Teaching

I am prepared to teach modern British history (1688–present), modern European history (1789–present), intellectual history, the history of gender and sexuality, and skills/methods courses on historiography and historical research methods. I am currently a “preceptor,” or lecturer/instructor of record, on the Contemporary Civilization course in Columbia’s Core Curriculum, a discussion-based seminar in which we read primary texts in Western political and moral philosophy from c. 400 BCE to the present. As a teaching assistant, I have taught nineteenth- and twentieth-century British history, European history since 1789, and US intellectual history since 1865. I have developed instructional resources and advised students on a fellowship program for undergraduates writing senior theses in European history, and I currently work as a peer writing consultant for arts and sciences dissertation-writers at Columbia’s graduate writing center, the GSAS Writing Studio.

I am especially interested in the pedagogical challenges and opportunities of teaching British history to non-British students; and in developing new ways to teach historical research and writing skills within the context of region-, time-period-, or theme-based courses. Within North American history departments, British history offers an opportunity to introduce students to the study of a different national culture and to the process of original historical research without the need for advanced language skills. In introductory-level courses, we can study British history with an eye to how Britain and the British Empire are similar to and different from other Western European countries and the United States; and use the extensive digital resources available to students of British history—from online newspaper databases to the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography—to introduce the practice of historical research. In upper-division courses, we can build on those foundation skills to pursue more in-depth research projects and drill down into historiographical debates. For example, I have designed a research- and writing-intensive seminar, “Gender and Sexuality in Modern Britain,” in which students are introduced to key themes in the history of gender and sexuality in Britain from 1870 to the present, and complete a series of carefully scaffolded writing assignments designed to lead them from basic information-finding skills to the completion of a substantial research paper.

I am always actively striving to make the content I teach more representative and inclusive. Throughout my previous teaching experience, I have drawn on my specialist knowledge to introduce—often for the first time—the history of LGBTQ identities and communities to canonical survey courses in European/”Western” history. I also always seek to educate myself and to work collaboratively with students to improve how such courses treat the history of race and empire—whether that means ensuring that the voices of anticolonial thinkers or authors of color are represented on the syllabus; or teaching European history with an eye to migration, transnational networks, and the ways in which European societies have always been multiethnic. Through my previous experience teaching such urgent, complicated, and sensitive topics, I have developed a practice of actively and attentively moderating discussion to ensure that all students feel included in the conversation and able to express their views in a safe environment. This is something that students have consistently recognized and valued in course evaluations.