Given my interdisciplinary background, I’ve taught graduate and undergraduate courses in Critical Theory, Media Studies, Art History, Exhibition and Museum Studies, and Comparative Literature. While art is always the focal point, the readings in my courses are typically grounded in critical theory, media studies and philosophy, and the assignments tend to be oriented toward professional application for artists, curators, art historians, designers and various creatives.


FALL 2020

Exhibition Form
Lecturer in Curatorial Practice
MA in Curatorial Practice, California College of the Arts
(Syllabus)

Exhibitions organize art objects in time and space. It assumes a subject, object and world. In doing so, the simple act of the “exhibition” is an extraordinarily weighted one. This class will present a survey of exhibition history through the lens of media history and the struggle for social justice, beginning in the 19th century. We will consider the roots of white supremacy, colonialism, and nationalism within the encyclopedic museum, and how this carries through to the present day, while also reflecting on how an evolving media environment informs the experiential possibilities of exhibitions, in and outside of formal institutions. For instance, we will look at examples such as the Great Exhibition of 1851 alongside the panorama or curator Kynaston McShine’s groundbreaking 1970 group exhibition “Information” at MoMA within the framework of systems theory and institutional critique. We will begin and end in the extraordinary time of the present, with the hope of completely re-envisioning the “exhibition form” given the current context of a pandemic, the threat of fascism, the Black Lives Matter movement, the economic recession, and our contemporary media landscape. Exhibitions are not neutral. How can they be a vehicle for true change?

SUMMER 2020

Do It Yourself: The Theory and Practice of Art and Social Engagement
Lecturer in XE: Experimental Humanities and Social Engagement
XE: Experimental Humanities and Social Engagement, New York University
(Syllabus)

The course will engage students in a critical discussion of alternative organizational models, social justice, and feminism in the context of nonprofit organizations. Some questions this course poses include: how do you start and run your own independent initiative, whether it’s a publication, an art gallery, a music venue, or a filmmaker’s co-op? What are the ideas that inspire such initiatives and how are they channeled or reflected in practice? Throughout the course we will look at models of such organizations, and discuss the challenges they face, both theoretically and practically, ranging from strategic planning and project management, to enacting activist politics and feminist principles. The course features guest lectures by leading figures in various creative industries who will reflect on their own experiences. By the end of the term, students will have a basic framework for starting their own initiative, as well of a sense of the broader creative landscape in which they might engage.

SPRING 2020

Critical Theory in Art, Design and Visual Culture
Lecturer in Critical Studies
Critical Studies, USC Roski
(Syllabus)

Based on the core idea from the humanities that we can learn to read, look, and think critically as well as to be self-reflexive as we relate to the world around us, CRIT 160 offers an introduction to critical thinking in relation to art, design, and visual culture. Understanding art, design and visual culture requires learning their complicated histories but also the theories and philosophies that have developed to address the visual. This course provides an issues-based introduction to critical theory in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, especially as it relates to art, design, and visual culture.

The class is organized in three sections: Subject/Object/World, Systems, and Resistance. Subject/Object/World provides greater context for the dominant Western perspective, particularly within the nineteenth century, and its ties to colonialism, the patriarchy, modernity and capitalism. This section will showcase how assumptions regarding the artist’s critical position to the world, their artistic output, and their imagined audience replicate certain power structures. Systems begins in the early part of the twentieth century, and reveals a paradigm shift in relation to the rise of cybernetics, the role of technological development and an information society. This presents a new framework for conceiving the subject, object and world that delivers both problems and possibilities. The last section, Resistance, brings us to the strange, weird, and evolving twenty-first century. Students will contemplate how to make meaning through critical creative practice given the mass medium of the internet, the rise of the attention economy, and much more.

The broad goal of this course is to teach critical thinking skills and the capacity to imagine creative solutions in relation to theoretical texts and art and design works as well as visual culture and thus to prepare students to engage in the various strains of contemporary artistic and design discourse and practice. Students will be expected to rigorously engage not only with the readings, but to develop regular art viewing as a part of their day-to-day life. Towards this end, the midterm will require that you go off campus, and view an exhibition from an approved list.

Design Theory
Lecturer in Critical Studies
Critical Studies, USC Roski
(Syllabus)

This course will provide students with a critical examination of issues, theories, movements and ideas that are relevant to contemporary design practice. The class will offer a survey of the study of visual communication and human-centered design. Students will be given an introduction to an overview of the history of design with a focus on major movements and schools of thought from 1900 to present. Through discussions, readings, lectures and research assignments, students will explore selected themes, engage in critical analysis of selected historical and contemporary works and use case studies to further understand the cultural, social and political implications of design as a visual and cultural language.

FALL 2019

Exhibition and Museum Histories
Lecturer in Critical Studies
Critical Studies, USC Roski
(Syllabus)

This seminar provides students with the history of the formation of the modern museum and the progression of contemporary curatorial practices, from cabinets of wonder to the first public institutions in both Europe and the United States to today’s kunsthalle. We will consider how institutions shape and reflect a shifting public realm, and vice versa. Examining seminal exhibitions from the early 20th century avant-garde to the post-war art into the present, we will consider the evolution of institutions and exhibition practices in relationship to themes such as a changing media environment, the rise of mass culture, the formation of subjectivity, art and activism, etc. Throughout, we will critically examine the historical structures and politics informing curatorial practices and institutions.

Design Theory
Lecturer in Critical Studies
Critical Studies, USC Roski
(Syllabus)

This course will provide students with a critical examination of issues, theories, movements and ideas that are relevant to contemporary design practice. The class will offer a survey of the study of visual communication and human-centered design. Students will be given an introduction to an overview of the history of design with a focus on major movements and schools of thought from 1900 to present. Through discussions, readings, lectures and research assignments, students will explore selected themes, engage in critical analysis of selected historical and contemporary works and use case studies to further understand the cultural, social and political implications of design as a visual and cultural language.

SPRING AND FALL 2018

Introduction to Media Studies
Lecturer in Media Studies
Scripps College, Art Department
(Syllabus)

This course presents a comprehensive view of the issues important to media studies, including the development of new technologies, visual literacy, ideological analysis and the construction of content. Drawing from texts, a variety of sources (contemporary art, film, video, new media) and other theoretically informed models, the course seeks to provide students with a critical understanding of popular culture and mass media productions.

SPRING 2016

Contemporary Art and Post Media
Lecturer in Exhibition and Museum Studies
San Francisco Art Institute, Exhibition and Museum Studies MA
(Syllabus)

Some have argued that the rise of social media, ubiquitous computing and smart phones has resulted in an increasingly mobile, networked world and a new phase for contemporary art, particularly within the past ten years. Many new terms have been developed by art historians, curators, critics, and artists from the early 2000’s until now to explain this shift within contemporary art – including concepts such as post medium, formatting, dispersion, post media aesthetics, post media, radicant art, meme art, and circulationism. This course will review these discussions alongside an overview of the history of internet art, which has nurtured many of these conversations. How does social media affect the reception of contemporary art? How can new technologies generate platforms for the presentation of contemporary art? How can or should art criticism evolve to reflect these changes? In order to tackle these and many other important questions, this class will review writings by Sarah Cook, David Joselit, Nicolas Bourriaud, Domenico Quaranta, Lev Manovich, Boris Groys, Rosalind Krauss, Hito Steyerl, Ed Halter, Seth Price, and more. Assignments will prepare students for the types of writing necessary for professional museum work, such as press releases, extended wall labels, brochure essays, etc.

SPRING 2012

Introduction to Comparative Literature: Necessary Fictions
Adjunct Instructor
Professor Gabriella Basterra
New York University, Department of Comparative Literature

We like to think of ourselves as acting freely, creating our own ideas and objects. In other words, we like to think of ourselves as subjects. The self-conscious and autonomous subject constitutes itself in relation to what is ‘other.’ But what is this ‘other’? The word ‘other’ does not always refer to another person: It may also refer to constitutive events, or ‘necessary fictions.’ These ‘others’ may be the addressees of our poems, the material and immaterial products of our imaginations, and indeed the otherness we find in ourselves. How do we relate to these ‘others’? How do desire, action, and ethical duty (but also fate, guilt, and the law), allow us to perceive ourselves as free? We will explore these and other questions as they have been posed in literary works by Aeschylus, Sophocles, Plato, Ovid, Garcilaso de la Vega, Racine, Keats, Poe, Gautier, Baudelaire, Melville, Lorca, Kafka, Beckett, paintings by Da Vinci and Velázquez, and philosophical and theoretical writings by Kant, Hegel, Freud, Marx, Saussure, Heidegger, Lacan, and Levinas. Though the tragic fate of Agamemnon or Oedipus appears inevitable, in our reading we explore how fate is a necessary fiction that enables action. Today we have transferred the power of fate onto other essentialized constructs such as the free market, advertising, or intelligence organizations which come to structure our desires and dictate the course of our lives. We will trace how inspiration may be found in negation by reading literary texts on the unknown contents of letters – as in Poe –or on endless waiting for what will never come—as in Melville and Beckett. Situated at intersection of the different discourses that comprise Comparative Literature – fiction, poetry, art, philosophy, psychoanalysis, and political theory – this class aims to problematize the notion of modern subjectivity. Our primary concerns will be at once ethical and poetic: How can what exceeds knowledge and representation signal itself in thought?

FALL 2011

Texts and Ideas: Animals & Humans
Adjunct Instructor
Professor Jacques Lezra
New York University, Department of Comparative Literature

“One might go so far as to define man as a creature that has failed in its effort to keep its animalness…” So writes the German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk. What sort of animal were we? Where, how, and by whom has the line between the human and the animal been drawn? With what consequences for our “human” understanding of the world? Of concepts like the “soul,” “society,” politics, the family? Is the line between the human and the animal drawn differently in different genres–in literary works, theological treatises, natural histories, paintings, films? We come at these questions from different angles, following them from antiquity to early modern responses to these questions, and in essays by contemporary philosophers and advocates. Readings: Genesis, Numbers, Euripides’ Bacchae, Plato’s Phaedrus, Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Apuleius’ Golden Ass, Marie de France’ Bisclavret, Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, Montaigne’s “Apology in Defense of Raymond Sebond, Machiavelli’s Prince, H. G. Wells’s Island of Dr. Moreau and Island of Lost Souls, Derrida’s “The Animal that therefore I am,” selections from Boccaccio, Peter Singer, Giorgio Agamben, Donna Haraway.


Loading