Research & Teaching

Over the years, my teaching has taking me to non-profit organizations, after-schools, colleges and universities, museums, and, on occasion, within school settings. Full-blown classes, day-long workshops, multi-day ‘partage’, short workshops (‘wrkshp’) and a panoply of formats. And yes, I do like to design new types of teaching approaches, systems, environments, and… name them! Lessons, insights, curricula, gallery learning experiences, entire category of classes, syllabi: the tools, documents, frameworks of learning and teaching have also been of interest, with innovations brought forth when I’ve had the opportunity. And from the cureducator to the curator of individualized studies, from a founding director to the site-specific performer, I’ve also imagined and actually implemented visions for new types of ‘teachers’ and learning guides, naming them along the way in order to change the perception of who the teacher can be, and how the relationships can change. I’ve always been interested in these dynamics: entering into critical and creative engagement with a host of traditions and visions of teaching and learning from many different cultures, time periods and geographic regions. I’ve worked with students from various ethnic, linguistic, and economic backgrounds, from different age-groups and geographic regions (from toddlers to senior, Queens to Mumbai), in various settings: schools to senior centers, from professionals to colleagues.

My research in literature, art, design, is often embodied within the works themselves: I think of it as a praxis, since research/practice can only be fused, given that the research is also on form, style, and other parameters of the work at hand. A separate thread of research is less a praxis, but more action-based and, on occasion, research that allows articulation of a practice or a theory that then gets implemented (even there, I always leave the door open to the findings of action-based research and praxis).

I’ve truly had a grand time teaching and learning.

Since most of my teaching and research is now at the university level, first: a fun dive into what I’ve been doing the past few years:

Current and Past teaching affiliations with Prat Institute:  a/Writing (mostly MFA and mentoring); b/Pratt Integrative Courses; c/Art and Design Education (museum education); d/Critical/Visual Studies (Connection of literature and art through various courses). Rank: Associate Professor. I’ve contributed in a variety of ways to all these departments: reviewing student applications, leading committees, mentoring of students and peers, creating professional development opportunities (PIC faculty), overseeing independent studies, fashioning partnerships (the MFA Writing residency program at Marble House).

  • Second-Language Writers” (Ind Study); Spring 2021; graduate level Independent Study for MFA Writing student; School of Liberal Arts and Sciences

An in-depth reading and analysis of literary works by writers from different regions and languages who end up writing in two languages (at least), more specifically those who write in a second later-acquired language. Prose, poetry, plays, essays, new genres and forms. Authors included Nabokov, Beckett, Parsa, Cioran, Chinese writers writing in Japanese (and vice-versa), and many more. Works were analyzed in the original languages. (Although this was an Ind Study, it is a topic of immense interest and relevance in our very ‘globalized’ world. The student and I both did an extensive amount of research, readings and discussions.) {Grace Zhang proposed this Ind Study–shout out to Grace…}

  • Mentored Studies I” and “Mentored Studies II”; 2018 and 2019; graduate level course in the MFA Writing department; School of Liberal Arts and Sciences

A required course for incoming and continuing MFA writing students. This course provides guided reading and writing, in conjunction with the mentored student’s navigation and progress in the other courses and program overall. Written pieces are assigned and reviewed, and student is guided to explore and strengthen their own poetics, aesthetics and direction in their writing practice.

  • Bold/Rogue”; Spring 2022-present; undergraduate Pratt Integrative Course (PIC); Interdisciplinary Studies (Provost);

This course invites students to shake up their work, create new genres and forms, fuse disciplines, take aesthetic and stylistic risks, and balance individual work with collaborations and political interventions. Through the study and making of avant-garde pieces, the questioning of canons, the cultivation of idleness (that’s right, doing nothing) and other radical actions, the class guides students to envision innovative paths for their future studies and projects. Go rogue. Be bold. And create groundbreaking work!

  • Contemporary Museum Education” + “Avant-Garde Museum Education(later rebranded as Museum Education and Innovation)

Fall/Spring semesters, 2014, 2015, 2016; upper level undergraduate students and graduate students; art and Design Education department (School of Art)

These two classes provide an in-depth theoretical and practical understanding of the growing field of museum education—one I dubbed ‘Museum Educatics’. They include an examination of the changes occurring in art and design educational paradigms within the museum world, the evolving nature of museums as institutions with educational missions, along with learning and interpretive theories unique to the museum context. The classes provide an extensive hands-on component devoted to the special methods, practices and skills associated with teaching with artworks, and in designing educational projects, programs and innovative learning experiences within the art and design museum settings. The courses also explore critical issues facing the field through theory, practice and the analysis of case studies, including audience diversity, collaboration with schools and communities, the rethinking of museum missions and practices, and the use of new technologies.  Avant-Garde Museum Education further mines the new frontiers of museum educatics and provides opportunities for reflection, research and critical practice at various levels of innovation in the field.

  • Artworlds”; Spring and Fall 2010; Spring 2011; Social Science and Cultural Studies (SLAS); graduate level course for MFA students

Students examine the nature of various forces at play in the arenas of artistic and cultural production. The course addresses the dynamics of the evolving forms and functions of art in society and traces the cultural forces that bear upon the organization of creative activity. Various art-forms, artworks, cultural entities, and practices are studied as well as the historical development of ideas and institutions. The course will draw from theoretical and practical material, as well as illustrative case-studies from different regions of the world and different time-periods. Students will also have opportunities to visit museums and galleries and meet with professionals in the field. Classroom lectures on the Brooklyn campus will be supplemented with mandatory off-site assignments.

  • Poets, Painters and Prophets”; Spring and Fall 2010, Spring 2011; Social Science and Cultural Studies, Critical & Visual Studies Program (SLAS); upper level undergraduate course

This course examines the varieties of interactions between literature and art from the 1870’s to World War II. The course delves into how theories and practices of poets and philosophers affected the works of visual artists, how schools of thought and action were formed around certain ideas that eradicated traditional divisions between the arts, and how groups of artists and literary figures devised visions that transcended existing categories, often radically defying boundaries, and putting into questions established conventions along with the very definitions of art.

  • Artopia—Museums and the Culture Industry”; Fall 2009; Social Science and Cultural Studies, Critical & Visual Studies Program (SLAS); Colloquium course for undergraduate students

This course provides an insider’s view of contemporary museum practice within the artworld, concentrating on several key areas, including exhibitions, conservation and education. We examine the changing role of museums in the arena of artistic and cultural production. Once associated only with warehousing cultural patrimony, contemporary museum practice is vibrant, diverse and at times controversial. The goal of the course is to provide a nuanced understanding of the theories underlying museum practice and how museums function within the context of the art world, and also within the broader context of the city. Classroom lectures on the Brooklyn campus will be supplemented with mandatory lectures and tours at MoMA.


In the museum world, at The Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum and the Queens Museum (not all of these at all of them, but overall…), I

    • Prepared and conducted gallery talks and special lectures to adult and academic audiences;
    • Lectured and conducted thematic tours in French, Spanish, English and Persian;
    • Conceptualized and implemented workshops for interns, lecturers and curators;
    • Taught classes and created experiences such as the Singular Educational Experiences;
    • Taught in programs with specialized training for specific audiences: Interpreting MoMA (deaf and hard-of-hearing adults), Art inSight and Touch Tours (blind and partially sighted visitors), Create-Ability (children and adults with developmental disabilities and their families), Ford Family Programs (programs for children, tweens and their families); one of few educators to work across different nodes of department.
    • Designed and led workshops locally, nationally and internationally at museums, libraries and other organizations for multiple audiences, including curators, professional educators and university professors, artists, administrators and directors of programs, family literacy and ESOL teachers, ABE teachers, mentors, volunteers. medical doctors and researcher
    • Co-created EEAM (Engagement and Experiences with Art and Museums), a work published by The Literacy Assistance Center on which I was the lead writer, and that charts out and describes a project connecting literacy to the arts.
    • At the Met specifically:
      • Created and taught educational programs and lessons related to the Met’s collection;
      • Worked with the Met’s Family Programs, Schools Programs, Meet the Met and Primer Contacto con el Arte (in Spanish);
      • Led educational workshops related to art, literature, and intersections of the two (along with other disciplines) for other educators.

In partnerships, I:

    • Conceived and implemented interactive programs relating the arts to literacy, health, community development, social/political impact and transformation;
    • Conceived the structure of the partnerships and implemented the strategies and the initial outreach efforts;
    • Designed curricula and documents integrating art practices and art theory and history with specific components of language for various levels of English language learners;
    • Designed and taught classes and workshops interweaving the arts and language acquisition skills to adults from immigrant communities.


And in afterschool and summer settings… Yes, we’re going way back, but it truly is relevant…

  • at the East Harlem Tutorial Program, New York (December 1999-December 2002)as an Education Coordinator, I planned, coordinated and administered after-school program serving 200 students and 200 tutors. Developed and supervised core programs in education, homework help, study groups, enrichment workshops and cultural events. Conducted orientations and workshops for parents, tutors, teens, and other educational staff. Trained participants, tutors and staff in educational philosophies, approaches and theories. Contributed to agency’s strategic plan, MIS reports and evaluations. Participated in fundraising and donor relations.As a Consultant I created new Individual Student Plans in coordination with staff, tutors, parents and management. Researched and reviewed several national educational systems’ standards, curricula and approaches to literacy, arts, science and math along with new standards set in U.S., various report cards, diagnostic tests and enrichment activities. Implemented a system that integrated the assessment and evaluation of a comprehensive set of skills while assuring the agency’s commitment to fostering a love of learning.
  • with the Success For All Foundation, P.S. 65 (September 2003-May 2005)as a Reading Specialist/Tutor, I implemented the Success for All reading program and methods at PS 65 in Queens with elementary school children (grades 1-5). Worked individually with children to address various reading difficulties, and improved phonics, comprehension and general literacy skills. PS 65 was one of top five improved elementary schools in all of New York City for the academic year 03/04.
  • at The Boys’ Club of New York (September 2003-June 2004), as an Academic Specialist, I Designed and implemented academic programs and curricula, including multi-disciplinary projects, reading and writing workshops, and learning strategies for The After School Academy. Programs focused on economically disadvantaged and ‘at-risk’ youth, ages 13-19, mostly from minority groups and populations from various cultural, linguistic and ethnic backgrounds.
  • at The Washington International School,C. (Summers 1992-1996) as a Teacher/Assistant Director, I taught ESL, French and sports to students attending from more than 20 countries. Designed, developed and oversaw curriculum and activities for summer programs for over 300 students ages 3-19. Supervised staff of 10-15 teachers and 20 counselors. Organized meetings, enhanced the program’s attendance, wrote and edited brochures, fliers and forms. Implemented safety procedures, devised field trips and cultural tours.