At Ohio State University, I re-designed and sole-taught capstone courses that focus on globalization and its cultural, economic, environmental, and health effects on communities in the Global South. One course was entitled “Crisis! Anthropological Perspectives of Global Issues” (taught 6 semesters) and the other “Cultural Conflicts in Developing Nations” (taught 2 semesters). The last course I taught at Ohio State covered issues related to colonialism (both historical and modern e.g. neoliberalism), linkages between political economy and health, and the effects of global environmental crises on local communities. A few selected readings in the class included:
- Farmer, Paul (2004) An anthropology of structural violence. Current Anthropology 45(3):305-325.
- Igoe, Jim and Brockington, Dan (2007) Neoliberal Conservation: A Brief Introduction. Conservation and Society (5)4:432-449.
- Leatherman, Thomas (1996) A biocultural synthesis on health and household economy in southern Peru. Medical Anthropology Quarterly 10(4):476-495.
- Wilk, Richard 2007. The Extractive Economy: An Early Phase of the Globalization of Diet, and Its Environmental Consequences. In Rethinking Environmental History: World System History and Global Environmental Change.
I mobilize experiences from ethnographic fieldwork in the Peruvian Amazon to teach students about the anthropological perspective. One of the learning objectives of this section in class is to demonstrate how anthropologists study interconnections between history, power, culture, materiality (e.g. exchange, labor, etc.), ideology, and symbolism. This approach encourages students to critically evaluate different conceptions of development, modernity, and different ways to understand human-environment relationships.
I combine multiple methodological perspectives to teach students about ethnographic research. In addition to mobilizing my research to ground topics in class with real-world research examples, I also draw on the diverse training I received in methodology during my graduate career to further demonstrate the power and many applications of anthropological research. During my graduate career I completed methods courses in ethnology (interview design, participant observation, text analysis, recording and transcribing interviews, quantitative and qualitative analyses, and writing up results), folklore (ethnopoetic transcription, performance analysis, discourse analysis), critical human geography (survey design, landscape interpretation, archival research); and qualitative methods in Spanish (fieldwork equipment, sampling and recruiting, integrating into community, ethics). I also attended the Summer Institute for Research Design in Cultural Anthropology, led by methodologists Russ Bernard, Susan Weller, and Jeff Johnson. This unique background helps me to elucidate to students how anthropology can be a powerful mode to understand the world.