In each course and interaction with my students, my commitment is to create an open, lively, and respectful atmosphere in which students are expected and encouraged to contribute. However, I also believe that it is my responsibility to generate a sense of intellectual disquiet. I want my students to challenge themselves and their peers to re-evaluate positions or interpretations that they have always held as simply self-evident or “just my opinion.” I encourage my students to critically think about how the world that we know has come to be and how or why we may transform it. I endeavor to integrate the pedagogical approaches of international relations (case studies, empirical research, and theories as frameworks or tools) with political theory (close readings of primary texts, historical specificity, and theories as imagined or reflected orderings of the world) to illuminate the necessity of both for grasping contemporary politics.
To encourage this, I ask students to debate events, such as the treatment of prisoners of war, from the perspective and position of individuals whose theories and approach might be unfamiliar or contrary to their own. I have found it generates rousing discussions and debates and forces students to balance the possible legal, ethical, and strategic choices during armed conflict. I often use different materials or approaches, such as asking my students to make paper collages or to write haiku, to illuminate complex ideas such as discourse or of the intersection of materiality and theory, while also encouraging them to explore the use of words and concepts in unfamiliar ways.
Courses I teach:
Critical International Relations Theory (graduate)
Night Raids, Detention, Torture, and Drones: Methods of War (upper-level undergraduate)