Connecting research, teaching, and service is my philosophy, and for that reason during my doctorate training I grounded my teaching in a desire-based (Tuck 2012) critical and decolonizing pedagogies with an emphasis on land-based knowledges and hope.
In my experience as a critical educator, my students consistently express appreciation for the selection of material and for attention paid to power dynamics in the classroom. I am particularly attentive to making sure that my classrooms are always inclusive of students with disabilities and nonbinary students.
I have taught two courses at the university level as Instructor of Record and for more than eight years in Spanish, Ethnic Studies, and the Warren College Writing Program at UC San Diego. Finally, for three years I have applied my pedagogical practices in a rural high school.
My training in historical and critical ethnographic methods guide my students in a student-centered classroom to engage critically with key aspects of social constructions on normativity (sexuality, gender, ethnicity, and race), how these social constructions operate and shape our world today, and how to apply decolonizing methods in our everyday lives.
Influenced by Paolo Freire’s methods to teaching, I focus on community engagement through activism and arts, oral histories, and building long-term relationships with my students as well as with community leaders inside and outside the classroom.
Ethnic Studies 118: Contemporary Immigration Issues: Migrations, Illegality, and the U.S./Mexico Border(s)
This course will examine historical and contemporary immigration policies in the U.S. and the northern hemisphere. We will explore how borders, specifically the U.S./Mexico border, mark, restricts and contains the movement of bodies, culture, and things. Centering a gendered, sexuality, and racial analysis—specifically a feminist and decolonial theoretical framework—we will uncover how political and economic policies are socially constructed within the nation-state and employed in various sites (inside and outside the U.S.).
Ethnic Studies 113: Decolonizing Education
This course reflects on the decolonization theories of education and praxis—an act of practice and action—as we live in a post-COVID-19 world. What did COVID-19 reveal about our current schooling practices? Why is it necessary to decolonize schooling institutions?
Centering on the “why” in education, this course will uncover and define the hidden curriculum in K-12 U.S. public schooling. By highlighting multi-spaces and multi-ways of knowing, we will survey the possibilities of a decolonial education and its limits. We will investigate questions such as: How is education colonized? What does decolonization education mean? How can we decolonize educational institutions that are historically and presently operating as functions of/for coloniality?
CGS 112/ETHN 127: Sexuality & Nation
This course examines our transition into a post-covid-19 world as it is informed by the historical materialism and social notions of a “fixed” normativity. Specifically, we will interrogate the misconceptions of fixed notions of sexuality, gender, race, class as they are socially constructed and enforced by the hetero-settler-nation-state and state formation processes across time and space. Centering the body/bodies we will employ a WOC Feminisms, decolonial, and anti-racist framework to interrogate questions like: How does white supremacy, nation-building, and patriarchy interlock and operates in the post-truth world? How are worldwide social movements on femicide, police brutality, and lack of access to health care related to colonialism? What is the relationship between power, the nation, and sexuality in various transnational sites?
Cultural Worldviews of Indigenous America
This course will explore Native Americans/Indigenous peoples ways of living, knowing, and understanding the world. We will uncover how settler-colonialism societies and settler-borders affect Indigenous worldviews in the Americas and beyond. Students will gain analytical tools for thinking about Indigenous worldviews on themes on Indigenous cosmology, land, kinship, Indigenous migrations, and identity formation. This course will use a critical hemispheric and land-based pedagogies framework to illuminate how Indigenous peoples from the Americas and outside the Americas are coming (re)uniting on issues around sovereignty, language, and survivance.
Introduction to American Indian Studies
This course is a general introduction to the field of American Indian Studies (AIS). The course will introduce students to the central questions and debates of AIS on Native American histories and oral histories; comparative indigeneities; questions of “discovery” and colonialism; the politics and representations of lands, massacres, and education; and questions of law, gender and sexuality. At the end of the quarter students will gain the foundational tools for thinking about Indigenous worldviews, themes on Indigenous cosmology, land, kinship, Indigenous migrations, and identity formation.