In order to determine what is good and what is not, he who is being taught must have full power to express his dissatisfaction or, at least, to avoid lessons that do not satisfy him. Let it be established that there is only one criterion in teaching: freedom!
— Leo Tolstoy

Teaching Philosophy

Do not be boring.

Teach students to think and analyze critically.

Celebrate even the smallest victories.

Understand before commenting.

Reprimand only apathy.

Encourage questions.

Empathize always.

Teach to learn.

Be kind.



History 110: United States Since 1865

Course Description: In this course, we will study the history of the United States since 1865 to the present day through the lens of civil rights. Beginning with the Reconstruction Amendments and the first comprehensive civil rights legislation in the late nineteenth century, this course will trace various historical developments of civil rights policies and realities throughout the twentieth century in order to better analyze and understand modern day implications. 

Term: Fall 2018

Location: Arizona State University iCourse


History 109: United States to 1865

Course Description: In this course, we will study the history of the United States from the earliest inhabitants of the North American continent to the end of the U.S. Civil War in 1865. Through three units – Migrations & Captivities, Borders & Transformations, and Diffusions & Enclosures – we will explore the movements of people, goods, and ideas within the North American continent and in the broader Atlantic world as well as study the impact of transformative historical processes and changes. 

Term: Spring 2018

Location: Arizona State University (Tempe, Arizona)


History 325: Immigration and Ethnicity in the United States

Course Description: Immigration and ethnicity in the United States has a complicated history. This history cannot be neatly summarized into dichotomous models describing periods of inclusion/exclusion or admissions/deportations or acceptance/rejection. Rather since the founding, stories of immigrants, those coming from outside literal borders and those made foreign from within figurative ones, complicate the history of the nation when told through a linear narrative by consistently questioning whether the nation’s founding ideals live up to their universalistic aspirations in every era of its existence. It is precisely this complexity that makes immigration history both difficult to unravel while at the same time providing a remarkable litmus test. Therefore, this course will attempt to study such complexities over the entirety of U.S. history, inject the stories of students in the class to the broader historical narrative of immigration, and ultimately, seek to understand the role immigration has always played in the narrative and implementation of purportedly universalistic ideals of the United States.

Term: Fall 2017

Location: Arizona State University (Tempe, Arizona)


History 306: History of Deportation*

Course Description: Today, immigration law in the United States defines deportation as the “formal removal of an alien from the United States when the alien has been found removable for violating the immigration laws.” Within the complexities of immigration law, such a broad definition has meant that almost any noncitizen (“alien”) can be found deportable at almost any time for nearly any reason. This widely discretionary regime has deep roots in the legal, political, cultural, and statutory traditions of American history. Using scholar Daniel Kanstroom’s work Deportation Nation, this course will study the historical development of the modern deportation regime as both a form of “extended border control and post-entry social control.” Implicating notions of citizenship, belonging, community, scapegoating, criminality, expulsion, exclusion, and banishment, this course will seek to explore not only who was targeted for deportation historically and why but also how those legacies of deportation continue to shape American society and debates over immigration today. 

Term: Summer 2017-Session B

Location: Arizona State University iCourse/ASU Online split


History 306: The Rise of Mass Incarceration*

Course Description: The United States incarcerates more people than any other country in the world. Every day more than 2 million people are locked in prisons, jails, and immigrant detention centers. Another 7.2 million are on probation, parole, or under a deportation order. An estimated 65 million people have criminal records. Mass incarceration also impacts the way urban and suburban spaces have evolved, electoral maps are drawn, social movements are made and unmade, cultural norms and identities are forged and reinforced, and sexuality is profiled and policed. Policing, punishment, detention, and deportation also shape the U.S. economy and American democracy in fundamental ways. While mass policing and incarceration booms began in the 1970s, the origins of the modern carceral state are deeply rooted in American history.

Term: Summer 2017-Session A

Location: Arizona State University (Tempe, Arizona)


History 110: United States Since 1865

Course Description:  On January 31, 1865, Congress passed the 13th Amendment. Before ratification at the end of the year, the country would see the bloodiest war in its history come to an end, the first sitting president to be assassinated, and the start of a long process of attempted national reunification. This attempt would play out for more than a decade during Reconstruction culminating in the re-admittance of the rebellious states. Yet, all was not well. Before the turn of the 20th century, Congress would pass the first race-based exclusionary law and the Supreme Court would legalize segregation. From then until now, the country grapples with the ramifications of such legal precedent. Because of the importance of understanding these developments, this course begins in 1865 and analyzes the post-Civil War history of the United States through a legal framework. The course will explore the impact of important legislative and judicial decisions that altered the course of the nation and attempt to understand how the post-Civil War history of the United States can be told through a lens of legal history.

Term: Spring 2017

Location: Arizona State University iCourse


History 406: The American Revolution

Course Description: The story of the American Revolution is one of general knowledge: an overtaxed set of colonies broke away from the tyrannical rule of the mother country and proclaimed their independence. Englishmen fought against fellow Englishmen until the determined revolutionaries prevailed. A treaty was signed, a Constitution was written, and the United States of America was born. However, in this general narrative, many voices are unheard. For decades, historians have tried to uncover the stories of the lesser known characters, events, and influences that both led up to the American Revolution and resulted from it. In this class, we will explore these stories through several major themes underlying the American Revolution and examine how various historians have discussed different aspects of the causes and effects of the American Revolution.

Term: Fall 2016

Location: Arizona State University (Tempe, Arizona)


History 306: Slavery and Human Trafficking

Course Description: The first African slaves arrived in the original colonies in 1619. In the nearly 400 years since, the institution of slavery has transformed dramatically. To study this historical change, we will explore the topic in two parts. Part One will focus on slavery before legal abolition. We will explore the horrors of a race-based system of forced labor that wreaked havoc on the lives of millions of African Americans while feeding the demands of national and global markets. Part Two will pick up after the Civil War and legal abolition to discuss how slavery changed to grow into what we call human trafficking today. We will explore how the institution transformed from one that was race-based to one that has increasingly come to be identified by class, where poverty, and to a lesser extent immigration status, have become dominant predictors of likely trafficking victims in the U.S. today.

Term: Summer 2016 (Session B)

Location: Arizona State University (Tempe, Arizona)


History 306: Citizens, Immigrants, and the Undocumented*

Course Description: The United States is universally known as a “nation of immigrants.” Across a wide spectrum of communications, the phrase is commonly invoked to arouse popular sentiments about the nation’s history as well as to justify or negate current policy proposals. However, what does the United States as a “nation of immigrants” actually mean? Does this phrase accurately describe the history of the country and its immigration policies? This class will begin to explore these questions through the study of American immigration law.

Term: Summer 2016 (Session A)

Location: Arizona State University (Tempe, Arizona)


History 306: Constitutional Rights of Criminal Defendants*

Course Objectives: By the conclusion of the course, students will comprehend the history and subsequent legal developments of the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Eighth Amendments of the U.S. Bill of Rights. Students will be able to articulate the broad legal framework through which a criminal case is adjudicated. Students will also be able to analyze the relevant historical and legal questions presented in given hypothetical scenarios concerning a person who is accused or charged with a crime.

Terms: Summer 2015 (Sessions A & B)

Location: Arizona State University (Tempe, Arizona)


*original Course created by instructor



History 110: United states since 1865

"Classification in the 1920s: Legal Segregation, Immigration Restrictions, and the Consequences of Scientific Racism in a Time of Selective Prosperity"

Term: Spring 2017

Location: Arizona State University (Tempe, Arizona)

Course Instructor: Alexander Vicknair (


History 109: United States to 1865

"The Terrible Transformation of African Enslavement: A Generational Study"

Term: Fall 2016

Location: Arizona State University (Tempe, Arizona)

Course Instructor: Travis Cook (


history 407: early united states republic, 1789-1850

"Birth Pains of the Constitution: Tracing Judicial Interpretations through the Evolution of the Fourth Amendment"

Term: Fall 2016

Location: Arizona State University (Tempe, Arizona)

Course Instructor: M. Grace Hunt Watkinson (


history 201: History of women in the united states

"Slavery and Human Trafficking"

Term: Spring 2016

Location: Chandler-Gilbert Community College-Pecos

Course Instructor: Dr. Monika Bilka (


history 408: civil war and reconstruction

"Why Immigrant Soldiers Fought in the American Civil War"

Term: Spring 2015

Location: Arizona State University (Tempe, Arizona)

Course Instructor: Dr. Calvin Schermerhorn (