Kimberlé Crenshaw’s metaphor for intersectionality in “Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex” (1989) challenges me to care for each and every one of my students. Crenshaw draws an analogy in stating that “if an accident happens in an intersection, it can be caused by cars traveling from any number of directions and, sometimes, from all of them.” My academic research into museum history began by reconstructing “an accident” to determine accountability. Increasingly, my teaching puts people first and tends to those who are injured. I am dedicated to supporting my students, many of whom have been harmed by the very ideas that I study in my research. My teaching begins by asking myself– “What do I have to think about, to do, to be a reliable, real ally?”
One of the most important qualities I can offer my students is a sense of belonging. I foster community-based learning as I ask students to apply their skills and knowledge to analyze and solve real-world challenges together. As a professor at the Savannah College of Art and Design, I am able to draw on the resources of a highly diverse community. Most SCAD graduate students are international, and 46% of undergraduates are BIPOC. Savannah’s Black community also constitutes nearly 60% of the city’s population. My students therefore bring a breadth of knowledge that is crucial for lifelong learning, and I encourage them to envision the ways in which the critical thinking they practice in my classes can further develop their strengths. We can only thrive together if each of us has what they need to bring their full selves to what they do.
Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award for Independent Instruction, Rice University Center for Teaching Excellence (May 2017)
Brown Foundation Co-Teaching Award, Rice University Department of Art History (Fall 2017)