Every semester I invite students to embark on an ambitious individual journey as writer and thinker, as well as a group journey of writers-in-community. I facilitate a learning environment in which students get to know one another and invite them to co-create knowledge based on what they already bring to class as well as what we encounter together.
My teaching has been influenced by many great figures in the field of pedagogy, beginning with the liberatory pedagogies of Paulo Freire in Pedagogy of the Oppressed and bell hooks in Teaching to Transgress. I’ve learned from writing studies pioneers such as Peter Elbow, education scholars such as Parker Palmer and Laura Rendón, and engaged on many levels with the collaborative Social Justice Education work of Maurianne Adams and Barbara Love. These overlapping, culturally responsive pedagogies informed my understanding of the structural hierarchies and biases of mainstream educational projects and elite institutions, taught me to critically examine my own position as teacher, and to confront the racism in Standard American English. I am explicit about such frameworks with students, and my courses open up credit-bearing avenues for resistance to dominant ways of learning and writing. Recognizing that such resistance can put students at risk, especially first generation, multilingual learners and students with disabilities (and that dominant forms also have much to offer), I also support my students in meeting and “mastering” academic norms and standards. For this reason, my classes as well as my tutoring sessions attract both award-winning young scholars and writers as well as writers who lack confidence.
My current courses include Outlaw Women, Writing Race and Class, Five Novellas, and Writing Gender and Sexuality. I am also working on a course that explores histories and ideas of feminist joy. All of my courses incorporate an innovative range of workshops, which include movement and contemplative activities as well as an inquiry-based critical response process to drafts.
I have published several pieces of my own about teaching, including my book collection.