On the Whole:
The course descriptions that follow are not representative of a required curriculum. In each instance, I was furnished with various learning objectives, apart from which I was given the freedom to design my own courses. Thus, the descriptions below reflect my scholarly interests, but also my sense of how to best engage and motivate students both in and beyond the classroom.
Specific to Each Institution:
Sam Houston State University, Department of Psychology & Philosophy
- Aesthetics: Explores the philosophical question of the aesthetic, namely, what constitutes the beautiful? Engages from a historical perspective on the tradition in the global North, not only to acquaint students with canonical aesthetics, but to furnish them with the tools to interpret works of art, and to empower them to approach the both art and theory from a critical perspective.
- Philosophy of Film & Literature: Approaches film and philosophy as partners in a dialogue - each with its own unique medium of communication. Encourages students to develop a fluency in film interpretation and in philosophical speculation by focusing on films and philosophies of one of two themes: identity and embodiment, or time and narrativity.
- Feminist Philosophies: Introduces upper-level students to the various ways feminists (and feminist philosophers) envision a world free from oppression. Explores theory that prescribes and justifies action to address intersecting oppressive structures such as racism, sexism, classism, colonialism, and heteronormativity, that obstruct the pursuit of social justice.
- Existentialism & Self-Awareness: Empowers students to develop fluency in the existential movement that distinguishes itself both by the critique it offers of the traditions that predate it and by a concern for what may be called its themes – including, but not limited to: freedom, mortality, absurdity, responsibility, feeling, suffering, meaning, value, defiance, and joy. By study of works of philosophy and literature in tandem, encourages students to explore whether what we call “existentialism” rejects traditional definition so as to proliferate through the many facets, faces, and masks that art, rather than theory, has at its disposal.
- Introduction to Philosophy: Introduces students to the discipline of philosophy, which critically engages with the perennial questions of human existence: who am I? What does divinity look like? What can I know? How should I act? How do social, political and economic structures affect my situation and identity?
DePaul University, Department of Philosophy
- Exploding Binaries: Sex-Gender, Body-Culture: Focusing specifically on sexual difference in identity construction, first explores the way(s) in which difference is theorized in the West in binary terms, then strategically deploys narratives and theories from varying cultural perspectives not simply to include what is otherwise excluded, but to transform the landscape altogether. This means working collectively through intensive discussion of texts and related media to explode binary constructions and investigate the liberatory possibilities that may entail.
- Women’s and Gender Studies in Transnational Context: Women’s and Gender Studies Course designed to 1) challenge the history of feminism as depicted by waves, or broad movements construed as significant only through the lens of the global North, 2) effectuate this challenge by engaging students in work that opens up the particularity of the lives of global Southern, two-thirds world women, and 3) achieve forward progress toward coalitional solidarity by way of critical theorizing.
- Topics in Cognitive Studies: Mind-Consciousness-Meaning: Honors sophomore seminar meant to engage students in critical interrogation of the intersection between philosophy and advances in contemporary cognitive science. As such, this course takes a phenomenological point of departure, to stress how advances in neuroscience and embodied cognition make dialogue between “analytic” and “continental” traditions all the more imperative.
- Issues in Sex and Gender: Explores the constellation of problems arising from the materiality of the body, the morphology of anatomy, the (regulated) performance of gender, the (potential) invention of sex, and the strategies, silences, and power of sexuality.
- Philosophy-Conflict-Peace: Traces a genealogical line from pre-Socratic cosmologies through Plato, Augustine, and Nietzsche to explore the transformation of the binary conflict-love into the binary conflict-peace.
- Introduction to Philosophy: Survey of the Western canon that narrates the history of the tradition in terms of the metaphysics of ascent and the descensional or existential turn.
- Philosophy and Film: Prepares students for fluency in the dialogue between filmic study and interpretation and philosophy, by demonstrating through films that problematize identity and embodiment precisely how films themselves philosophize.
- Business Ethics: Favors a historico-genealogical approach to deconstruction of the practice of commerce and commercial desire that calls into question the apparent definition of business ethics as furnishing the theoretical tools to solve ethical problems in the practical dimension of the business arena.
- Philosophical Approaches to Multiculturalism: Sophomore seminar that deploys critical race and gender theory to problematize an ontologically neutral understanding of selves and others as the basic units of humanity who equally share a multicultural world.
- What is Freedom?: Surveys the questions and problems relative to the aporia of freedom from Aristotle to Augustine, Hobbes to Foucault, and Sartre to De Beauvoir.
- Existential Themes: Utilizes the literary art form in tandem with primary texts in existential philosophy to explore pressing questions of human existence and finitude, and to suspend the assumption that theory, rather than or exclusive of art, can best express the human condition.
Loyola University, Department of Philosophy
- Ethics: Survey of the primary ethical traditions, viz. utilitarian, deontological, and virtue, concluding with a critical exploration of issues is contemporary ethics of race and gender.
- Honors: German Phenomenology & Existentialism [team taught with Walter Brogan]
- Introduction to Philosophy