Academic Courses & Programs

Personal Pedagogy

Each one of the courses and programs I have created, taught or directed is made-up of very current and academically rigorous instructional materials, which I have made available to students completely free of charge on-line and on reserve in the Library. Although distinct in their content, each course resonates with the others, so students can get a good integrated grasp of the different theories, methods and specialties of sociology, as well as a sense of the history and culture of the discipline as a whole. I also, in each class, include material from more practical sociologies like social work, journalism and criminology, so students can get a good understanding of the kinds of non-academic jobs the discipline can lead to.

Class time alternates between formal, academic lectures by me to class discussions, as well as screenings and broadcasts of rare visual and audio material and occasional storytelling, performance or public speaking style assignments by students. Assessments include bi-weekly closed-book, in-class quizzes, short critical writing assignments, as well as short collaborative digital ethnography and documentary projects where students learn the basics of sociological research method, as well as audio and visual media technology, using themselves and one another as the subjects. This allows them to move beyond simply discussing and reading and writing about sociological ideas to actually creating them, as well as get a glimpse of where their fellow classmates come from and return to every week when they are not all gathered together as a class

Some of these short collaborative projects have been: inventing a completely fictional, but authentic seeming cyber community; curating, as an archaeologist would, one's personal possessions; exploring on foot official Orange County census tracts; keeping an audio diary and recording and analyzing ambient sounds; documenting on digital video one full minute of one's life everyday for thirty days; Middle Eastern and East and South Asian tasting and cooking; making home movies; writing a script for a Reality TV Show; annotating popular magazines; and in my Honors Introductory Sociology course re-creating Robert and Helen Lynd's classic 1930s community study Middletown in SUNY-Orange's surrounding township of Middletown.