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Embracing Emotion and Emotive Writing in the UBC Classroom: Benefits, Risks, and the Ways Forward

May 31, 2022 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm


This event is part of the CTLT Spring Institute, taking place from May 31–June 3, 2022. To view all events, visit https://institute.ctlt.ubc.ca/spring-institute/spring-institute-events/

During the pandemic, increased funding has been allocated and myriad initiatives spawned to improve the health and wellbeing of faculty and students alike. In the classroom, for example, we have observed a trend towards flexibility, accommodation and other general strategies. There has, however, been little work accomplished on how we might center emotion itself in our diverse classrooms and through our distinct field/disciplines to address students’ emotional wellbeing.

Although more accepted today, emotion in the classroom is still frequently stigmatized as contrary to principles of ‘objectivity’ and ’neutrality’ and its evocation in classrooms is seen as risky. While acknowledging risks, we and others argue that emotive expression is vital to upending inequitable academic conventions that benefit some groups, and disadvantage others as well as to reorienting our disciplines/fields away from their troubled origins to create more just and inclusive fields of study. Most importantly, we believe classroom emotionality interventions hold the potential to ameliorate students’ emotional wellbeing.

In this session, we will share research findings on this topic before facilitating an interactive discussion on emotion and emotive writing interventions in our diverse classrooms and fields.

– Pheroze Unwalla, Assistant Professor of Teaching, History/ Chair Middle East Studies