Teaching Philosophy

Anthropology asks students to take their roles as citizens seriously, and it offers them the tools of analysis for understanding the historical, political, economic, and social developments that are shaping our world.  For my part, I want to encourage students to prepare themselves for this changing world by questioning received knowledge, remaining open to new ideas, and using the concepts of anthropology to connect their personal life trajectories to the responsibilities of the public sphere.  Teaching anthropology allows me to offer students new perspectives on themselves and the world.

As a teacher of anthropology, I am committed to helping students recognize and confront social injustices in their own communities and the world.  To these ends, I particularly want to provide my students with the theoretical tools to undertake anthropological analysis and to encourage them to think critically and develop strong reading and writing skills.  Motivating students to use these skills beyond the academy as they read newspapers, interact with people from diverse backgrounds, and think about their life choices constitutes one of my main pedagogical foundations.  I hope that taking my courses will help students become better citizens of their communities, their countries, and the world by fostering an awareness and appreciation of the multiple cultural practices and worldviews they will encounter.

Please see the "Courses" page for descriptions of my classes and to download syllabi.

Teaching Profiles

“‘Faculty Profile: Catching up with Sarah Phillips.” REEIfication: News from Indiana University's Russian and East European Institute 37(2). Spring 2013.

“‘Shapes in the Wax’: New Video Documents Folk Healing.” Instructional Support Services Newsletter 14(2). April 2004.

“‘Learning from Disaster’: Anthropologist Sarah Phillips uses the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl as a case study to introduce students to the intricacies of anthropological analysis.” IUB Homepages Profile. 14 October 2005.

Teaching Publications

“Reflections on Teaching Anthropology through the Case Study.” Anthropology of East Europe Review 24(1).