- Ph.D., M.Phil., Columbia University
- A.B., Barnard College
I specialize in the First-Year Experience and teach in both the First-Year Writing and First-Year Seminar programs. I have taught writing and literature classes at Monmouth University, Columbia College, and the Columbia School of General Studies. However, since 2004, I have taught exclusively at Barnard because its program is exceptional: Barnard’s first-year foundations courses are designed to give students essential critical reading, writing and speaking skills while allowing professors to teach to their passions.
I focus on American Literature and teach The Americas, an exciting comparative examination of the literature of North, South, and Central America. Recently, I developed a course, Imagining America in New York City, which examines how issues of race, class, gender and religion have been and are now at play in defining American belonging. The syllabus allows students to explore the historical roots of
our current challenges and to think critically about contemporary American identity.
One of my great pleasures in teaching is to acquaint students with our city’s extraordinary resources. We explore the archives of the Schomburg Center for
Research in Black Culture; students give art presentations at the Metropolitan Museum of Art or at El Museo del Barrio; we attend modern dance, jazz, or classical music performances. I actively seek ways to connect our studies to the city beyond the Barnard gates because doing so adds interdisciplinary depth and contemporary relevance to our classwork.
My teaching goals are numerous. I aim to develop students who are deep and skeptical thinkers, clear and powerful writers, and confident and substantive
speakers. I aim to set rigorous academic standards and then to do everything to help students meet those standards. I work to develop a cooperative seminar community that is enlivened by challenging debate and distinct voices. And I seek to inspire by sharing my own intellectual passions.
I hold a Ph.D. in English and Comparative Literature from Columbia and a B.A. in English from Barnard.