As an Afro-Caribbean woman and first generation American, legacies of slavery, colonialism, and poverty have left clear imprints on my life and teaching. The connections between race, gender, diaspora, and lived experiences became tangible for me as an undergraduate student when I began to internalize how historical events have left palpable impacts on contemporary institutions and marginalized populations. My professors’ abilities to concretize course material not only deepened my knowledge, but also led me to a greater understanding of how to productively engage students in historical inquiry. As a result, I use a constructivist pedagogy that situates students as active participants with a shared responsibility in the learning process.
Three core principles underline my teaching. First, I cultivate students’ abilities to synthesize information about processes of change. Second, I challenge students to articulate evidence-based arguments about their worldviews. Third, I prompt students to recognize the material significance of concepts we explore in class. I structure readings, class discussions, and written assignments such that students synthesize diverse sources, thereby offering multiple entry points into course content. In sum, my pedagogical strategies ensure that new interpretations of race, gender, and systems of oppression are accessible to students as they historicize the processes that facilitate and impede social change.
Introduction to Africana Studies
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This course will introduce students to the interpretive value and real-world applicability of Africana Studies by examining global Black history and contemporary Black people’s experiences. It will interrogate the fundamental role of race in structuring the modern world by foregrounding African diasporan people’s history, politics, and cultural productions with a particular emphasis on the Americas and the Caribbean. This course will offer an interdisciplinary, intersectional, and transnational grounding in the study of Black people.
Summarize how colonialism, capitalism, slavery, and anti-black racism have impacted African diasporan history
Identify major activists/thinkers in the African diaspora and explain their significance
Analyze the relationships between race, class, gender, sexuality, and nationality
Apply interdisciplinary methods of analysis and techniques to the study of the African Diaspora
Women and Slavery in the Black Atlantic
Read students’ reflections about our week-long study abroad experience in Barbados here.
From the sixteenth to nineteenth centuries, over 12 million Africans were shipped to the New World. Of those who survived the Middle Passage, fewer than 500,000 arrived in the United States; the vast majority were dispersed throughout the Caribbean and South America. The experiences of enslaved women, as well as the relationships between free and enslaved women, are as diverse as the African diaspora. Given the broad geographical scope of Africans’ arrivals in the New World, this course will offer a comparative examination of women and slavery in the Black Atlantic. Topics for consideration include black women’s gendered experiences of slavery, white women’s roles in slave societies, and women abolitionists. The course will also examine how African and European conceptions of gender shaped the institution of slavery in the New World. Particular attention will be devoted to slavery in West Africa, Barbados, Cuba, Brazil, and the United States.
Identify the historical processes that contributed to the formation of the Black Atlantic
Compare and contrast women’s roles in sustaining and/or abolishing slavery throughout the Black Atlantic
Explain the strategies that African diasporic women used to navigate their enslavement
Develop familiarity with archival research methods and archival theory
Synthesize primary and secondary sources about women’s experiences of slavery
Thugs, Jezebels, and Contemporary Politics
See our collaborative website here and keep up with us on Twitter using #tjcp251.
In the months prior to the 2016 presidential election, race relations in the United States were propelled into the American public consciousness with great force, although race has continually exerted an omnipresent influence on contemporary politics. Beginning with Clarence Thomas’s 1991 Supreme Court confirmation hearings, this course will survey how discourse on black femininity, masculinity, sexuality, and class has impacted American politics from 1991 to the present. Topics for consideration include welfare reform, reproductive justice, mass incarceration, backlash to Barack Obama’s presidency, and white nationalist support for Donald Trump. Readings will also consider how black activists, lawyers, journalists, and politicians have responded to and resisted racism and sexism in contemporary politics.
Explain how the relationship between race, gender, and class impacts American politics
Evaluate the racialized implications of various laws, policies, and programs
Recognize how conceptions of black masculinity and femininity shape contemporary politics
Interpret racialized and gendered language in political discourse
Women and Activism
This course will provide a historical overview of how women have influenced and engaged in various forms of activism, and will provide students a self-directed experiential learning opportunity. Students will evaluate the factors that have contributed to and impeded social change, and will then apply their knowledge by developing community action projects.
Explain how race, class, sexuality, religion, nationality, and other categories of identity have impacted women’s activism
Evaluate women activists' approaches to reproductive justice, the carceral state, electoral politics, and environmental justice
Identify and articulate the ideologies that have shaped women's activism
Apply activist strategies by designing and implementing a community action project
Black Women in the Americas and the Caribbean
This course will survey the historical, political, economic and socio-cultural realities that Black women in the Americas and the Caribbean have faced and continue to face. A variety of readings by and about Black women will highlight the ways in which race, class, and gender combine to operate in the lives of Black women. Special attention will be paid to Black women as laborers, Black women as political activists, and the various ways in which Black women in the Americas and the Caribbean experience race and gender.
Analyze the relationships between race, class, gender, and sexuality from the 1700s to the present
Consider how race and gender have jointly impacted social, economic, legal, and political systems in the global community
Understand the shared experiences and histories of black women through time and space
Examine the diversity of black women's lives through time and space
History of the Civil Rights Movement
This course will examine the trajectory of the Civil Rights Movement by focusing on particular events, strategies, organizations, and political actors. After identifying the conditions that contributed to the emergence of the Civil Rights Movement, the course will trace the movement from the landmark 1954 Brown v. Board case to the rise of Black Power during the 1970s. The course will conclude by examining the relationship between the Civil Rights Movement and the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
Explain the significance of various events, campaigns, Supreme Court decisions, executive orders, and legislation during the Civil Rights Movement
Identify key actors in the Civil Rights Movement and evaluate the narratives surrounding their activism
Differentiate between the ideologies supported by and strategies employed by various organizations, including but not limited to the NAACP, SNCC, the SCLC, CORE, and the BPP
Understand the roles that the legislative, executive, and judicial branches played in the Civil Rights Movement
Analyze the relationships between race, gender, sexuality, and the Civil Rights Movement
Consider the legacy and contemporary implications of the Civil Rights Movement
African American Intellectual History. Africana Studies Department. (Spring 2020)
Introduction to Africana Studies. Africana Studies Department. (Fall 2019)
Women and Slavery in the Black Atlantic. Africana Studies Department. (Spring 2019)
Thugs, Jezebels, and Contemporary Politics. Africana Studies Department. (Fall 2018)
University of Cincinnati
Women and Activism. Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department. (Spring 2017)
University of Massachusetts Amherst
History of the Civil Rights Movement [Online Course]. W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies. (Winter 2017, Fall 2015)
Black Women in the Americas and the Caribbean. W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies. (Spring 2016)
Introduction to African American History, 1619-1860. Teaching Assistant. W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies. (Fall 2015)
Introduction to African American History, 1860-1954. Teaching Assistant. W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies. (Spring 2015)
History of the Civil Rights Movement. Teaching Assistant. W.E.B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies, University of Massachusetts Amherst. (Fall 2014)