Although I have taught consistently at the graduate level, I am also an advocate of quality teaching at the undergraduate level. Believing survey courses should serve as a hallmark of any department’s emphasis on teaching excellence, I asked to teach our large introductory-level World Civilizations to 1500 course for four semesters in succession. Experimenting with in-class writing, online podcasts, and the adoption of non-traditional lecture topics, I helped 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. 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).
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 several seminars on Historiography, Late Imperial and Modern China as well as Ethnicity and Borderlands in late Imperial China.