2020 | HERMAN AWARD FOR SPECIALIZED PEDAGOGY
“Last year in my archive research course, students immersed themselves in documents held in Special Collections. A student wrote that their experience making sense of the archives made them suddenly aware that all the books and articles they had read in college were telling them what to think. They suddenly understood that history and biography are interpretive activities and that scholars work to create knowledge.”
Raiskin’s work in the College of Arts and Sciences is around post-colonial literature and cultural studies, and focuses on gender and comparative feminist theory, disability studies, LGBTQ studies, and sexuality.
“My goal in teaching is to help students understand themselves better and to learn about a world beyond their experiences,” Raiskin says. “Over the years, my focus has become facilitating the process of learning more than delivering content. I try to encourage students to feel their own need for the content to answer their own questions.”
“Right now, I am teaching a public writing class on disability. Since we are in the middle of a life-changing, history-changing pandemic, I keep that in mind both in terms of the content (public writing, inequitable access to health care and ideologies that shape our lives) and in creating a space where the students can support each other from their separate spaces. I try to encourage them to bring their current experiences into our discussions as well.”
Classes with Raiskin
Introduction to Queer Studies
Bodies and Power: Gender and Disability
Gender, Literature and Culture
Feminist Praxis: Internship Seminar
Calderwood Seminar on Public Writing
LGBTQ+ Scholars ARC Seminar
“I am continually impressed by the creativity and dedication my colleagues in every field bring to their teaching. I am greatly honored to receive this teaching award and be recognized by my immensely talented colleagues.”
My two favorite classes at UC-Berkeley were “Rats, Lice, and History,” based on a 1935 book by the same name that read history through the lens of epidemics, and a senior seminar on Virginia Woolf. Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies has been a perfect field for me to develop classes that ask students to think creatively drawing on different disciplines and methodologies.
I'm not telling!