My teaching approach is one where a structural framework meets moments of radical openness, where a given educational agenda, with its aspirations, inclinations, and demands gives way to the particular context of specific students. I generally do not look at content is something that is to be “delivered,” but something that is emergent, brought forth, examined, and debated through the unfolding of research and inquiry. My teaching could be considered hands-on in several ways: I seek to create an experience that is embodied and physicalized. Students learn through a variety of platforms, approaches, and modalities. We sit, we stand, we walk, we talk, we hold: all of the senses are key for deep engagement. Critical thinking, too, is hands-on: we are constructing knowledge, and then deconstructing it, sometimes in the same moment. I will often ask students, and other collaborators, to step up and take the lead: to teach themselves, to direct the conversation, to influence the outcomes. I am comfortable with these spaces of uncertainty and potential, and hopefully by being able to step back, I can allow my students to find empowerment in these spaces as well. My courses often take the form of an ongoing conversation. There is no end point in knowledge: we never fully arrive.


DENSE ECOLOGIES: Harkness Redux ArtLab

An immersive, collaborative exhibition and workshop in the Louis Kahn Class of 1945 Library at Phillips Exeter Academy. The project explored mental, social, and environmental ecologies, where students' creative work mingled with past and future sources of knowledge, collected specimens, nostalgia, post-apocalyptic worldings, all mapped and presented through a collaborative process where criticality, expressive force, experimentation and collective vision are brought together. In conjunction with J. Sakata and O. Knauss.


I Drew My Family: Artwork by Syrian Children Refugees

A curatorial project developed by a Turkish student who had been a volunteer in Syrian refugee camps. The exhibition included artwork by elementary and high-school aged youth, maps to provide a context, and a panel discussion with a history faculty, pediatrician, and UNICEF representative. The student notes, "The more layers [of your immediate shelter or bubble] one destroys, the more she/he becomes a citizen of the world."

CA_Gillette_Francis_IMG_1789 copy.jpg

Change Agents: Personal Art as Political Tactic

A collaborative exhibition and suite programs developed with a student curatorial team to address the intersection between sociopolitical action and personal expression. Events included spoken word performances, lunchtime presentations, and other projects exploring topics such as indigenous rights, gender, and religion.