I teach graduate and undergraduate classes primarily in critical and political theory, cultural studies, critical Indigenous studies, and American literature. Here are a few of the courses I have developed for the College of William & Mary and Oberlin College.
I am honored to be the 2016-2017 recipient of the Thomas Jefferson Teaching Award at the College of William and Mary. Here is a video of my remarks at the annual Charter Day celebration where I received the award. But the best part comes first: An introduction by Brittney Harrington, an incredible former student from whom I learned so much.
American Indian Sovereignty: Land, Governance, Identity
This course offers a survey of federal Indian policy, including the Marshall trilogy, allotment, and the reservation system. We examine the paradox of sovereignty--that the settler nation "grants" sovereignty to Native Nations--against Native/Indigenous peoples' inherent sovereignty. We examine art, literature, and other cultural forms as exercises of sovereignty. Students conduct independent research on Native/Indigenous-centered economies and practices, such as seed preservation and cannabis cultivation, that counter settler colonial-capitalism.
A Matter of Time
A graduate-level critical theory seminar on temporality. Includes basic concepts in quantum physics, specifically how it is that time does not always pass identically for everyone; an introduction to the development of capital and labor time, and thus to the ways in which different bodies get to experience and occupy time differently; to what Elizabeth Freeman calls chrononormativity, or how sexual dissonance maps onto chronodissonance; and examinations of time in relation to nonhuman bodies, including object and nonhuman animal capacities, potentialities, and becomings.
Contemporary Native/Indigenous Literature
As Choctaw writer LeAnne Howe puts it, “Native stories are power. They create people. They author tribes.” For this class, we read an assemblage of contemporary fiction, nonfiction, and poetry by Native/Indigenous writers of North America. But right away, I need to explain, backtrack, and rewrite that sentence because contemporary or genre distinctions such as fiction, nonfiction, and poetry limit and enclose what these texts have to teach us about time, space, and the profound and productive work of the imagination.
To subjugate entire nations of people, colonizers will try to take the stories away. The colonizer will try to erase cultural memory or destroy and criminalize rituals—but stories are carriers of memory and ritual, of personal and collective identities. The texts we read demonstrate remarkable acts of survival and endurance in the face of over 500 years of ongoing colonization and illegal occupation of Native/Indigenous homelands. In moments, they are funny and surprising; in others, full of pain and trauma. But most importantly, they exist and persist. They create.
And more: Introduction to Dis/ability Studies; Haunted Houses; Race, Immigration, Sexuality; Literature of the Americas; American Literature 1865-1920.