My classes engage historians and writers, professional and amateur, alike. Whether you want to be a traditional historian, a more empathetic and better informed citizen, a top-notch archival researcher, or a more contextual and imaginative writer and world-builder, there’s something here for you.
I’ve primarily taught in traditional history classrooms–and certainly would again–but I’m also interested in transporting my classes into literature departments, local-library-hosted seminars, and other contexts. In fact, I’m working all my current and future classes into online formats to be taught through my patreon platform.
Ready for Fall Semester ’19
Western Civilization pre-1600; post-1600
My Western Civ classes are survey courses that use primary documents (writings from the time periods we’re studying) to look at what it means to be part of the “Western” world and how that definition has changed over time. Spoiler: These aren’t cheerful surveys. The history of “The West” is full of white supremacy, violent imperialism, world wars, and misogyny, among other tragedies, and I won’t shy away from those topics. However, we do talk about what our history holds that can clue us into how we create a better future. And we actively work to see what the world looks like if “The West” isn’t at the center–how that opens routes to change and possibility.
Broader and more conceptual than Western Civ, World History is a survey course that tends to concern itself with human geography, systemic change, and patterns in the movement of people and ideas. It also considers, based on historical evidence and current events, where we’re heading globally, and encourages students to consider fixes for the problems they foresee.
Science and Technology Studies
This class–formatted at present as a seminar–owes its lineage to the nuclear era when scientists began thinking in a big way about the democratic responsibilities and the ethics of their inventions. Originally, historians of science asked a lot of questions about transparency and the role of the expert, and we do still cover those topics. But in today’s world, we also consider how science benefits from critical race theory and feminist and queer critiques, which raise red flags and work to assure scientific progress helps everyone. We also discuss how science affects local spaces within the network of invention and progress, and what we owe each other as informed citizens.
I’m developing curriculum based on my more specific interests in the history of mental illness, the history of masculinity, history of the body, and medical humanities.
I’m also working on a course that looks specifically at how how to use historical tools to create promising, exciting, well-researched fiction. As I’m imagining it, this class would also explain how fiction and the tools of fiction writers can help historians write more engaging histories.