Course Descriptions and Syllabi

This page includes course descriptions and complete syllabi for original courses I designed and taught as Instructor of Record in the Writing Program and the Feminist Studies department at UCSB.


Academic Writing (First-Year Composition)

View syllabus here.

View comics introduction here.

This is an active and collaborative class designed to help you develop the tools you need to be a successful writer at UCSB and beyond. In this class, we will practice the reading, writing, and critical thinking skills necessary to navigate a range of academic and non-academic writing contexts. We will investigate writing both as something we do and as something we can study. We will ask genuine questions, identify examples and evidence, and make arguable claims. We will make mistakes and work together to improve them. We will write a LOT. I expect you to be prepared and attentive and to approach your own writing with curiosity, commitment, and yes, sometimes even enthusiasm. In return, you can expect me to help you think through issues, to encourage you, and to push you to become a more effective and rhetorically-minded writer.


Feminist Theories for Precarious Times

View syllabus here.

In this course, we will “think with” feminist, queer and critical race theories in order to interrogate the complex relationship between power, knowledge, identity, and resistance. “Thinking with” theories encourages us to examine how scholars develop and use theory in order to solve intellectual and political problems. This course addresses three main questions: 1) What stories are told about feminist theory? 2) How are feminist theories used? and 3) What is the role of feminist theory in the current moment? Given the interdisciplinary nature of feminist theory and analysis, this course will utilize a wide range of informational sources and presentation modalities (i.e. lecture, discussion, student presentations, interactive group exercises, writing activities, films). In order to build a community of learners, each class member is expected to participate in both learning and teaching throughout the session.


The Politics of Sexual Citizenship

View syllabus here.

In this course, we will investigate how our ideas about sexuality are shaped by educational, economic, medical, and legal policies and discourses. By interrogating these discourses, we will examine how the relationship between the individual and the state is forged, in part, through the construction and regulation of sexual identities and actions. This course engages with the following questions: What historical, political, and social factors shape current beliefs and attitudes about sexuality and sexual identity in the US? How are gender, race, class, ethnicity, sexual identity, body, ability, etc. implicated in state policies? How has sexuality been used to establish hegemonic ideas about nation, citizenship, and morality?


Doing Feminist Activism in the Age of Social Media

View syllabus here.

In this course, we will investigate how feminist and queer activists resist multiple and intersecting systems of oppression. By studying different writings, campaigns, organizations, protests, performances, and documents, we will examine how activists use multiple strategies to highlight and protest injustices. This course engages with the following questions: What makes activism feminist and feminism activist? What tactics do feminist activists use to resist injustice, what issues do they target, and why? What are the historical, political, and epistemological connections between feminism and broader histories of activism? By grappling with these questions, we will begin to identify and analyze the tools and commitments of feminist activism—in the past, present, and future.

The first four weeks of the course are organized by topic, including 1) frameworks of feminist activism, 2) obstacles to organizing, 3) student and campus activism, and 4) tools and tactics of feminist organizing. During these first four weeks, you will be asked to complete daily reading reflections, to profile and present on a feminist activist or activism organization, and to draft and revise either a traditional academic paper or a paper written in a popular digital genre. During the final two weeks of the coures, we will focus our in-class and out-of-class work on a collaborative campus activism project created and directed by the class.


Sexuality & the State

View syllabus here.

In this course, we will investigate how ideas about sexuality are shaped by educational, economic, medical, and legal policies and discourses. Through interrogating these discourses, we will examine how the relationship between the individual and the state is forged, in part, through the regulation of sexual identities and actions. This course engages with the following questions: What historical, political, and social factors shape current beliefs and attitudes about sexuality and sexual identity in the US? How are gender, race, class, ethnicity, sexual identity, body, ability, etc. implicated in state policies? How has sexuality been used to establish hegemonic ideas about nation, citizenship, and morality?

This course covers six weekly topics: 1) defining sexual citizenship, 2) sex education, 3) marriage and families, 4) health and bodies, 5) immigration and asylum, and 6) TBD by student interest.


The Politics of Women’s Reproduction & Reproductive Technologies

View syllabus here.

In this course, we will explore theoretical, political, and popular debates about women’s choices in relation to reproduction and reproductive technologies. This course investigates how cultural and political changes in reproductive practices shape and are shaped by particular understandings of medicine, technology, the state, and social life. We will examine how current controversies and activism around issues of reproduction are inextricably linked to broader struggles for social justice. This course will engage with the following questions: What historical, political, and social factors shape current beliefs and attitudes about reproduction? How are race, sex, class, ethnicity, sexuality, gender identity, body, ability, relationship status, etc. implicated in reproductive policy? How is choice defined, debated, and contested? What reproductive choices do women have, and who decides?

This course covers six weekly topics: 1) politicizing choice, 2) sex education, 3) contraception and birth control, 4) abortion, 5) regulation of pregnancy and birth, and 6) surrogacy and queering reproductive justice.