My earliest memories of Kerala—a thin sliver of land on the southwestern coast of India—are of summer rains, swollen rivers, venomous snakes, coconut palms, and paddy fields. Over the years, however, summer trips to my ancestral home in Kerala to visit my extended family became rarer. I grew up two thousand miles away from Kerala, in the north Indian city of Jaipur, where, even more so, I was an ethnic, linguistic, and religious minority. After I moved away from Kerala, in search for an education and to make a living, I began to engage seriously with questions of belonging and identity. In retrospect, those experiences of encountering differences are not entirely unique to me, but overlap with those of many people in the twenty-first century, as global migration creates new relationships to homelands and host societies. My awareness of being a minority in India, and then lately an immigrant in the US, reinforced my goal to make my classroom inclusive and welcoming to every student.
As a teacher, I am invested in promoting active, student-centric learning in classroom. I encourage students to identify connections between different elements that constitute media.
My sample course evaluations can be accessed here.