I teach courses on culture, creative work, the global film industry, and contemporary Chinese society at Colby College. I seek to empower my students by equipping them with the tools to develop a sociological eye, attain academic excellence, and become engaged citizens.
Sociology of Creativity
Creativity occurs everywhere, all the time: aspiring rappers learn to freestyle, elite chefs design new dishes, and artists create pieces for an exhibit. By examining the social dynamics of creative work, we will explore why creativity is inherently collective, how creativity is judged and experienced, and how “cool” creative jobs can also generate inequality. We will compare research on creativity in various domains – artistic practices, creative industries, ordinary life, and organizations – in sociology and neighboring disciplines (e.g., anthropology) to identify common phenomena and better understand how creativity shapes all our lives.
Sociology of Hollywood
How did Hollywood films transform from entertainment to art? Who are the villains in action movies? How do minority actors and directors “make it” in Hollywood? Does Hollywood still dominate global film markets? Hollywood is a popular topic that spans areas of the sociology of culture, race, organizations, and globalization, serving as a window to examine various social problems. This course examines sociological research on the production, distribution, and reception of Hollywood film and television. We will explore various social forces such as cultural gatekeeping, racial hierarchies, globalization, and censorship, examining how these processes affect what Hollywood brings to the big screen.
Sociology of Culture
China and the World