Social Movements


Course Description – This course is about how people act collectively to challenge the status quo of powerful political, social, economic, and cultural systems that resist change. Social movements that challenge such systems vary widely in terms of their group identities, social locations, strategies for action, particular demands, and tactics. In order to better understand social movements, we will begin broadly with some key questions: What are social movements and how do we approach the task of defining them? What tools do we need to analyze how movements work? And how can we appreciate how and why some movements succeed in achieving their goals while others apparently fail? Case studies include: the Civil Rights movement, the labor movement, LGBTQ social movements, populist movements, and the Movement for Black Lives.

Lecture — Syllabus


YALE UNIVERSITY (SOCY226), spring 2019

Course Description – This course surveys the role of religion in historical debates about American national identity, landing on our primary focus—the trope of the Muslim “other” as it permeates American popular, religious, and political discourse. In this course, you will encounter and grapple with the deep history of American interest in the “Muslim world,” with particular attention to the role that Islam and Muslims play in constituting particular versions of American national identity. The course asks you to consider the juxtaposition of the categories “Islam” and “America,” and especially how these categories are mutually constructed. We will also analyze how the category of “Islam” activates certain modes of American nationalism, particularly latent forms of Christian American nationalism that have long genealogies in American history.

Seminar — Syllabus

Sociology of religion

Monmouth University (SO398.HY), Fall 2016

Course Description – As an introduction to the sociology of religion, this class will explore questions such as: What is religion? Where does religion come from? How has religion shaped the modern world? How has the modern world shaped religion? What does it mean to study religion sociologically? With these questions in mind, we will explore and analyze the ways that religion is embedded in specific social, cultural, and historical contexts—paying attention to how they shape religious beliefs and practices. We will also investigate some of the ways that religion intersects with other institutions and categories that matter to understanding social life—such as race, class, gender, politics, nationality, family, education, etc.

Taught as a hybrid class (asynchronous online and in person seminar) — Syllabus

Foundations of Modern social Theory

Yale University (Yale Summer Session, SOCY 151S), Summer 2016

Course Description – This concentrated survey course provides an introduction to some of the foundational works of social thought and theory. We will explore the writings of various classical social and political thinkers, beginning in the early modern period and tracing the influence of their works and ideas into the 20th century. As we go, we will pay particular attention to how these authors understand and respond to basic philosophical questions about the nature of humanity, good and evil, social organization, and what makes a good society. Through this course, students will develop an understanding of how contemporary social science has emerged from the various classical approaches to modern social how political life. Students will also develop their own ideas and arguments about how contemporary social and political thought have been and continue to be shaped by the foundational works explored in the course.

Seminar — Syllabus

world religious traditions ii

university of phoenix (Online, REL 134), 2010 - 2014 (16 sections taught)

Course Description – A survey of the major historical developments, structural cosmology, symbolic interpretation, and values of the Judaic, Christian, and Islamic religious traditions. An introduction to the academic study of religion, the nature of religion, religion in the modern world, and the traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in historical and contemporary context.

Online Asynchronous Class

Teaching assistant

Contemporary Social Theory (SOCY 152) with Ron Eyerman, Sociology Department, Yale University, Spring 2018

Islamic Social Movements (SOCY 228) with Jonathan Wyrtzen, Sociology Department, Yale University, Spring 2017

Norms and Deviance (SOCY 228) with Elijah Anderson, Sociology Department, Yale University, Spring 2016

Politics of Reproduction (SOCY 390) with Rene Almeling, Sociology Department, Yale University, Spring 2015

Foundations of Modern Social Theory (SOCY 151) with Emily Erikson, Sociology Department, Yale University, Fall 2014

Religions of the West (RS 110) with Meena Sharify-Funk, University of Waterloo, Religious Studies Department, Fall 2006