A New Member of the Team
I hope your semester is off to a good start! I am thrilled to join the Futures Initiative Fellows this year and it already has been such a wonderfully packed, enriching beginning to the semester just a few weeks into classes. The event that Frances Tran organized, Pedagogies of Dissent for Asian American Studies, has got me thinking about how the tools and methodologies of Asian American Studies can deepen my literary studies pedagogy and make it more self-reflective. I was delighted to attend the event Kalle Westerling organized, cosponsored by CLAGS, Queer Pedagogies & Pedagogy for LGBT Instructors, and I am still identifying more and more of what I need to unlearn as an instructor. There was such a great turnout and lively discussion at both of these events, and my classroom discussions have already felt the positive influence of my exposure to such amazing leaders and thinkers. This is my way of saying that I am so grateful and honored to join the Futures Initiative team!
I’m a doctoral candidate in English at the Graduate Center, entering my fifth year here. My dissertation, “American Transcendentalism: Widening the Field of Search for Music,” takes an Ecocritical and Sound Studies approach to 19th Century American literature. Through critical Sound Studies, I address shifts in human-nonhuman relations during the Industrial Revolution, shifts in social organization strategies in the women’s rights movement, and shifts in thinking about the world and mind as natural soundscapes are overtaken by mechanical sounds.
In addition to writing the dissertation, I teach at Hunter College and blog about my student-centered pedagogy and research. I’m working on a sound recording project at Walden Pond through the New Media Lab called The Walden Soundscape, funded by a Provost’s Digital Innovation Start-Up Grant. I’m currently serving as a co-chair for the Ecocriticism Working Group through the Center for the Humanities with my talented co-chair, Amelia Greene. I’m also developing and maintaining the Margaret Fuller Society website. When I’m not working, I’m hiking or running somewhere in New York City or in the mountains of New England. Over the past two summers I’ve completed 900 miles of the Appalachian Trail.
Joining the Futures Initiative team of fellows this year, I bring with me a toolbox of digital and student-centered pedagogy, and will be working as Cathy Davidson‘s research assistant. I’m really excited about this semester and all of the exciting Thursday Dialogues and events coming up! I’ve already learned so much, and, more importantly, my students are already benefitting from what I’ve learned. Thank you, all, for a warm welcome!