I aim to teach students how people produce history in specific material, ideological, and practical circumstances. Students can struggle with the complexity of the historical process, but giving them a sense of the contingency of the past, present, and future is an exciting way of engaging them in producing their own historical analysis. I design assignments that transform the classroom into a lab for studying how these processes shape the sources we use and the stories we tell. Learning by doing, my students use technology to understand and communicate history while extending their sense of audience beyond the instructor to their peers and a broader public.
My recent classes include:
I have taught sixteen sections of six different courses at two institutions, giving me a broad experience in teaching research-focused digital humanities seminars as well as courses on the history of sport, technology, and the Americas.
I have consistently received positive teaching evaluations that cite my passion for the subject matter, mentorship in reading and writing, and involvement in students’ overall growth and learning.
Student evaluations for HST 250: History of the Digital Age
“The intellectual content is phenomenal–I have learned a great deal of information about historical facts and elements surrounding the world of digital arts and technology. The lectures, assigned readings, writing assignments, and final research paper was appropriate for the intensity of the history-based course. Instructor seemed enthusiastic about teaching the material via pre-recorded videos.”
Student evaluations for IAH 203: Latin America and the World
“My TA, Alex Galarza, has been the best TA I’ve had at MSU. He was very interested in his students performance, was caring, and had a great way to spark up discussion and get his students to think more in depth about the course’s contents. He genuinely cared about the class.”
“I loved having Alex as a TA. He was very knowledgeable and he was always fair. I felt comfortable approaching him with any questions that I had and I knew he would help.
“I would highly recommend Alex Galarza for an excellence award. He really helped me understand all the concepts and ideas presented in lecture. You could tell he was really knowledgeable on the topics and cared about our understanding. He did a great job motivating the class to discuss the lectures and readings. I wouldn’t have enjoyed or learned as much as I did if I didn’t have Alex as my TA.”
“My graduate teaching instructor put many hours outside the classroom editing our essays and giving us feedback.”
“Alex approached the material in a very deliberate manner trying to make the class pull out the main points of an article but with specific main points already ready if the class failed to comprehend the significance of a reading. He never let us stray into the weeds of a discussion and was very efficient in keeping us on task. However, by letting us begin the discussion he could gauge where the class was having problems with the readings and how he could better emphasize some points that we weren’t getting as well as we should have. By not starting off the discussion himself he never wasted time going over things we already knew. Class always finished on time without missing anything we needed to talk about. He also linked his analyses very well making his arguments easy to follow.”
“Alex was extremely helpful and genuinely cared about our progress in this course. Always available for help and guidance, definitely one of the best TA’s I’ve ever had.”
“I think the way that Alex organized sections was really great. I liked how he had a start out with small group work for the first part of the semester and then later once we were more comfortable with eachother did class-wide discussions. Alex most definitely helped me become a better writer, and the sections we had preparing us for our papers were very helpful.”
“I would nominate both Ed Murphy and Alex Galarza for a Teaching Excellence Award. Both are clearly very interested in the subject of Latin America and presented the material with enthusiasm. It’s clear they have a passion for the subject and made both the lecture and section interesting to learn, read and write about. The use of music, photographs, paintings and movies helped to understand the true nature of the culture we were studying as well as providing a visual idea of what the countries, people and cultures looked like. I would gladly take another class taught by either and have considered taking the class discussed by Alex for the summer semester. I came away from the class feeling knowledgeable about a subject I previously had not known about. It was an excellent class, made so by both the Instructor and the T.A.”