Teaching

Courses

A selected list of courses I’ve taught. See below for a few syllabi examples.

Ulysses Reading Group, Rosenbach Museum and Library

Writing for Engineers, Rowan University

Popular Fiction: “Cli-fi: Science Fiction, Climate Change, & Apocalypse,” Temple University (more here)

Honors GenEd: “Ecotopia: Building a Sustainable Society,” Temple University

Contemporary Literature: “Inventing Individual Identity,” Temple University

College Composition II: “Writing the Future,” Rowan University

Analytical Reading and Writing, Temple University

Syllabi

(all links below to PDFs via Dropbox)

Ulysses Reading Group

Cli-fi: Science Fiction, Climate Change, & Apocalypse

Ecotopia: Building a Sustainable Society

Contemporary Literature: Inventing Individual Identity

Teaching Philosophy

What follows is a shortened version of my longer teaching philosophy.

The willingness to inhabit another point of view, the insight to see how values shift over time and space, and the dexterity (in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s words) “to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function”—these are the skills and the mindset cultivated by studying literature and writing critically.  Helping students develop them is the aim of my pedagogy because they are essential to understanding and intervening in vital conversations, especially when it comes to climate change, ecology, and environmental justice.

When possible, a significant portion of the writing students do in my courses is outward-facing, and I select course topics and formats accordingly. My course on “cli-fi” was inspired by conversations about this new “genre” taking place in newspapers and public affairs magazines. The student’s writing project for the semester was the creation of a course blog that featured short reviews (then posted on Amazon) and longform “Expert Reviews” of each work. The writing the students produced in this class remains online as a permanent contribution to a larger conversation about literature’s capacity to countenance climate change and teach its readers how to imagine, in detail and from various perspectives, what it will look and feel like to live in an altered world. Because their writing was publicly available, the students’ blog was, for example, promoted (on Twitter) by one of the authors we read, Naomi Oreskes, and now appears on the first page of Google results for “cli-fi.” In future classes, my students will continue this project on the larger, more capacious public website, “Teaching Cli-fi,” that I’ve developed to support invested teachers and journalists.

 

Writing & Composition

In addition to teaching college writing or composition courses at Temple and at Rowan Universities, I’ve worked in three writing centers, in assessment, and with a diverse range of student writers:

Graduate Tutor, Temple University Writing Center (2015-17)

First-Year Writing Program Outstanding Instructor Award, Temple University (Fall 2012, Spring 2013, & Spring 2014)

First-Year Writing Program Placement Test Scorer (2014-16)

Practicum Mentor, Temple University, Department of English, Graduate Composition Practicum (2013)

Teaching in Higher Education Certificate, Temple University Teaching and Learning Center (2013)

Instructor, Summer Bridge Program, Russell Conwell Center, Temple University (2011-13)

Reading and Writing Specialist, Learning Lab, Community College of Philadelphia (2010-15)

Graduate Writing Tutor, Villanova University Writing Center (2008-10)

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