Courses Taught

Full-Time Instructor, USC Thematic Option Honors Program (2012-2014)

   Courses Taught:

   CORE 111: Humanities Writing Seminar

   CORE 112: Advanced Humanities Writing Seminar

   CORE 200: Liberal Arts Reading Salon

   CORE 601: Teaching Writing through Readings in the Humanities

Founder, The Loudest Voice Creative Writing Workshop (2009-2010)

Amaranth Borsuk and I started this workshop, offered on an application-basis to USC students, in response to a lack of opportunities for creative writing graduate students to teach in their discipline. I wrote the syllabus, chose readings, offered feedback, and planned a student reading for the end of the semester. Today, it continues as a resource for aspiring writers and teachers at USC.

   Courses Taught:

   Introduction to Creative Writing

   Advanced Poetry Workshop

Graduate Assistant Instructor, USC Thematic Option Honors Program (2006-2009)

   Courses Taught:

   CORE 111: Introductory Writing Seminar

   CORE 112: Advanced Writing Seminar

Graduate Assistant Lecturer, USC Writing Program (2003-2005)

    Courses Taught:

   WRIT 140: Writing and Critical Reasoning

Course Descriptions

CORE 111: Introductory Humanities Writing Seminar (8 sections)

An introduction to college-level writing, focused on the skills of close-reading poetry and fiction, making clear, well-supported arguments, and finding one’s voice as a writer. The writing seminar is paired with a larger CORE 102 class, which examines different aspects of cultural values from ancient Greece to the present; the two classes share a primary reading list. In addition to writing the syllabi, choosing supplemental texts, designing lesson plans and essay prompts, I also meet extensively with students in scheduled one-on-one tutorial sessions.

CORE 112: Advanced Humanities Writing Seminar: “Inventing the Wild” (2 sections)

This class investigates the cultural conception of “wildness” and “wilderness” and its implications on American literature and thought. Beginning with Thoreau and covering a diverse group of novels and stories by William Faulkner, Willa Cather, James Dickey, as well as excerpts from Leo Marx’s The Machine in the Garden and contemporary discussions between environmentalists and philosophers, we consider how wilderness—as an idea, if not an actual place—has long been at the center of national identity. Students keep journals of their personal encounters with “the wild,” and take multiple field trips to explore the intersections between nature and culture.

CORE 112: Advanced Humanities Writing Seminar: “Trauma and Literature” (2 sections)

A combination literature and creative non-fiction course, this class examines the representation of trauma in twentieth and twenty-first century literature. The reading list includes Virginia Woolf (Mrs. Dalloway), Sigmund Freud (Beyond the Pleasure Principle), W.G. Sebald (Austerlitz), and Joan Didion (The Year of Magical Thinking), as well as critical texts by Cathy Caruth, Dominick LaCapra, and Shoshana Felman. Writing requirements include creative and analytical essays.

CORE 112: Advanced Humanities Writing Seminar: “Imagined Communities” (3 sections)

Borrowing a term from the political theorist Benedict Anderson, this class examines literature’s role in the formation of “imagined communities.” The class examines the real and “imagined” bonds of nationality, ethnicity, and generation in the literature and film of the twentieth century. Required reading includes Midnight’s Children, Winesburg, Ohio; and The Truman Show.

CORE 112: Advanced Humanities Writing Seminar: “The Unkindness of Strangers” (1 section)

This class explores how the contradictions of strangeness play out in the literature of the twentieth century. What does it mean to feel estranged from the world, and what are the consequences of this estrangement? What different functions does the character of the stranger perform in books? The reading list includes Notes from Underground, The Stranger, and The Emigrants by W.G. Sebald.

CORE 200: Liberal Arts Reading Salon: “Eureka! Literature of California” (2 sections)

This class examines depictions of California, from Mark Twain to Joan Didion. We examine how texts of California seem to simultaneously represent it as a paradise and a denuded wasteland—a duality that extends to its ecology, cities, and population. The reading list, selected in part by students, includes Mary Austin, Jack Kerouac, and Raymond Chandler, as well as a section on California music, from Woody Guthrie’s “Do Re Mi” to Notorious B.I.G’s “Goin Back to Cali.”

CORE 601: Teaching Writing through Readings in the Humanities (4 sections)

Graduate-level seminar focused on finding the most effective methods of teaching the literature and writing to undergraduates. As the full-time faculty member of the Thematic Option Honors College, I planned and led this course, which is offered to graduate students and Assistant Lecturers in the USC Thematic Option Honors Program.

The Loudest Voice Creative Writing Workshop (2 sections)

Cross-genre introductory undergraduate workshop in poetry and fiction, team-taught with Amaranth Borsuk. In addition to supportive critique, we offer students advice about graduate study, publishing, and presenting their work at readings.

WRIT 140: Writing and Critical Reasoning (4 sections)

This class is the USC Writing Program’s introductory rhetoric-based composition course, offered to all students not in Thematic Option. My classes focused on definitions of nature and the environment, with readings from Thoreau, Rachel Carson, and William Cronon. I planned syllabi, wrote assignments and chose supplemental reading, including Rick Bass and Annie Proulx.

Sample Syllabi

CORE 112: Inventing the Wild

CORE 111: Syllabus

Introduction to Poetry Writing


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