Morning Devotional

Presenter Status

Associate Professor, English Dept.

Presentation Type

Morning Worship

Start Date

24-5-2019 9:00 AM

Presentation Abstract

Morning worship.

Biographical Sketch

After graduating from Andrews University with a B.A. in English and minor in history in 2006, I had the pleasure to return as a professor in 2013 after graduating from Northwestern University with an emphasis in Renaissance literature (2012). I teach classes ranging from the freshman introductory course, Much Ado About English, to the foundational graduate class, Research Methods. While my research interests in Renaissance drama appear most clearly in courses such as Shakespeare and Race, my broader interests in diversity, especially concerns about gender, race, and representation, inform all my pedagogy, especially classes such as Global Literature and Gender Studies and Literature. I also lend my enthusiasm and expertise to the foundational first-year Honors course, Western Heritage, where I teach the fine arts portions of this interdisciplinary class that looks at diverse voices and philosophical paradigms influential to the Western intellectual and cultural tradition. The work across these courses have led to fruitful undergraduate and graduate mentorship, resulting in successful Honors Theses, MA Theses, and professional paper presentations.
Crucially informing my work in the classroom, my research likewise explores issues of Otherness and diversity, particularly the intersection and representation of gender and class in contemporary Shakespearean adaptations and appropriations. My most recent articles examine these topics in relation to the film O (“Far More Black than Black”) and the NPR podcast Serial (“Not a Moor Exactly”), respectively. I am currently working on bringing these pieces together as part of a larger book project examining various adaptations and appropriations of Shakespeare’s Othello. This monograph argues for the careful examination of adaptive choice made across these adaptations and appropriations—an examination informed by interdisciplinary approaches to race theory. Such careful, theoretically informed investigation, I contend, reveals which racial discourses creators choose to deploy, or not, when reimagining Shakespeare. Because they become part and parcel of our collective understanding of “Shakespeare,” with all the authority that name carries, these discourses are not only deployed but also privileged. This project thus answers Ian Smith’s recent call to give Othello the critical voice and attention we have so often given Hamlet by seeing our scholarly selves in the Moor as well. I lend my pedagogical and research expertise to the Honors Council and to the Diversity Council, helping guide approaches to both academic excellence and diversity and inclusion. It is also my pleasure to serve as the faculty sponsor for Nu Sigma, our local chapter of the national English honor society Sigma Tau Delta. In this capacity, I am able to foster the mentorship and collegial atmosphere so crucial to my own personal and intellectual growth while a student at Andrews.

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May 24th, 9:00 AM

Morning Devotional

Morning worship.