April 2021: I will be teaching the upcoming summer course “PHLC14: Topics in Non-Western Philosophy” at the University of Toronto at Scarborough. See below for a tentative overview of the course. I will also be teaching “PHL382: Ethics: Death & Dying” at the University of Toronto at St George Campus; more details on that course to follow in June.
March 2021: I was a recipient of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences Superior Teaching Award for graduate course instructors for my work on last summer’s PHL382: Ethics: Death and Dying. A brief interview about that course is currently available on the Department of Philosophy website. And my one-minute acceptance speech is available through this link. This course also received an honourable mention for the Martha Love Lile Teaching Award in December 2020.
Recent Courses Taught
PHL 100: Introduction to Philosophy. Co-taught with Julia Smith.
PHL 337: Topics in Chinese Philosophy (Topic: Classical Daoism). Instructor, upon the passing of Vincent Shen.
PHL 375: Ethics (Topic: Bodies, Norms, and Values).
PHL 382: Ethics: Death & Dying (Topic: Death & Dying during COVID-19)
PHL C06: Topics in Ethical Theory (Topic: Bodies, Norms, and Values).
What I’m currently up to (Fall 2020-Summer 2021)
In the 2020-2021 academic year at the University of Toronto, I will be a Lead Writing TA (LWTA) for the Department of Philosophy, and a grading TA for the following: HST209; PHL273; PHL355; PHL382; and PHLC10. I am not teaching my own courses this fall or winter.
As an LWTA, I work with the Faculty of Arts and Science’s “Writing-Integrated Teaching” (WIT) program to help develop writing instruction in the Department of Philosophy at St. George Campus. This involves working with course instructors on the design of their course and course assignments, as well as developing and delivering advanced training and support to TAs working in WIT-designated courses.
I continue to be available for consultations on accessible course design, particularly for those teaching online for their first time. Similarly, I remain available to students seeking support or advocacy for their learning needs. Contact me to start a conversation.
Upcoming: “PHLC14: Topics in Non-Western Philosophy” (Summer 2021)
This summer, I will be teaching the course “PHLC14H3Y: Topics in Non-Western Philosophy” at the University of Toronto at Scarborough. I am still in the process of designing this course in time for our May 2021 launch. Any interested students are welcome to contact me with questions or concerns.
The current plan is something like this:
NOTE: These plans subject to revision due to changes in course enrolment size.
Topics: Our course will be divided into three main parts. In the first part, we will interrogate the topic of this course itself: What is “Non-Western” philosophy, what do we want it to be, and is this term even appropriate? In grappling with these sorts of metaphilosophical questions, we are likely to draw on sources in African/Africana philosophy from the past century on how we draw boundaries on different philosophies, if at all. In doing so, we will turn to discuss the methodology and ethics of studying “Non-Western” philosophy from a Western perspective, with particular attention to the ongoing global histories of colonizing Indigenous knowledges, and issues in the philosophy of history and memory. Together, these will lead us into our second main part, where we will explore a few different topics and issues in what we commonly call “epistemology”. Some candidate topics include the role of oral vs written transmission of knowledge, whether knowledge and action can be separated out, and the value of knowledge itself. The last main part of the course will be designed based on our collective interests and input: What other issues interest us particularly? Why did we want to take this course? What are our research projects focusing on? If you’ve studied with me before, you’ll know that I consider students to be key collaborators in course design.
Assignments: Our grades will be based on two main assignments, which will be broken down and spread out over the summer: (1) A summer-long research project, undertaken with the supervision of the instructor/TA; and (2) A learning journal that reports and critically reflects on our experiences of learning, researching, and participating in our course. (Update: this journal may be replaced with a flexible structure midterm, to reflect the changing class structure. Tune in to my ‘planning party zoom’ on Thursday for more info; currently registered students should have received a link in their inbox). The research project can be, but doesn’t need to be, a standard academic paper. That is, because we will be interrogating Western norms of knowledge production and communication, it is only appropriate that this course is open to other proposals (we’ll talk more about this in class).
Other details: (1) This course will be run synchronously, which means we will all meet together at the designated time online rather than through pre-recorded content (but see below). These will most likely be conducted through Zoom in order to facilitate captioning and other access needs. (2) I will upload or otherwise make recordings where possible, for accessibility purposes, and so students in other timezones can engage with the course while still getting sleep! These will be audio recordings by default, for reasons of file size and student privacy, with video recordings available as needed for captioning etc (3) I am forever committed to building a more just, compassionate, and accessible course, and I am fully aware of the ongoing realities of COVID-19. I will work to help navigate whatever issues come up within our time together, and will build in as much lenience as possible into course design. Please feel not only welcome but encouraged to contact me with any accessibility concerns. (4) There will not be a mandatory course textbook; I am against making students pay even more for their education, particularly during a pandemic. If you can afford it, you are encourage to instead donate the cost of a textbook to a local charity or other cause.
Other recent teaching research and resources