I arrived at Westminster in January 2017 to take up the post of Director of Student Partnership in the Centre for Teaching Innovation. I am looking forward to working with students and staff to develop opportunities for learning and working together. My background is in narrative and cultural theory and my work is shaped by a commitment to inclusive practice and social justice. My current teaching and research work is in gender studies with a focus on queer life writing and critical pedagogies.
Prior to coming to Westminster I was Deputy Director of the Centre for Transformative Practice in Learning and Teaching at Birkbeck, University of London.
I was awarded a PhD in Latin American Cultural Studies from Birkbeck, University of London in 2008, a MA in Latin American Literature from the University of British Columbia in 1998 and a BA in Hispanic Studies and Political Science from the University of Victoria in 1995.
I am a 2016 National Teaching Fellow, a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a founding member of the Critical Pedagogies Group
Three principles frame how I approach teaching.
First, my work is motivated by a desire to create inclusive practices that make higher education accessible to learners from non-traditional backgrounds through creating institutional and classroom cultures that embrace development, instead of deficit, models of learning. Second, I believe that transformation requires relationships of mutuality in which everyone – students, teachers and institutions – are open to learning and changing. Third, I am committed to a feminist and queer ethos of teaching that is grounded in collaborative practices and non-hierarchical methods, which, in turn, require attentiveness to power and how it shapes classroom and institutional relations.
I will begin teaching on modules at Westminster in the 2017/2018 academic year.
My research interests are at the intersections of literature, gender studies, queer theory and critical pedagogies.
I am currently working on three projects.
The first project focuses on queer life writing and its connections to writing forms. I am exploring how queer writers represent genders and lives that do not conform to normative expectations and how this is reflected in their play with voices and genres.
The second project is an inclusive curriculum project in which I am interested in re-thinking and pushing the boundaries of the traditional politics of inclusion in Higher Education. The project aims to challenge us to think and be transparent about what it means to study and work in institutions with multi-racial, gender and ability-diverse student bodies. It asks how an intersectional critical pedagogies approach can offer us new possibilities for transformation in the curriculum, which is broadly understood to include learning and teaching both inside and outside of the classroom.
The third is an ongoing collaborative project on queer approaches to pedagogical methods. We explore what it means to queer pedagogic practices and how this might allow us to challenge conventional positionings of teacher and student in the classroom, disrupt normative assumptions about consumer-based education and rethink the ways identities are constructed and experienced in the classroom.
PhD Supervision: I would be happy to hear from students interested in studying for a MPhil or PhD in gender studies, queer theory and critical pedagogies.