Carol Silverman

Anthropology | 541-346-5114

Courses: Anth 315: Gender, Folklore, Inequlity; ANTH 410: Others/Selves: Gypsies/Roma; ANTH 430/530 Balkan Society and Folklore; ANTH 439/539: Feminism and Ethnography; ANTH 419/519 Performance, Politics, and Folklore; ANTH 429/539: Jewish Folklore and Ethnography

In my classes you will:

  • Make connections to lived experiences and real-world challenges.
  • Explore new perspectives.

I was invited into the Teaching Academy because:

  • I am a Herman Award Recipient.

In what ways are you working to make your teaching inclusive?

My basic philosophy in all of my classes is that students matter. What this means in practice is that students’ diverse identities and life experiences are reflected in course materials. I continually ask myself why does this subject matter to students? My courses on cultural difference, gender, inequality, and folklore all relate to current controversial issues. Students often bring a great deal of real world knowledge to the university, thus peer interaction and respect are paramount. I also emphasize that am student too, because I am always learning. I strive to defuse competition and hierarchy in the classroom so that learning is mutual. In addition, I incorporate different learning styles and use varied genres such visual, aural, literary, and popular culture materials. I strive to get to know all my students, even in large classes.

What do you do in terms of professional engagement with the teaching and learning culture on campus or nationally?

I use materials from TEP workshops and the Teaching Academy to improve my interactive and communication goals and skills and learn how to be a more effective teacher and mentor. I constantly change the readings in my classes to reflect current events, and I invite new guest speakers to share their expertise. For example, in Anth 315 gender, Folklore, Inequality, we will benefit from lectures by an Iranian student, a Romani activist from Romania, a biocultural scholar of Queer and Trans Studies, and a home birth advocate who is also a midwife and anthropologist.

In what ways was your teaching in this course research-led—informed by research on how students learn and inflected by UO's research mission?

How is knowledge is produced? This a central question in all my classes, so that when we read/ see/ hear facts and information, we ask ourselves: where did this come from and why was it produced? I guide students to question and compare (and then to produce) different forms of knowledge and different forms of writing; they track how their opinions might change through the class. I wholly support student led projects. In my classes, I share my own research about the marginalized and stereotyped ethnic group Roma (Gypsies) to show how documentation and analysis can be paired with advocacy.

What made you want to be a teacher?

I love to share my knowledge and learn from students!

How do you find your creativity?

I am a professional singer of Balkan folk music; I share my passion for music and dance in the classroom -- folk arts are infused in my classes.