Nicole Horsley has a very interactive, student-centered classroom where she teaches topics including Introduction to African Diaspora Studies, Hip Hop Feminism, Black Superheroes and Black Cinema. She is thoughtful in how she builds a safe space for students, so that when they’re asked to write and deliver a poem or rap about love, or to participate in a group discussion about Black sexuality — often examining these topics in public for the first time — they not only feel comfortable, but thrive.
Horsley has had to rethink how to teach these topics and develop assignments given the shift to online instruction last spring. She immediately surveyed students to assess individual needs and adjusted the course — not only her approach to teaching, but the course material as well. Horsley’s Black Cinema students developed ethnographic projects based on how the pandemic altered their communities and homes; and in her Black Porn course, Horsley led discussions about how COVID-19 impacted safe sex and sex work/ers during the pandemic.