Courses I have taught as the instructor of record:
Politics of Reproduction. See most recent syllabus. Semesters taught: F22.
Gender, Sexuality, and Culture. See most recent syllabus. Semesters taught: S23, S22, S21, S20.
History of Race & Sexuality in the U.S. See most recent syllabus. Semesters taught: F23, F21, F20.
Courses I have been a Teaching Assistant/Discussion group leader:
Gender, Sexuality, and Culture: F19, F18.
History of Race & Sexuality in the U.S.: S19.
Sociology of the Family: F17, F16.
Feedback From Former Students
The feedback we received on every assignment was incredibly appreciated - I think that a lot of times in courses we don't get that, and it can be really hard to learn and grow without it." – Student from the Politics of Reproduction, Fall 2022
"Derek is an amazing professor that clearly relays their passion for the course content, while still being transparent about what they are still learning themselves. I think this is crucial for students to witness in order to make us more open about what we don't know and feel comfortable enough to ask." - Student from Gender, Sexuality and Culture, Spring 2023
"I thought the instructor was extremely engaging. I often have trouble focusing in a classroom, but we switched up activities within a class (small groups, class discussions, zoom forums with guests, etc) so it was easy to pay attention." - Student from Gender, Sexuality and Culture, Spring 2022
"The instructor was very understanding of the students workload and was very accommodating, while also still showing authority as a teacher. Overall one of the best professors I have had so far!" – Student from History of Race and Sexuality in the U.S., Fall 2020
"The discussions in particular were where I felt most connected to the course and its content. I felt like I was given an opportunity to figure out the content through my own words and thoughts." - Student from Gender, Sexuality and Culture, Spring 2022
"Derek was very accessible and fostered communication. They also encouraged students to ask questions which created a great learning environment." - Student from Gender, Sexuality and Culture, Spring 2022
"Derek is absolutely an amazing teacher. They really inspired me to learn more outside of class. I have always been interested in this topic but Derek made me want to learn more." - Student from History of Race and Sexuality in the U.S., Fall 2020
"I have been able to relate topics in this course to my epidemiology, environmental health, community health, and other public health courses, helping me to think about my education as a whole with all of my classes together, not individually." – Student from the Politics of Reproduction, Fall 2022
My Teaching Philosophy
As an instructor, I aim to disrupt the racialized, gendered, and classed inequalities that often manifest in higher education (and other institutional contexts). Through group activities and facilitated discussion, students develop critical thinking skills and learn to articulate the particularities of their own experiences. Most students are committed to improving their communities, but to change the world they must understand how it works.
My courses include canonical texts that will help situate students in the discipline, but I also strive to subvert the canon by assigning scholars of color, trans and queer scholars, and scholars from the Global South. Still learning about the relationality of race, gender, and geography, some students struggle to see how these texts relate to their own experiences. Thus, I frame my classes at the intersection of the particular and the universal, showing how work by marginalized scholars can answer a range of questions. For example, in my History of Race and Sexuality in the U.S. course, I have a week on Black family making practices, assigning scholars such as Patricia Hill Collins and bell hooks. We discuss how white supremacy shapes Black families' experiences, and we also use these texts to address questions such as: "What is family?" and "How do people get their needs met?" in ways that connect to every student's experiences.
Many students spend their whole lives internalizing dominant ideologies of race, class, nation, gender, and dis/ability, so it is not uncommon for a student to understand a concept one week and struggle to apply it the next. Feminist and sociological interventions demand a lifetime of engagement, so I am pleased that my classroom can serve as an early (or even first) introduction.