where passion meets skill
As a professor of literature, I want my students to develop a deep understanding of the characters they meet under my guidance. I want them to approach reading not as a mechanical task, but rather as an innately human emphatic act, a point of intimate connection with the representatives of cultures, historical periods, and settings that might not otherwise be accessible to us.
At the same time, I want my students to recognize the relevance of the material that might come off as “foreign” or “inaccessible” at the outset. I want them to drop the notion of “otherness” as they enter the world of Okonkwo in “Things Fall Apart”, leave all inhibition as they begin to orient themselves within the stories of the 19th-century Imperial St. Petersburg. I want each and every one of my students to recognize their role as a rightful participant in the ongoing process of humanity’s story-telling, and take advantage of their undeniable right to make sense of all the riches—lessons, wisdom, warnings, cautionary tales—it has to offer.
That is why my teaching practice is grounded in student-centered pedagogy, collaborative learning, and ethics of care. In every one of my classes, I attempt to leverage my students’ understanding of their own lived experiences and transfer the same feeling-based approach to the interpretation of the texts in front of them. Instead of acting as a gatekeeper of knowledge, I try to reframe my role as that of an interpreter, both in a literal and a metaphorical sense.
Courses developed and taught:
A Riddle Wrapped in a Mystery: Workshop in Russian Translation (CCNY; summer 2023 intensive)
Demons, Mad(wo)men, Rebels, Fools: Russian Literature Through the Eyes of Non-conformists (CCNY; spring 2023 300-level)
Russian Literature: Surveying the Field (CCNY; fall 2022 200-level)
Skazka, Povest’, Rasskaz: Russian Literature in Short Fiction Forms (CCNY; summer 2022 intensive)
Dueling, Gambling, and Love Affairs: Masterpieces of Russian Literature (CCNY; fall 2021 300-level)
World Humanities 1 (CCNY; spring 2022 100-level)
World Humanities 2 (CCNY; fall 2022; spring 2023 100-level)