Rachael Guynn Wilson

raeguynn [at] gmail.com



essays, reviews, poetry


sample syllabi & course materials


editorial & design work

in-between things

everything else

teaching philosophy

As a teacher, my job is to recognize students’ innate desire for learning, which I assume to be the basis of their identity as students—buried as that desire may be under layers of fatigue, financial precarity, housing instability, isolation, pressures to professionalize, etc.

Key to my approach as an instructor is the cultivation and practice of active listening. Listening gives rise to and unfolds as conversation. It takes place as a sounding of the room: as structural invitation to the non-conforming, meaningful participation of each and all; as a good-faith premise to the meeting and the exchange; as experiment in co-translation; as reading; as writing; as engaged responsiveness and exploratory discussion.

In the arts and humanities classroom, I push students to consider the way art interrogates us, its audience—our ways of living, our ideas and ideals—while it also arises from and reproduces ideology. We approach texts as vital, uncontainable others, cultivating respect for their alterity, and receptivity to what that difference may teach us.

My role as instructor is partly curatorial—not just in terms of the selection of materials and their sequencing, but also with regard to how the encounters are staged through specific in-class exercises, frames for discussion, and assignments built around each text. Different than curation, however, teaching involves real-time responsiveness and a continuous loop of feedback between instructor and students. It is a dialogic process. In this respect, I find teaching to be located on a spectrum with my editorial and critical work. 

My teaching practice has benefitted from participation in several pedagogy workshops led by instructors from Bard College’s Institute for Writing & Thinking (IWT) . It has also grown through years of experimentation in the classroom, as well as through discussion and resource sharing with peers, colleagues, and, of course, my own mentors. 

See sample syllabi and teaching materials right.
Overview of classes taught:

Visiting Assistant Professor, Pratt Institute, Humanities & Media Studies, 2022 – present
Teaching two year-long courses in the first-year architecture writing program: HMS 101b/201b, “Introduction to Literary and Critical Studies,” and HMS 291b/292b, “Transdisciplinary Writing,” in conjunction with the studio course, ARCH 101/201, “First Year Architecture Design.” 

Instructor, School of Visual Arts, Visual and Critical Studies Program, 2019 – 2021
Designed and taught “Word & Image from Modernism to the Present” (Fall 2019 & Fall 2021). This course charts the rise of text’s appearance in visual art from Cubism to Dada to Pop Art, Fluxus, and Conceptual Art in the context of major theoretical and political paradigms of the 20th Century, such as psychoanalysis, (post-)structuralism, Marxism, and feminism. See Fall 2021 class portfolio.

Instructor, School of Visual Arts, Department of Humanities & Sciences, 2017 – 2022
Designed and taught the following elective courses, “Introduction to Poetry” (Fall 2019, Fall 2020 & Fall 2021) and “20th Century American Literature Now” (Spring 2019, Spring 2020 & Spring 2022), as well as the department’s core “Writing and Literature II” course (Fall 2017).

Writing Tutor, School of Visual Arts, 2017-2020
In these individual sessions with students, I worked with a majority-ELL student population on a variety of writing assignments—from undergraduate composition assignments, to English language proficiency exam preparation, to thesis work and graduate school applications). I also worked with students on an equally wide range of concerns with regard to composition—from the particularities of English grammar, to essay structure, research and citation practices, and more.

Instructor, New York University, Department of Media, Culture, and Communication, 2015 – 2018
Taught department’s core course, “Media and Cultural Analysis,” for three semesters. This class introduced students to a variety of methodologies in media studies, including semiotics, political economy, media archaeology, and media ethnography. Readings from Theodor Adorno, Roland Barthes, bell hooks, Stuart Hall, Marshall McLuhan, Jonathan Sterne, Raymond Williams, and others. 

Instructor, New York University, Department of English, 2015 – 2017
Designed and taught the following elective courses, “American Poetry in the Long 20th Century” (Spring 2017), “What Is Poetics?: Speech, Language, Discourse” (Fall 2016), and “Word & Image from Modernism to the Present” (Summer 2015), as well as the core course, “Introduction to Literary Studies” (Fall 2016 & Spring 2017).

Instructor, New York University, Speaking Freely, 2014-15
Non-credit English-language conversation courses for undergraduate and graduate students and NYU staff. In these 75-minute coaching sessions, participants practiced communicating on a different topic each week as part of a small, informal language group. 

Teaching Assistant, New York University, Department of English, 2011 – 2013
Teaching assistant to Phillip Brian Harper for “American Literature I” (Fall 2013). Delivered guest lecture on Emerson’s “Experience.” Teaching assistant to Richard Halpern for “ British Literature I” (Spring 2013). Delivered guest lecture on Milton’s Paradise Lost. Teaching assistant to Haruko Momma for “Texts & Ideas: Literary Wonderlands” (Spring 2012). Delivered guest lecture on Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Teaching assistant to Elaine Freedgood for “British Literature II” (Fall 2011). Delivered guest lecture on the poetry of Claude McKay, Paul Muldoon, and Eavan Boland.

Writing Tutor, Portland State University, 2008-2009
Led individual sessions with students, advising and assisting at all stages of the writing process, from brainstorming to drafting, composing, and revising.

Sample teaching materials & student work:

Selected final projects from “Word & Image” class, Fall 2021, Department of Visual & Critical Studies, School of Visual Arts, Manhattan.


Video preview of private class blog for “Media and Cultural Analysis," Department of Media, Culture, and Communication, New York University, Spring 2015


Read the archives assignment for “American Poetry in the Long 20th Century” and preview the class blog below:

Video preview of private class blog for “American Poetry in the Long 20th Century,” Department of English, New York University, Spring 2017


Sample Syllabi:

20th-Century American Literature Now, SVA, Dept. of Humanities & Sciences, Spring 2022

Introduction to Poetry, SVA, Dept. of Humanities & Sciences, Fall 2021

Word & Image, SVA, Visual and Critical Studies Program, Fall 2021

American Poetry 1900 to the Present, NYU, Dept. of English, Spring 2017

Introduction to the Study of Literature, NYU, Dept. of English, Fall 2016

Media and Cultural Analysis, NYU, Dept. of Media, Culture, and Communication, Spring 2015

Brooklyn, NY