I currently work as an associate professor of anthropology in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. I teach in the same areas that I conduct research in: critical/radical social and political theory, social movements, social change, globalization, power and resistance, and grassroots alternative-building.
The core premise that has animated my teaching for as long as I have been doing it is that education is not a ‘thing’, rather, it is a critical, collaborative, and ongoing process of inquiring into our world engaged in by active subjects. People learn best – and education matters most – when they participate in a learning process that encourages them to engage the world around them, that constantly reminds them that they are active subjects in that world, and that they are responsible to that world and to those they share it with. Complex issues, theories, and analyses are rendered intelligible, useful, and even world-changing when students participate in a process of collective, critical inquiry that allows them to see these phenomena in the context of their own realities while exposing them to realities faced by others they had not previously known about. I firmly believe in reinforcing mutual commitments between instructors and students, leveling unjust and unnecessary hierarchies in the classroom, and developing relationships based on respect, trust, and an obligation to know about and then act meaningfully in the world. In my view, education cannot merely be seen as instrumental, it must also be seen as a social and political act which, at its best, stimulates interest in the social realities of which we are a part and promotes not only a life-long love of learning but a deeply felt desire to engage rather than retreat from these realities.