Teaching

For me, teaching is about supporting students, encouraging them to ask critical questions, and encouraging them in developing their own innovative tools for reflecting and acting in the world in which they live. I’ve worked in teaching spaces with young students (10-17 years, in Accra, Ghana) and with undergraduate, masters and first-year PhD students (in Accra, Ghana and in Sheffield, UK).

Lecturer in Human Geography, Sheffield Hallam University
In September 2021, I began a part-time lecturer position, contributing teaching in different areas of human geography: Approaches to Human Geography, Geographies of the Everyday, and Explorations in Urban Geography. My work has included developing and adapting lecture content, designing and running seminars, and co-designing and co-running field visits in urban spaces (including co-devising a mapping project to explore economic change in Sheffield). I also support four undergraduate students in the development of their dissertation projects.

Trajectories in Urban Design (ARC6975) – Graduate Student Tutor, Sheffield School of Architecture, University of Sheffield [Spring 2021]
Drawing on critical questions of the anthropocene, coloniality, racism, and patriarchy in shaping current conditions of spatial injustice, this masters-level design class positioned urban design within the complex interrelated processes and systems that shape the city – alongside politics, diverse economies and social movements. For the duration of the semester, students took a specific geographic site and design issue, and developed their design responses alongside reflecting on their own design practices. I supported these students through lectures, weekly feedback on their design progress, and workshops.

Masters in Urban Design Thesis Studio: Reclaiming the City (ARC6982) – Graduate Student Tutor, Sheffield School of Architecture, University of Sheffield [Spring-Summer 2020]
This thesis course blended design and research approaches, enabling students to develop their own approach to urban design by identifying a real-world design issue and then consolidating their urban design practice and theory learnings to formulate a theory-informed design intervention. As part of a three-person teaching team, I worked with 11 masters students on their individual urban design thesis research projects.  I planned and led a series of research methods workshops using the design studio format. For example, taking a reading group approach, I organized a workshop where the students read a text together, and then used the theory to “read” the human and spatial dynamics and politics at play in their design site, as mode of reading both theory and space together, through the lenses of their individual projects. I also advised two students on their individual projects (one focused on rehousing homeless groups in San Francisco, California and another focused on renovating a dilapidated residential building to support international migrants in Hong Kong).

Critical Spatial Theory (ARC6971) – Graduate Teaching Assistant, Sheffield School of Architecture, University of Sheffield [Spring 2020]
Through lectures and group seminar-presentations, this masters-level course introduced a set of interdisciplinary theories from architectural and art theory, philosophy, geography, literature and related them to contemporary art and architectural practices. Proposing the feminist tool of “situated practice” as means to analyze “place” and drawing on feminist and decolonial scholarship, this course focus on space/power, intersectionality, spatial tactics/use, interiority/care, and making/writing as means to explore gender, difference, care and diversity within spatial politics and everyday practice. As teaching assistant, I facilitated student-led discussions to support lectures, as well as one-on-one tutorials to support students in writing their final papers for assessment.

Accra Architecture Writing Workshop – Writing Tutor [Summer 2018, Summer 2019]
For two consecutive summers, I was part of an international team of academics and PhD students who organized and ran an intensive week-long writing architecture research and writing workshop for Ghanaian and Nigerian undergraduate, masters, and PhD students in Accra, Ghana. Focused on building students’ research, writing, and engagement with contemporary and heritage architecture in Accra, I worked with a small group of students who conducted intensive on-site and desk research in order to produce critical short essays (2000 words). These writing workshops enabled students to explore, learn, and write about specific architectural sites in the city. Each year, I supported a small group of students – first at the Balme Library on the University of Ghana campus, and in the next year focused on the Old Kingsway Building in Old Accra. I coordinated informational tours and interviews, encouraged the students to use both conventions and creative methods, and edited the initial and final drafts of their essays. I also worked with a small website team to produce an online website showcasing their work.

Urban (Hi)Stories (ARC303) – Graduate Teaching Assistant, Sheffield School of Architecture, University of Sheffield [Fall 2017, Fall 2018, Fall 2019]
I prepared and delivered one guest lecture each fall semester to undergraduate architecture students, focusing on architectural theory and design practice and drawing on my research in Accra, Ghana. Through each lecture and the associated readings, I traced the colonial mobilities of architecture, modernity and assumptions about the modern city and its design, progress, and development. I presented and explored postcolonial criticism and coloniality via the experiences of architecture and design, discussing urban design issues in the city of Accra while pulling from postcolonial, African, and spatial theory, centering Black (African) scholars and designers and encouraging students to understand architecture’s history as a tool for colonial practices of segregation, and exclusion. Focusing each lecture on a specific topic – including street vending and “modern” markets, the changing nature of “public” space, and using embodied methods to read the city, I centered a decolonial reading of the city and its history as mode toward a critical reading of architectural design and practice.

Principles of Research Design (SMI607) – Graduate Teaching Assistant, Sheffield Methods Institute, University of Sheffield [Fall 2018]
This first-semester course for masters and first-year PhD students introduced the core elements of research design for the social sciences discipline. Each two-hour session was taught as a blend between lecture and seminar. In addition to contributing to expanding the syllabus with readings by Black and Brown scholars, on feminist topics, and on citational practice, each week, I facilitated students’ small group discussions, moving between the small groups and listening to the students’ reflect on set topic questions and their readings, and answering questions and clarifying understandings. I also expanded the original emphasis by the professor in requiring students to submit reading reflections before each class session: Moving beyond the professor and I reading the reflections, we expanded this to encourage students to read and learn from each other’s reflections on the readings, which produced the result of generating richer in-class discussions and debates.

Cairo Urban Design Studio (ARC6981) – Graduate Teaching Assistant, Sheffield School of Architecture, University of Sheffield [Spring 2018]
In collaboration with the Cairo-based architectural firm CLUSTER (Cairo Lab for Urban Studies and Environmental Research), this masters-level urban design studio focused on inclusive design interventions for three heritage sites within downtown Cairo: a city market, theatre, and residential building. As Teaching Assistant, I supported the week-long trip to Cairo, and I provided weekly feedback to students in the design studio to support their design progress. Drawing on my past professional and doctoral research experience, I supported students in thinking through the social dynamics and politics at play in their site, considerations of gender and feminist design.

Akwaaba Photo Youth Photography Workshop – Workshop and Exhibition Co-Organizer [October-January 2017]
Rita Garglo (No Limits Charity Organization), Teresa Meka (independent professional photographer), and I organized a series of photography workshop sessions with youth (10-17 years) in their neighborhood of Ga Mashie (in Accra, Ghana). Over a six-week period, we met Saturday mornings for training sessions, photo walks, and presentation and discussion of the children’s photographs. Worked with museum specialist Chanelle Nicole Frazier to organize the Akwaaba Photography Youth Photography Exhibition in January 2017: akwaaba.photography