Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Faculty Spotlight - Bryan Shuler

Bryan Shuler

Humanities, Dale Mabry Campus

Course Range: (Traditional)

Quotable Quote:  When studying the Humanities, especially in my African Humanities course, “It’s all about “Culture,” and not about Colour.”

Capital Course:  HUM 2420- African Humanities; as one of only a handful of Africanists in the state, I take pleasure in bringing my fieldwork as a Fulbright Research Scholar and Cultural Expert for National Geographic-Lindblad Expeditions to the classroom and sharing it with dedicated and curious students here at HCC.

Ideal Ideology:  I believe that only through hands-on in-depth research in the field can an instructor fully perceive, appreciate and explain the various aspects of their course topics, and therefore, present the insight our students desperately need in order to successfully compete in the global environment they are and will experience in their lifetime.

Teachable Moment- Student Success: As a Humanistic Anthropologist, I continuously place myself within the scenario of the culture being discussed, and honestly share my personal experiences and reactions in the moment to what was occurring around me, rather than observing the culture at arm’s length, keeping it in a glass museum case. The students will automatically perceive the difference in approach and will come to embrace the culture rather than allow it to remain 2-dimentional in a textbook. It is one thing to discuss health issues through published statistics; it is another to share my personal experiences and emotions interacting with lepers in the community in which I lived. Photographs of textiles in a textbook cannot even begin to match the same classroom experience as allowing students to adorn various cloth and costumes from a culture. In the end, these moments of sharing between students and instructor inspire them to engage in their own unique experiences which jettison them into a world of personal exploration. 

Techno Tool:  I enjoy using the Power-Point presentations created using photographs taken during my fieldwork as it transcends a product made from “Clip-art” into a statement of personal point-of-view.

Optimized Advice:  Break out of the academic sterility; do not be afraid to expose one’s own emotions and experiences in your given field to the students, as this is the real basis for genuine honesty in the classroom.