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Although my role as Dean of Arts and Sciences at NYU Shanghai limits my time in the classroom, I remain an advocate of quality undergraduate and graduate teaching. Believing survey courses should serve as a hallmark of any department’s emphasis on teaching excellence, I have long embraced teaching introductory-level courses such as the World of Yunnan (NYU Shanghai), Empires in World History (NYU Shanghai) and World Civilizations to 1500 (Penn State) for nearly two decades.


Upon moving to NYU Shanghai, I created from scratch an intro level course entitled The World of Yunnan tracing the history, culture, and diversity of Yunnan, China over 2,000 years. Aimed at introducing Global China's past to students from across our university -- whether it be Business, Computer Science or Arts & Sciences. In all my classes, I experiment with in-class writing, online podcasts, and the adoption of non-traditional lecture topics. My goal is to assist students gain the confidence needed to challenge historical assumptions, question common historical myths, and see the relevance of the past on the present. The effectiveness of such approaches can be measured in multiple ways. At Penn State it doubled enrollments to above 200 students per class, averaged high ratings in student evaluations, all while maintaining considerable academic rigor (and has even been ranked as popular gen ed requirement).  At NYU Shanghai, I also broadened exposure of Yunnan's past by leading a Community Engaged Learning trip of 25 students to Yunnan to visit many of the province's key historical and cultural sites. 

At NYU Shanghai, I have taught The World of Yunnan and will be offering a course on Empires in World History in Fall 2024. My teaching at Penn State ranges from introductory course such as World History to 1500 (HIST 10) and Modern East Asia (HIST 175) to upper level courses on late imperial and modern China (HIST 485W and HIST 486). I have also offered courses cross-listed in other departments such as Tibet: Sacred Places, Spaces and People (HIST 188) and Islam's Orient: Islam, Nationalism and Ethnic Violence in China (RLST 597C). Finally at the graduate level, I have taught graduate seminars on Historiography, Late Imperial and Modern China as well as Ethnicity and Borderlands in late Imperial China.


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