Visit to the Book Arts Lab with the "Fictions of Childhood" class, Spring '14. Warm thanks to Rebecca Darling for allowing me to use her photos.
First writing assignment of a beginner's French class, Gettysburg College, Spring '11. Heartfelt thanks to my students for allowing me to reproduce their work here.
I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Foreign Languages at Clemson University. I specialize in 19th-century French literature, culture, and history of art (caricature and illustration especially) but I have also extensively worked on 20th-century literature, a topic that I taught while at Bryn Mawr College -- where I also taught cinema. Before coming to Clemson, I was a Mellon Post-doctoral Fellow at Wellesley College; I have also worked as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Gettysburg College and Bryn Mawr College.
I received my Ph.D. from Brown University in 2011, with a dissertation on the history of clumsiness in the 18th and 19th centuries. I am thrilled to say that the book, L'école de la maladresse: de J.J. Rousseau à J.J. Grandville, will be published by Honoré Champion. I am currently working on a second book project titled XIXth-century Social Types and the (un)making of French National Identity. This project combines my literary interests with my work on the graphic arts of the 19th century.
This e-portfolio is designed to present my teaching practice — it includes a teaching philosophy statement, teaching materials, sample syllabi, as well as evaluations of my teaching performance by both students and faculty supervisors at Wellesley College (2013-15), Bryn Mawr College (2012-13), Gettysburg College (2011-12), and Brown University (2005-2011).
I have also added a page on the First-Year Seminar that taught last year at Wellesley ("Shipwrecks, Outlaws, and Wonderlands: Reading and Writing the Adventure Story"), where I have uploaded sample writing assignments, screenshots of our website, photos of our visit to Special Collections and to the Mystic Seaport Museum. This detailed section about one of my classes will -- I hope -- give a general idea of my teaching practice. It includes information about my goals in teaching writing as well as on the way I go about designing writing prompts.
I strive to teach not only literary texts but also the history of the book and of printing techniques. At Wellesley, I had students work extensively both with the Library's Special Collections and its Book Arts Lab: in a Literature class, I would always take the students to see rare books -- we typically spent one session on those books. I also liked to organize a session in the Book Arts Lab, where students learn how books were printed in the 19th and 20th centuries -- we usually learned how to use a printing press (see photos from Spring '14 reproduced here). The First-year Seminar students learned and practiced bookbinding. Even without such resources, there are various ways to include the study of the book and of printing/illustration in a class. This is something that I have systematically done everywhere I have taught, via powerpoints, research on Gallica, and in-class discussions of illustrations/paintings, and I keep working on integrating the History of the book in my advanced classes at Clemson.
This year, I have taught sections of Intermediate language classes (levels I and II), a Survey of French Literature, and I am currently teaching an advanced class titled "French Enlightenment, Revolution, and Romanticism" -- I will upload those syllabi shortly. At Clemson, I have focused on improving the language students' awareness of political and cultural differences through the use of primary materials; in the Fall, we worked more particularly on caricatures, political parties, and on the refugee crisis in Europe. Working regularly on the French press seemed particularly important as the semester unfolded; our work on France's handling of the refugee crisis predated the series of attacks in Paris, and we were able to discuss those attacks with a bit more context and basic knowledge of the political situation. This has become a central part of my work as an instructor at Clemson; empowering students to think for themselves and avoid the sensationalist impulse fostered by some medias is a daily task, and in a sense the work that students do in an advanced literature class is no different. Discussing Voltaire's dictionary entry "fanatisme" in the survey class proved very fruitful in terms of questioning our own biases: who do we call a fanatic? And why do some categories of mass murderers somehow escape that labeling? More generally, the work that we do with literature and with enlightenment texts in particular leads us to question categories and social norms that we take for granted in our daily life.
At Wellesley College, I have also taught a section of the French Language, Literature and Culture class in the Fall of 2013, using the textbook Réseau (see the students' evaluations here). In the Spring of 2014, I taught an advanced course on Childhood in XIXth-century France -- the syllabus for this class can be found in the Syllabi section of this website; my students' evaluations are also available here.
At Bryn Mawr College, I taught an intensive beginner class, an Introduction to Literary and Cultural Analysis course, and a class on French Cinema called "Intouchables? Misfits and Outsiders in French Cinema" (see syllabus). I also taught a class on childhood in XXth-century French and Francophone Literature and films (see syllabus here).
At Gettysburg College three years ago, I taught classes that ranged from Basic French to intermediate and advanced levels (students evaluations for all of my Fall 2011 classes are available on this website). I also taught a Practice in communication class which focused on French Cinema, as well as my French National Heroes course, which looks at the emergence of national heroes in France in the XIXth and XXth centuries (see syllabus and course description). I had taught this class at Brown as an advanced language class, and modified the syllabus in order for it to fit Gettysburg College's requirements for literature and culture classes. Since this position was the first opportunity for me to create my syllabi for intermediate and beginners classes, I designed two semester-long creative projects for both levels. My Basic French students designed several pages of a "roman-photo" throughout the semester (see photo here), and with their permission I have posted a few of their comics on this website. For the intermediate level students, I created a "Blog" activity that was also ongoing throughout the semester, and that allowed students to both create and develop their own blog and to look at and respond to others'. Both projects are described in the Sample assignment section of this website.
I like to consider my research as a ground in which new teaching interests are bound to grow; I find that the reverse is also true, and that class discussions and students' remarks have often made me look at my research in a new way.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions, or if you would like to look at more material. I look forward to hearing from you!
The print reproduced on the first page of this website is an illustration of Moby Dick by Rockwell Kent (1930). As an image of both travel and collaboration, it seemed particularly fit to illustrate my vision of teaching.