American literature, focusing on representations of and writings by Native Americans in this period. Authors included James Fenimore Cooper, Lydia Maria Child, William Cullen Bryant, William Apess, and Jane Johnston Schoolcraft.

Break the Text

A senior capstone on experimental literatures. The course thought about the material constraints of literature by way of narratives that "broke" those traditional material environments of the page, the text. Readings included physical novels like House of Leaves and S., as well as electronic pieces like Her Story and Pry.

Fall 2015


REMIX: Visions and Revisions of the New World

A senior capstone studying colonial and postcolonial literatures in the New World. After a study of colonial representations of the exotic, new, savage, and even dangerous New World Other, students then studying postcolonial "remixes" of prominent colonial texts, including those by Aimé Césaire and Jean Rhys.

Literature of Horror

A study of a range of authors who use horror as a central narrative device, thinking critically about the conventions of the horror genre and the way that texts construct meaning and move their readers through language, style, and structure. The course focuses on the ways in which authors use the experience of horror to manage threats of difference and disorder, thinking about how horror attaches to threats of otherness and insecurity, a terror that comes from without, but also an intimate, unsettling fear of the self and the potential for our own monstrous transformation.

Spring 2015

Significant Otherness

A graduate seminar focused on posthumanisms and posthuman theories, including enfreakment, new materialisms, animal studies, and companionality. Theoretical readings are paired with creative/literary works and students were asked to think about how these creative works contribute to our theoretical conversations (rather than functioning simply as objects that "receive" the work of theory).

    Course Description:

    Can literature, long understood as humanist both in its production and social contribution, help us think beyond the human? What does it mean to think about a subject who is partial, multiple, in-process, or dependent? Is it possible to move beyond the subject entirely to engage with world of things? This course engages with contemporary theoretical considerations of posthumanism as well as the emerging conversations surrounding the study of objects and animals that often gather under the banner of new materialism. Moving from the posthuman to the nonhuman, we will study the ways that contemporary theorists challenge notions of an essential or integral human subject, or resist the anthropocentrism of humanist inquiry. The course will also think critically about the question of companion species rather than species difference, a “being together” in a condition of significant otherness that highlights a mutual vulnerability rather than an essential alienation. While building our critical vocabulary through readings of Donna Haraway, Katherine Hayles, Jane Bennett, Jacques Derrida, and Cary Wolfe among others, we will also consider the ways in which these concerns also inform our understanding of contemporary literature by pairing these critical texts with literary works by Karen Joy Fowler, Katherine Dunn, and Matt Fraction.


American Horror Story

An upper-division English course that uses the genre limits of horror as a way to think about literary developments in American literature from the 18th to 21st centuries.

    Course Description:

    Critic Leslie Fiedler wrote that in order to understand American literature, one must understand the horror it describes. "Horror," he said, "is essential to our literature." This course will look at broad range of American literary and cultural artifacts in an attempt to better understand how their authors use horror to explore their world or to imagine others. We will be studying the work of horror itself, its conventions, tropes, and relationship to the reader, and using that study to think critically about how horror shapes, reflects, or troubles an American literary voice. We will also expand our understanding of the literary to account for how film, comics and video games contribute to or challenge our understanding of narrative and the work of horror.


Fall 2014

Senior Capstone: Literature of the Fantastic
A focused study of the fantastic as a genre as well as an interrogation of our work to name, order, and know that follow's Derrida's "Law of Genre." The final capstone project is a multimodal project that uses our study of hesitation as a way to think critically about Mark Danielewski's House of Leaves.

Early American Women Writers
An upper-division English course that focuses on major works written by women from colonization through the end of the Civil War. Students will think critically about the overlapping concerns of gender, sexuality, and literacy.

University of Wisconsin at Madison


Spring 2014

Hack the Text: Moby Dick


I am very excited to announce the return of one of my favorite classes, this year with a bit of a twist. Instead of a slow reading project culminating in a multimodal project, we will be pairing our intense text-only classes with weekly hacking labs, allowing students to explore various methods and tools to develop areas of interest in the text. I am currently coordinating with various exciting digital humanities projects across campus for visits and demonstrations.

If you'd like to know more about slow reading or the previous iteration of the course, please check out my presentation from the Networked Humanities Conference at the University of Kentucky last February or the instructor blog from the last version of the course.



Fall 2013

Visions and Revisions of the New World
The exotic, new, savage, and even dangerous other has haunted the Western literary tradition, offering writers from Homer to Shakespeare to Charlotte Bronte shadowy figures against which to assert a strong moral (a representational “Western”) character. Western writers required these oppositional figures as “blank pages” upon which to project fantasies of racial, cultural, and sexual otherness, but rarely did these texts allow the exotic other to represent him or herself. In other words, in the worlds created by these writers, troublesome “others” are spoken about; they rarely speak for themselves.
In the study of postcolonial literatures (those literatures coming after independence but also responding to a colonial inheritance), one of the guiding concerns of creators and critics alike is making space for writers and subjects within representational traditions that both excluded them as speakers and required them as objects. In this course we will investigate the ways in which the New World and New World identities have been constructed through Western European representations in literary, descriptive, and testimonial texts. We will also look at how New World subjects respond to these Western representations by re-envisioning the world they describe. Through this study, we will think critically about the ways that texts interact with, support,or react to centers of power. We will think about the work or power of writing in its ability to control otherness by writing over sites of difference, as well as its radical potential to destabilize that attempt at control by giving voice to troublesome “other” subjects.

    This course is a revised version of a previous course on postcolonial literatures. One of the exciting changes in this iteration is that the course is structured as a blended course, combining traditional class-based learning and digital resources, tools, and activities that replace a number of those physical meetings. My hope is that by shifting the course to make the most of digital tools, students can work (and rework) class materials at a more individuated pace, while allowing more time in class meetings for a more dynamic, interactive environment.


Spring 2013

Literature of the Fantastic
In this course we will explore the theory and literature of the Fantastic as a way to further our understanding of this particular genre, as well as a means of complicating our understanding of the nature and function of narrative in general. The Fantastic begins and ends with a question: did that really happen? This question required by the Fantastic is a question of the law, and answering it requires a consideration of the rules governing our experience and expectations of reality. In defining its generic boundaries, Tzvetan Todorov described the Fantastic as operating upon and within the experience of uncertainty. The Fantastic questions the boundary between two worlds: that of everyday lived existence, often described as realistic, and that radical otherness identified as un or supernatural. Insofar as the Fantastic attempts to straddle that boundary between worlds, to confuse or destabilize our sense of reality, we can consider the Fantastic to be a bit of an outlaw genre, one that erodes boundaries that genres normally seek to build, one that, in its insistence on interrogation or questioning, collapses the distance between reader and text. The Fantastic thus provides us with a means of exploring the ways that narrative calls itself into question, moving towards its unworking, a reading otherwise that challenges our received notions of the text and textuality.


American Horror Story
Critic Leslie Fiedler once wrote that in order to understand American literature, you must understand the horror it describes. "Horror," he said, "is essential to our literature." This survey of American literature will investigate this claim through its study of twentieth-century fiction. What can we learn about the work of literature in the modern era through a study of terror? How do these authors use horror to explore the modern American condition? We will use the study of horror as a way to understand how we create or participate in scholarly conversations about literature. To that end, the course will introduce the study of narrative and build a set of analytical skills that will help us in making arguments with and about literary texts. We will also expand our critical vocabulary by incorporating visual and cinematic texts into our study. The course is divided into four units:

    Monstrous Possibilities: Focusing on the “weird” tales of H.P. Lovecraft, this section of the course will explore both the nature of horror writing and the possibilities it offers as a response (or even resistance) to the conditions of modernity. How does the monstrous confuse our categories of self and other? How does the “weird” tale draw our attention to what is unknown or unknowable? What is the work of the horror it produces? How does it affect its reader and to what end?
    Alienation: We move forward to mid-century and outward to the cosmos for the second part of the course. How do authors use horror to respond to the rapidly expanding sense of self and the possibilities of human community that attend to the idea of space exploration? How do these texts address or critique the (earthly) hostilities implied in mid-century space race? How do they dramatize the horror of contact attendant with narratives of conquest? We will use Ray Bradbury’s Martian Chronicles and Ridley Scott’s film Alien to help us think about these questions.
    Women in Danger: In this section of the course we will look at the way horror marks the female body as a site of trouble or crisis. How does the female body become a site of disorder or disturbance? How do structures of kinship “haunt” a subject? How do these bodily narratives help us think about haunted spaces? Both Shirley Jackson’s Haunting of Hill House and Toni Morrison’s Beloved focus on women in their narratives, and we will use these texts to think about how the woman is marked as vulnerable to or expressive of the powers of horror.
    The Problem of the Law: We will finish with a consideration of the ways in which horror negotiates with the figures of the law. How is the idea of horror opposed to or resistant to the law? What is the work of the law (and the figures that represent the law) to contain or eradicate the social crisis produced by horror? Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men and Robert Kirkman’s Walking Dead use the lawman as a counterpoint to forces of horror and they will help us focus our attention on horror as antagonistic to structures of order and power.

Fall 2012

Early American Women Writers
What does it mean to scribble write as a woman in America? In 1855 Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote what is now an infamous letter to his publisher, William Ticknor, in which he lamented the success of women writers in American letters. "America is now wholly given over to a d-----d mob of scribbling women,” he wrote, “and I should have no chance of success while the public taste is occupied with their trash--and should be ashamed of myself if I did succeed." The proliferation of female authors signaled by Hawthorne’s letter, the era that is later dubbed the “feminine fifties,” presents contemporary students of American literature with an interesting problem: while Hawthorne ponders his very ability to survive in a publishing environment so dominated by women, today it is his work (and that of his aesthetic kinsmen) that in many ways eclipses the important role that women played in the development and sustainability of national literature. Why would Hawthorne, already famous for his Scarlet Letter, transform the woman writing into the woman “scribbling,” diminish her accomplishments as “trash,” and why would the academy in turn canonize that rejection? In this course we will look at a number of women who wrote in the foundational years between 1660 and 1860, paying particular attention to the ways in which *they* imagined their role/roles as writers. What is it about their writings that challenges or pushes the boundaries of traditional considerations of literature, the self, or even the national character? We will examine the gendered expectations of literacy in early America as it relates to both production and consumption and in particular the connections between literacy and sexuality, reform, domesticity, citizenry, power, and resistance. In the process we will consider how these women’s writings negotiated a place for their writers (and their readers) in public discussions of moral, social, and political problems facing the American citizen.


Survey of American Literature
American literature is a literature of contact, a body of letters simultaneously formed and deformed by the experience of borders and boundaries, and the confrontation with difference that this experience entails. Because of this, any assertion of a national subject, or a national literature that expresses the essence of that subject, is fraught with issues of multiplicity, division, subjugation, uncertainty, and even violence. This semester we will trace the history of American letters though the idea of contact and attempt to understand how this literature envisions a national community.


Summer 2012

Ethnic and Multicultural Literature: Visions and Revisions of the New World
De Bry cannibal engravingIn this course we will investigate the ways in which the New World and New World identities have been represented both by the Western European in narratives of discovery and conquest, as well as by New World subjects themselves, who must come to terms not only with a violent history of conquest and occupation but also the cultural hybridity produced by the colonial period. Through this investigation we will think critically about the ways that texts interact with or react to centers of power, their ability to control otherness by writing over sites of difference, as well as their radical potential to destabilize that very attempt at control by giving voice to those troublesome subjects. To this end our study will be guided by the following questions: How do colonial texts construct the spaces they encounter and occupy? How does their writing represent the inhabitants of these places and what are the consequences of these representations for the native populations they describe? Finally, how does the postcolonial subject, the native, citizen, or ethnic majority of formally colonized spaces, come to terms with his or her cultural inheritance? How does their writing account for native cultures lost to or destroyed by colonizing power? How does it address the in-between spaces created by the meeting and mixing of cultures? How does it respond to the imposition or elevation of a foreign dominant culture that extends beyond the limits of physical occupation?


Spring 2012

Modern Critical Theories: Queer Theory
In this course students will review the history, development and future(s) of Queer Theory. We will trace the origins and map the intricacies of foundational theories of gender and sexuality, think about how and why queer subjects trouble hegemonic structures of power, and interrogate the implications of queer theory for emerging philosophies of the subject and narrative.

Caught in the Net(work): Reading Moby Dick in Slow Motion
Moby Dick as twitter fail whaleAs opposed to thematic, period or generic course organization, "Reading in Slow Motion" takes on a single text, Herman Melville's Moby Dick, and requires students to focus on that single text during the entire semester. The course, though, is not just an investigation of an author or a text or a literary period or environment, but also -- and more importantly -- an investigation of, through a prolonged engagement with a text, the act of reading itself and what Reuben Brower called the "experience of imaginative literature.” In exploring the nature of our interaction with the text, we will be pairing the study of narrative with the emerging concern with the network. This means that in concert with the austere and artificial isolation of the classroom experience, focusing solely on the novel, students will be asked to develop a network of knowledge outside of the class that should enhance our understanding of the text. In the spirit of the digital humanities we will thus bring technology to bear upon the text both as a supplement and a way of reading in and of itself. We will not only consider the ways in which the network contributes to our understanding of the novel but also consider the ways in which this novel already engages with networked ways of thinking and writing.


Fall 2011

The Frontier in American Literature
In this course we will look at a range of texts in American literature and ask how these writers used the imagined space of the frontier to express hope and anxiety about what lies at the edge of our borders, what alternately threatens and confirms who we are. To do this we will look at how these texts formulate issues of race, gender, domesticity, class, nationalism and even humanity. How does the frontier work to confirm or confuse these categories? How does this border experience, outside the realm of structured society, inform the way we think about who we are and who we want to be? The first half of the course will investigate how early national frontier literature demonstrated both an anxiety regarding this unfixed space and a reliance upon it in order to promote social or national ideals. The second half of the course will be dedicated to the relocation of the frontier after it is declared “closed” in 1890. How does the image of the frontier, as cultivated by our first set of texts, inform the experience of those who live without that geographical location? How does the frontier become a way to think through the urban experience and anxieties about modern life?


University of Texas at Austin

As an Assistant Instructor in the Department of Rhetoric and Writing I had the opportunity to teach the standard introductory course as well as design my own courses that focus on writing and rhetoric. My goal in designing these courses is to improve the cultural literacy of my students while challenging them to reflect on the process of writing both at the university and as a complex public interaction or relation.

An example of this is the documentary project from my Spring 2008 Rhetoric of the Body course, which required students to compose multimedia arguments in place of the unit essay. You can see an example of student work here:

This project was one of the winners of the Slatin Memorial MEME Award. You can read more about the project and the specifics of the assignment prompt here.

You can review other courses here and find a complete teaching statement here

Fall 2007 and Spring 2008, Summer 2009

    Rhetoric 309K: Rhetoric of the Body

This course is a study of the ways bodies have been argued on, with, and about in regards to understandings of identity, both communal and individual. The class investigates the rhetorical strategies behind such representations: how these arguments might buffer regimes of power, how they might be taken up in defiance as a mode of self-determination, and even how an expanding idea of corporeal limits might change the way we think about the body.

Fall (46040)
Spring (45030)
Summer 2009 (87215)


Summer 2007 and Spring 2009

    Rhetoric 309s: Critical Thinking and Persuasive Writing
      The Idea of the University

RHE 309s is a course that emphasizes the understanding of and participation in public texts. With this in mind, I designed the course around Cardinal Newman's nineteenth-century treatise The Idea of a University. Students were encouraged to investigate how a university produces arguments about its identity and that of its student body using a variety of texts including websites, maps, printed promotional material, music, fiction, and visual art. Students followed individual university-related controversies and ended the semester advocating a position in these controversies that depended on their own definitional arguments answering the opening question for the course: What is a university?

Spring 2009 (44270)

You can see an example of the student newspapers this class produced here.

Fall 2008

    E398T: Supervised Teaching
The Blind Side by Michael Lewis

This course is a graduate pedagogy course required for all new Rhetoric 306 Instructors in the Department of Rhetoric and Writing. As an Assistant Director in the Department, I co-taught this course with Professor Diane Davis. The course addressed pedagogical theory as well as specific classroom issues. This year, the instructors will teach a controversy curriculum centered on the 2008-2009 First Year Forum book, Michael Lewis's The Blind Side, which I nominated in committee the previous year. The First Year Forum book is a shared text among all 306 classes and should provide a constellation of issues to discuss in class or interrogate through assignments.

Fall 2006 and Spring 2007

    Rhetoric 306: Rhetoric and Writing
Free Culture by Lawrence Lessig

Rhetoric and Writing is a required course for all students at the University of Texas. The curriculum is standard, and consists of three units that move students from understanding and identifying arguments in their basic building blocks (mapping claims and support) to analysis of the rhetorical strategies at play in a certain argument (text and context) to producing his or her own argument in a current, socially relevant discussion (advocacy). Students in RHE 306 also participate in the First Year Forum by reading a shared text (for 2006-2007 that text was Lawrence Lessig's Free Culture), discussing the text in class, and attending related lectures or events.