University & Community

Most of my teaching involves university undergraduate and graduate students, in classes cross-listed between the English Department and the Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality (CSWGS).   But recent work in non-university settings with the Institute for Women Surfers has allowed me to grow. I’ve had a chance to teach collaboratively with activists and leaders in non-profit organizations and to learn from them.  The summer of 2017, I had a chance to train and hear from AP high school teachers on the topic of cultural geography and political nature of culture.  Teachers were especially interested in how to handle sexuality issues in middle schools, trans- issues in particular.  Community based teaching experiences have changed the way I teach at Rice insofar as they mix up the formality of the classroom and encourage us all to get “mingling” (a favored term in non-university classroom practice), and help all of us “bring ourselves to class.”

Among a million other topics, I like class discussions that explore why we have major or graduate program requirements — in critical race theory for instance — and how they relate to an overall vision of a curriculum.  I like discussions about reading and why we want all of us to have high-level critical reading abilities and the skill to take on texts of great complexity — whether Cormac McCarthy, N. Scott Momaday, the daily news, or materials in feminist theory.  High level reading turns out to be very handy in political action contexts, as well as handy in everyday life.

Graduate Seminars & Advising

Areas of expertise: contemporary U.S. literature (1945-present), critical race theory, environment and environmental justice including material feminisms, social movements, regional and critical regional studies, literatures of 1968, issues of place and settler coloniality, historiography of feminism, engaged research methodologies, youth studies, feminist theory.

Surf studies has also become an important area of advising given the role of younger scholars in producing work in this new emergent field of knowledge.  Work is being done all over the world, and from the disciplines of history, Latin American Studies, indigenous studies, sociology, anthropology, sport for development and peace (SDP), geography, and history.

Sample syllabi:

Upcoming in next couple of years:  Feminism/Place/Theory; Seminar in the Public Humanities; Critical Regionalism and the Global.

(2017) Literatures of Environmental Justice  (graduate directed readings in EJ theory)
(2011) History and Memory in the Literatures of 1968
(2009) Gender, Space, & Politics. Seminars as the Visiting Scholar of Humanities and Social Sciences at Tecnológico de Monterrey, Campus Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico.
(2007) Matters of Space: L.A., Indian Country, Borderlands and Beyond.

Undergraduate Teaching

Teaching undergraduates at Rice is a real pleasure.  Prepared, serious, and still having a good time at it all, this part of the job of a professor is easy to believe in.