Teaching

By the time most students enter college, they have become fairly proficient in what one of my mentors, performance studies theorist and critical ethnographer Dwight Conquergood, used to refer to as displaying “raw” food in a tidy container. This might take the form of parroting scholarship upon command in class or making written claims supported by a string of selected quotes between the bookends of a thesis statement and a conclusion. The scholar’s job, he stressed, is to “cook it,” to synthesize complex ideas with careful analysis in one’s own words supported by appropriate documentation, to scratch the surface of the taken-for-granted in order to ask new questions, make unexpected connections, and to examine phenomena from different perspectives. In his powerful 2002 essay, “Performance Studies Interventions and Radical Research,” Conquergood argued that “Performance studies is uniquely suited for the challenge of braiding together disparate and stratified ways of knowing. We can think through performance along three crisscrossing lines of activity and analysis. [. . .] creativity, critique, [and] citizenship (civic struggles for social justice). (152).” Indebted to this triangulation of commitments, my pedagogical praxis is designed to help students examine the relationship among politics, culture, discourse and material practice.

COURSES DEVELOPED & TAUGHT  |  INNOVATIVE APPROACHES  |  FUTURE TEACHING GOALS & INTERESTS