My teaching focuses on cultivating empathy and critical thinking skills. I ask students to contextualize primary sources within the events and persons of history, pushing them to analyze the reasons, beliefs, and motivations of medieval individuals. Although I emphasize textual sources, I also integrate objects and artwork into the classroom to demonstrate the importance of visual and material culture. Through this methodology, I partner with librarians, museum staff, and art historians to expand the framework of the history classroom through museum and special collection visits.
Additionally, I am committed to de-centering the traditional canon of European history in order to do justice to the past and challenge current racist, homophobic, and sexist views of the Middle Ages. Throughout the semester, I assign short articles about the (mis)appropriation of medieval history alongside primary sources. I ask students to compare historical reality with the fantasized, white supremacist ideology. This helps students understand how the past can be distorted and the importance of approaching history through a critical lens. It also allows them to take ownership of their primary source readings and feel their knowledge has a purpose in modern discourse.
Below are my syllabi and select assignments for HIST 1011: Europe to 1600, taught at the University of Colorado at Boulder in fall 2019 and spring 2020.