Teaching and Service Learning
LALS100: Introduction to Latin American and Latino Studies
AMST100: Introduction to American Studies
AMST200: What is an American
AMST300: Research Methods in American Studies
AMST376: American Food
LAST4650: Food, Culture and Immigration
As an instructor of interdisciplinary courses, I approach teaching by pushing students to challenge their preconceived assumptions, drawing from and sifting through multiple knowledge sources and theoretical lenses as they progress through their careers. Focusing on methodology—working with archives and conducting ethnographic fieldwork—allows students to develop a firsthand understanding of issues along with problem solving tools. Implementing these approaches cultivates critical thinking skills and helps students to analyze historical and contemporary applications of concepts.
Each of the ten courses I have taught at Tulane University have been either mandatory or optional service learning. I encourage students to put knowledge from course materials into practice by integrating community-based projects, ranging from work with a Latinx youth tutoring program to creating digital humanities projects with community organizations. This applied learning undergirds both the students’ and my own experiences by engendering cross-cultural understandings and engaging in learning beyond the campus. Introducing concepts like privilege and positionality in the first weeks of class provides students the opportunity to examine our own biases and perspectives as well as locate those of the scholars we study.