Teaching and Advocacy

Jenn (left), Veronica Anderson (middle), and Tiffany Batiste (right) with 6 Black Youth Project Summer Fellows (Summer 2016)

I have worked as a Teaching Assistant since 2007 when I was still an undergraduate at the University of Southern California. I have TA’ed several courses in Social Science Inquiry and Methods, Electoral Politics, and Gender and Civilization. For a full list, please refer to my CV.

I also frequently work with high school and college-aged students in the Chicagoland-area around topics of community-based research, social action, and school administrative reform. Below you will find a few of the courses and initiatives I have designed curriculum for and taught (or co-taught) as a stand-alone course:

2018 – 2019

Black Americans, Gender, and the Politics of Group Threat (Spring 2019)

University of Chicago

  • This course explores the ways that Black Americans in the United States have navigated the racial terrain in an effort to respond to multiple forms of racial threat, threats that originate both within Black communities and without. In particular, the course focuses on (re)defining threat in the social science context, embedding that definition within a larger historical framework of interracial terror and confrontation, and tracing those histories to contemporary manifestations of racial group threat.

Theories of Gender and Sexuality (Autumn 2018 – Co-Taught with Kristen Schilt and Lauren Berlant)

University of Chicago

  • This is a one-quarter, seminar-style introductory course for undergraduates. Its aim is triple: to engage scenes and concepts central to the interdisciplinary study of gender and sexuality; to provide familiarity with key theoretical anchors for that study; and to provide skills for deriving the theoretical bases of any kind of method. Students will produce descriptive, argumentative, and experimental engagements with theory and its scenes as the quarter progresses. Prior course experience in gender/sexuality studies (by way of the general education civilization studies courses or other course work) is strongly advised.

2017 – 2018

Gender and Civilizations (Winter 2018 – Co-Taught with Linda Zerilli)

University of Chicago

  • Gender and sexuality are fundamental categories of human existence, as well as key analytical, political, and cultural categories that shape everyday life. Just as important as the ubiquity and salience of these categories, is their mutability; while every human being is formed by these categories, their social, political, and ideological valence varies widely according to geographical context and across historical periods. Philosophers, poets, novelists, painters, and composers, as well as scholars from a wide range of disciplines, have addressed these issues, and a substantial corpus of works speak to key themes such as love, sex, citizenship, family, law, violence, religion, culture, creativity, migration, and politics through the lens of gender and sexuality. In this course our objective will be to engage closely with a carefully chosen set of texts, films, and visual objects, in order to open these up to analysis and discussion.

Black Feminism in a Transnational Perspective (Autumn 2017 – Co-Taught with Alysia Mann Carey)

University of Chicago

  • This course surveys Black women’s experiences living with and confronting state oppression around the across the Americas and the Caribbean. From the United States to Brazil, Black women experience similar patterns of political, social and economic inequality. Transnationally, racism, sexism, patriarchy, homophobia, transphobia, misogynoir, and classism affect the quality of life of Black women, particularly within nation-states with legacies of slavery and colonialism. This course takes a historical, social and theoretical look at the roots of this inequality and how Black women have chosen to respond to it locally and globally. This is not an introductory course on Feminist Theory. Some prior knowledge of first, second, and/or third wave feminism is expected.

2016 – 2017

Lose the Calculator: A How-To Session on Social Change and Community-Based Research

Civic Leads, Chicago Public Schools

  • This 45-min lecture and interactive class session teaches high school aged students how to perform the basics of collecting data from stakeholders to answer important questions about social issues facing their communities.

Media, Data, and Public Opinion

Student Voice and Activism Fellowship/Black Youth Project

  • In a 5-week, 60-hour long course, high school sophomores and juniors learn the fundamentals of connecting data research to written narratives. These students start from concept development focused on a particular issue facing their community then they consolidate and catalogue existing research on the topic and, finally, they apply basic calculations like ratios, averages, and frequency analysis to make key assertions about the ways these findings tell a particular story. Students are also taught the basics of pitching a news or editorial style article based on their findings, developing a coherent, publishable piece, and presenting their final work to others for feedback.

Digital Tools for Civic Engagement

Civic Leads, Chicago Public Schools

  • Co-facilitated this discussion exploring how activists use and make sense of social media, previewing how to use video to explore social opportunities and concerns, analyzing the #SayHerName political campaign as a model that can be presented in the classroom, demonstrating how digital media tools can be studied and used in classrooms, and investigating how digital tools can be utilized to teach civic engagement. The course was presented to roughly 60 Chicago Public School high school teachers and administrators.

2015 – 2016

Real-world Research Methods

Student Voice and Activism Fellowship/Black Youth Project

  • High school students in this 6-week, 72-hour long course develop multi method research skills with a minimal standard for prerequisite math skills. The goal of this course of study is to introduce students to quantitative and qualitative methodologies, helping them to recognize these techniques in scholarly works, to replicate these techniques in their own work, and to reiterate these strategies among their peer groups.

2013 – 2014

Black Politics

California State University, Fullerton

  • This introductory course give college-aged students the opportunity to examine the relationship between Black Americans and the larger American political system. It is a broad surveying of the changing political framework as it pertains to Black leadership, empowerment, participation, representation and public policy. By exploring the origins of Black American politics, power struggles, and evolution of political thought, students will gain a comprehensive perspective of the political institutions which impact Black politics at both a macro and micro level. (Taught spring 2014 at California State University Fullerton)

2011 – 2012

Political Science Research Methods

California State University, Fullerton

  • This introductory math course guides sophomore and junior students in the basic statistical methods and theories needed to successfully perform research in politics and public policy. This semester-long, twice per week course included regular homework packets, midterm exams, and one research paper proposal. (Taught spring 2012 at California State University Fullerton)