Teaching

My teaching interests and experience range widely across the history and social thought of the Middle East and modern Europe. No matter what their subject matter, my courses are designed to be exciting, enjoyable, and broadly accessible for students from a variety of backgrounds. Each of them combines close textual analysis with broad historical thinking, and prepares students to participate fully as discussion leaders and writers in a public setting.

At the University of Chicago, I designed a course on “Islamic Political Thought in the Global Era” [syllabus – PDF] built around a selection of primary sources that allowed students to trace the development of competing ideological strains in global Muslim thought from 19th-century Cairo to 21st-century Birmingham. The course was featured in Tableau, the magazine of the University’s Humanities Division.

I have also taught in the University’s Classics of Social and Political Thought sequence, designed to introduce first- and second-year undergraduates to the problems and approaches of social theory from Plato to Beauvoir. Two of the syllabi I designed can be found here: Spring 2015 syllabus [PDF]; Winter 2016 syllabus [PDF]. I also assistant-taught a survey course on the history of the modern Middle East within the University’s Islamic History and Society sequence, as well as a first-year undergraduate seminar on Readings in World Literature.

From 2015 to 2017, I helped lead the Race and Pedagogy Working Group, dedicated to cultivating new pedagogical tools and approaches for teaching about race across the disciplines. At the same time, I was a teaching consultant and then a fellow with the Chicago Center for Teaching, where I helped design and lead workshops on a range of subjects, including a series on “Fundamentals of Teaching in the Humanities.” All that thinking and teaching about pedagogy led me to write a number of reflections that are gathered at Inside Higher Ed. (Here is a link to my favorite one: “When I first started teaching college students, I was pretty sure I knew how to handle them….”)

Methodologically, I’m committed to cultivating classroom practices that treat students as fellow scholars. To that end, I teach my students to make full use of writing as an essential tool for thinking. All of my courses emphasize the cultivation of effective writing techniques, which I teach by assigning short public reflections, carefully scaffolded longer projects, and other techniques I developed as an instructor of Academic and Professional Writing with the University of Chicago Writing Program. My guide to essay-writing for students is available here: Guide to Writing, Revising, and Submitting Essays [PDF].