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Proposed Classes

In this section are two proposed classes, of the type that I might teach as a member of a history department.  I have included these syllabi to give a more rounded sense of my pedagogical approach and methods than the structure of Cornell’s First-Year Writing Seminars offer.  These two syllabi should provide a better sense for how my work fits in the classroom, in a department, and within the discipline more broadly.  I am including, for each course, a rationale for the syllabus that explains my reasons for putting the class together as I did, and which includes week-by-week consideration of readings and activities.

These two example classes serve to demonstrate multiple teaching and knowledge competencies.  The first is a lower-level class, temporally grounded in the Middle Ages, dealing with specifics of travel and connectivity.  The second is an upper-level course thematically grounded in spatial and cartographic history, including a heavy focus on issues related to European and American colonial projects.

Each listing has a short description of the course.  To read a longer summary, click the inverted caret (  ) to expand the section.

On the Road Again:  The Hows and Whys of Medieval Travel

  • Description:  A study of medieval types and rationals of movement.     
    This class begins by addressing the popular misconceptions that medieval Europeans were an almost wholly static people, tied to the land and unable to move through the world.  The course will examine both how medieval people traveled and why.  In studying medieval travel, students will have a useful lens through which to consider a broad range of peoples, economies and geographies.  This course will urge students to see how many of the historical themes that came to define Europe in the Early Modern period had their deep roots in a medieval society of motion.
  • Target Audience:  Mid-level undergraduate students (sophomores and juniors).
  • Class Materials 

Making Space:  The Creation of Geography and History

  • Description:  A class based on case studies of spatial creation, drawn from a range of places and times.     
    This course takes Edward Said’s famous statement, that people create their own geographies just as they make their own histories, as a guide rail to use in asking a series of questions about the connections between the our stories about our pasts and our stories about our spaces.  The class will ask students to consider how people move through the world and attach meaning to places; how people imagine and map the spaces they encounter; and what happens when different peoples’ ideas about geography and space come into contact with each other.  From these ideas, we will proceed to consider how history is produced in relation to spatial practices.
  • Target Audience:  Upper-level undergraduate students (juniors and seniors).  This material is also suitable, with modifications, for a graduate student course
  • Class Materials