In teaching Geography and Development Studies, I want students to understand themselves – their histories, their knowledges, their practices – in relation to their communities and the world. I show how histories of expropriation, slavery and colonialism have produced and continue to produce our contemporary geographies of power and difference. I believe students learn best when they are analyzing social theory and grounding such theory in practice. I share what I have learned through my life and work, and encourage students to draw on their experiences to transform the material we read. In so doing, I aim to equip students with the analytical tools necessary for responding to urgent global challenges.
I have honed my teaching skills through my work with diverse students across multiple disciplines and institutions for over ten years. I am currently teaching graduate students at the University of the Western Cape, one of South Africa's historically Black universities. I previously taught community college transfer, first generation, international and mature students at the University of California, Berkeley. I also previously served as Program Coordinator for a summer study abroad program to South Africa for Arizona State University and taught Reading Improvement to English Language Learners at a public high school in Arizona.
My teaching interests fall into the areas of inequality, racism and development. My courses draw on work from critical human geography, political economy, critical race theory, and postcolonial/feminist science and technology studies. I designed and taught Nature, Culture, Power, as the instructor of record. I also worked as a graduate student instructor for Introduction to Geography, Introduction to Development Studies, and Development in History and Theory.
What Students Say
ONLINE TEACHING DURING COVID:
“I would like my lecturer to know that she made the learning experience more bearable. She was always in contact with the class. She never left us to our own devices. She loaded resources on Ikamva and would ask us to communicate with her if anything was wrong and if there was she would fix it immediately. She reached out to us on different platforms and mediums. She called us during office hours which was different an important for those of us without data [i.e. access to internet]. Speaking to your lecturer on the phone brought an element of closeness and that someone is there in terms of a support system. It makes a hard experience less lonely.” -- Critical Geographies of Nature and Land, Spring 2020
"This was one of my favorite classes I have taken at Berkeley! The way the material was presented and how the whole course came together was VERY well done." -- Nature, Culture Power, Summer 2019
"The course was very interesting and thought provoking as it deconstructed the common misperceptions about natures and cultures, as well as explained the history behind many of the mundane, everyday things we encounter in our lives." -- Nature, Culture Power, Summer 2019
"Erin is amazingly helpful. I was consistently impressed by how I was supported by her, especially in essays. She taught me how to write!" -- Development in Theory and Practice, Spring 2014