My goal as an educator is to encourage students to develop new insights into the social and political worlds they find themselves in, to better understand how power operates in material and symbolic ways, and to develop intellectual confidence and writing skills.
I seek to elicit excitement in my students about social theory, and encourage confidence in employing various theoretical frameworks to better understand the social world. I believe a liberal arts education involves transforming lives, not simply dispensing knowledge. In this way students are not only acquiring skills for the workforce, but developing essential tools for navigating a changing and diverse world. I seek to inspire students to take an active interest in contemporary social problems and to develop the critical thinking skills needed to understand—not simply reduce—complexity. I have seen the power of transformative teaching first-hand as my students develop new insights and demonstrate a new excitement for the material at hand, or complete polished, theoretically sophisticated ethnographic research papers.
A few highlights from my teaching:
- “Leading Lines: A podcast on educational technology,” Episode 56: Sophie Bjork-James, March 18, 2019
- A highlight of student media projects on reproductive politics
- A highlight of student media projects on race and racism
- Student Tanja Tejani’s podcast, “Local Impacts,” completed for the course “Culture and Climate Change” featured on VandyVox, the Vanderbilt-wide podcast, Sept. 19, 2019.
- Student Sarah Saxton’s podcast, “Hagar Rising,” completed for the course “The Politics of Reproductive Health,” featured on VandyVox, the Vanderbilt-wide podcast, Jan. 29, 2019.