My teaching philosophy is based on the interactive classroom, which promotes active learning. My teaching aims at inspiring students to think beyond the box, to become informed and active citizens, and to critically examine the parameters of national and social citizenship. My courses are interdisciplinary in nature (they borrow from anthropology, ethnography, history, political theory, psychology, and film studies) with the hope of presenting a more complex and nuanced analysis of Latin American, Caribbean, and Latino/a narratives. I concentrate on balancing the cultural, socioeconomic and political aspects of the texts with discussions of individual writers' formal strategies of identification and interpretation.
I work closely with my colleagues to offer a well-structured, rigorous course of study that ensures that our students become highly proficient (native and near-native) Spanish language speakers, readers, and writers. My Spanish courses feature in depth studies on topics such as autobiography, testimonial literatures, and motherhood, feminism, short stories and novels of Latin America, the Caribbean, and Latinos/as. Combining close textual analyses and cultural studies, I lead my students to reflect on authors’ creative processes within the context of history, migration, and politics. I encourage them to think about cultural and literary production as they examine issues of gender, memory, human rights, race, trauma, violence, and human possibility. All of my classes are taught in a deliberate immersive pedagogy (discussions, compositions, communication over email, and conversations during office hours are done exclusively in the target language), which prepares students to succeed in their senior comprehensive exams.
For the college, and in English, I have had the pleasure of teaching the First Year Seminar, which allows me to welcome and academically nurture the newest students on campus, as I introduce them to the expectations and techniques of academic writing and critical thinking at the college level. I also teach a special Mellon Colloquium for sophomores and juniors, where I guide students through the rigors of advanced research, and introduce them to the world of academic study as a possible career option. For several years, I have been part of the college pilot program The Global Classroom, where I have worked closely with faculty at the University of Puerto Rico in Rio Piedras. Combining two classes, one here and one there, we have been able to introduce immersion and study abroad via technology.