My teaching includes interdisciplinary courses in Environmental Studies at the introductory and senior-capstone levels, as well as courses on environmental literature, the literatures of slavery, the American Renaissance, and early American literature. I also teach First-Year Seminars that engage in interdisciplinary material-cultural studies and include a digital-humanities component. I believe in the powers of deep and democratic discussion, close reading, and faculty-student research. Some of my courses have involved travelling with students abroad or domestically, and others have included project-based and community-engaged pedagogies. Such courses have focused on dirt and regional soil fertility, on environmental justice in the community, and on the production of a collaboratively-written natural history of our region, titled Rediscovering Indian Creek. My main goal in the classroom is to foster rigorous, compassionate, and vibrant analyses of human experience. I teach in order to help students be engaged, informed citizens who realize their individual abilities to challenge injustice and thoughtfully shape society and the planet.
Select courses I have taught:
ENV 200: Nature and Culture: An Introduction to Environmental Studies
ENV 402: Senior Capstone Seminar in Environmental Studies
ENG 232: Literatures of Slavery (ca. 1700-1865)
ENG 239: Visions of Environment (literary and environmental history of the U.S.)
ENG 280: Introduction to Literary Theory and Criticism
ENG 329: Inventing America (transoceanic encounter to 1865)
ENG 335: American Renaissance (and “beneath” the American Renaissance)
ENG 344: Author Seminar: Thoreau (his writings amid cultural and intellectual history)
ENG 490: Literary Research Practicum (intensive seminar in archival and literary research)
FYS 110: First-Year Seminar
My honors First-Year Seminar at College of Idaho focuses on material culture. For one assignment, students research a museum specimen and produce an oral presentation for a public audience, a fully researched essay, a web site, and a museum exhibit.