"Prof. Crawford was able to communicate the weight of what we learned about in class, and how it manifested itself in the real world incredibly well. When learning about complex ideas, they can often feel inapplicable or too lofty to really matter. However Crawford was able to keep them rooted in reality and application, all without loosing the nuances that the concepts contained."
- Social Justice Bootcamp, Fall 2021
"I was very impressed with Professor Crawford. Despite having less teaching experience than the other professors for the CIS, her material and insight were just as fascinating. My favorite concepts covered in CIS came from her course and I found it very easy to apply concepts learned in her class to the others. I really enjoyed how during class we got to analyze things like a redlining map or what the Fergusson commission are planning, just to name a few examples. They really allowed us to think critically and apply concepts learned in class. Professor Crawford's knowledge and analytical skills were very interesting to have during class decisions because they always sparked insightful conversations. She was also a very equitable teacher. For example, she allowed us to choose what format for the final worked best for us and consulted with us about the deadline because of our other finals. Overall, she embodied what a good professor should be. Definitely the best instructor I've
-Global Los Angeles, Fall 2020
"Professor Crawford was able to encourage students to participate and overall uplift the classroom environment. Her lectures encouraged students to think analytically and participate in class discussions. Additionally, Professor Crawford made individual connections with students and called on them in class to give them the opportunity to participate in class. Professor Crawford played her personal playlist to create a connection with the entire class and created a joyful environment during her lectures. She also conducted activities where students interacted with other students to connect
the classroom together."
- Social Justice Bootcamp, Fall 2021
"Professor Crawford did a great job networking and bringing in a variety of cool and interesting guest speakers to help teach the course. I also liked the way she encouraged us to present on the
readings and take ownership of our learning."
- Ballroom. Renaissance. Pose. Werk. , Spring 2021
Intro to Ethnic Studies
Spring 2022, Cal State Long Beach
When and why do people mobilize to make demands against their states and societies? What contextual conditions enable such mobilization, and under what conditions does mobilization decline? When and how do movements spread and diffuse their ideas globally? Finally, do movements actually matter for bringing about change? This course is designed to gain leverage on these questions by surveying eclectic literature on social movements. The goal of the course is to better understand a series of movements that have captured the world's attention in various moments of time, while developing the conceptual skills that provide an introduction to social movement theory. In doing so, we will take an in-depth empirical look at movements for civil rights, women's rights, LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) rights, and immigrant rights.
Politics of the African American Community
Fall 2021, Cal State Long Beach
In this course, we will make a historical survey of issues and events that have significantly defined and impacted the African American community. Students will examine the various political theories, policies, and strategies that have emerged
from the global black community. Based upon readings, lectures, and media presentations, students will critically analyze current debates surrounding issues such as economic and social development, incarceration rates, Pan-Africanism Unity and cooperation, voting patterns, emergency response to intervention in Black communities, education, employment patterns, healthcare, and security.
Social Justice Bootcamp (Co-instructed Dr. Caroline Heldman and Dr. Malek Moazzam-Doulat)
Fall 2021, Occidental College
Meaningful social and political change requires not only critical and thoughtful engagement with our grounding ideas, dominant theories and our existing positions. It also demands that we learn the concrete, practical skills necessary to make our ideals real, to exercise our rights, to fulfill our duties to one another, and to transform the actual mechanisms and institutions that shape our lives. The course curriculum is organized in three dimensions, training students with the core skills necessary to participate in existing political and activist work, but also empowering them to, when necessary, imagine and carry out their own innovative and transformative campaigns. To this end, students will learn not just tactical skills, but also strategic planning and management approaches that will help them invent, implement, and improve the campaigns to which they commit themselves. This course will include instruction and workshops that bring the best practices and lessons from top businesses and campaigns, refined by political practitioners and distilled for students. It will also include tactical skills training -- media messaging and communication strategies, polling literacy, database management, budgeting and campaign finance, Get Out the Vote (GOTV) efforts, and lobbying basics.
Ballroom. Renaissance. Pose. Werk.
Spring 2021, Occidental College
This course interrogates the proliferation of ballroom culture in 20th and 21st century America. Students will examine the historical formation of ballroom and black queer culture in mid-20th century Harlem, New Orleans, and Chicago and its contemporary formations as sites of the objection, life, and black queer radical praxis within Black/Latino neighborhoods, also interrogating the commodification of ballroom within popular culture. Students will consider how ballroom has been circumscribed within the ethnographic (Paris is Burning, the Aggressives, Kiki, & Check It) and the consumptive (Pose, RuPaul's Drag Race, Real Housewives of Atlanta, and Madonna's Vogue) while also tracing how ballroom's reconfigurations of normative gendering, it's embodied response to quotidian antiblack violence. Its repertoire of classed, raced, and sexualized critique exists in excess of how it is spectacularized and consumed. The course offers students a complex site through which to consider how race, gender, class, and sexuality intersect and to interrogate how black queerness and transness have become central to what we know as "popular culture."
Video Podcast for Course: Matrix Ballroom Series
Chattel Slavery and its Afterlives
Spring 2021, Occidental College
This course introduces students to the key theoretical and historical frameworks that elucidate the particularities of chattel slavery in the Americas both in its "pre-emancipation" manifestations and as, Saidiya Hartman notes, the ongoing machinations of captivity, domination, and dispossession by which antiblackness continues to structure and suture the world. In this course, the particularity of chattel slavery emphasizes how the economic and social function of the enslaved as laborer and commodity, the centrality of blackness as a fungible and immutuable category of the enslaveable (non)human, and the massive global function of chattel slavery as the foundation of capitalism distinguishes this formation from other historical or regional structures of slavery, labor exploitation, trafficking, and racialized domination. Furthermore, students will be challenged to confront the ways in which the de jure abolition of chattel slavery (in 1865 in the US and across the Americas in the 19th century) has been a historical, legal, and structural misnomer that does not encapture the ways in which societies, economies, and legal structures adapted to sustain rather than eradicate the global dependence on black subjection. Students will engage the prison industrial complex, abandonment & deindustrialization, policing, geographic containment, the consumption of blackness as popular culture, formations of neoliberalism, and antiblack state and state-sanctioned terror as contemporary formations of chattel slavery's afterlives. The course engages the geographic contexts of the US, Jamaica, Haiti, and other parts of the Caribbean.
Global Los Angeles
Fall 2020, Occidental College
Global Los Angeles is a critical examination of greater Los Angeles and its economic, political, social, and cultural ties to the world. Our focus will be on all how Los Angeles is an integral part of a global society. Topics to be discussed include migration, transnationalism, environmental challenges, and economic patterns of development and underdevelopment. More broadly, the course will inquire about how globalization affects the life of Angelenos and, reciprocally, how Angelenos contribute to globalization and the world. To this end, the course is divided into three parts, which constitute the main focus of the class: 1) Global Los Angeles and Its People, 2) Space and Resistance, and 3) On Prisons and Policing Los Angeles.