Teaching Difficult Topics
In the field of Humanities and Social Sciences, there are a multitude of ‘difficult topics,’ such as those related to colonialism, violence, genocide, disaster, systematic racism, queerphobia and misogyny, for example, which provide both learning challenges and opportunities in the university classroom.
These topics may be heavily debated in the academic literature but are also increasingly the subject of inaccurate or problematic social media representations, as well as historical revisionism, ethno-nationalism and conspiracy theories. With students and teachers progressively coming from diverse backgrounds, the tertiary classroom therefore has become a complex and dynamic one, demanding specific pedagogical skills from educators in the 21st century.
This seminar aims to share experiences, identify common issues and discuss appropriate pedagogical solutions to pertinent and enduring topics that can cause disruption, tension or discomfort in the classroom.
The focus is on Asian Studies, in its broadest sense and in relation to the non-Western ‘other.’ In addition, one of the workshop outcomes is the establishment of a network of concerned educators who can work together and provide mutual support.
Morning tea (seminar room)
10.30 - 10.45
Timothy O'Leary (HAL Head of School), Ayshe Eli & Sally McLaren
10.45 - 11.45
Ayshe Eli (UNSW):Privilege, ‘Heritage’, and Intersectionality in the Classroom
Jane Park (University of Sydney):Addressing Asianness in the (Post)Covid Classroom
James Paull (UNSW):Thickening the line: Teaching and Thinking Asia in the 21st century
Sohoon Yi (Korea University):Praxis Education Despite Conservatism and Backlash: Living Lab Project against Islamophobia in South Korea
11.45 - 12.15 Discussion
12.15 - 1.30 Lunch (seminar room)
1.30 - 2.30
Sally McLaren (UNSW):Dealing with dis/comfort: Teaching about gendered and racialised violence in modern Japanese history
Gregory Evon (UNSW):Trends of Anxiety
Vanessa Hearman (Curtin University):Working with diverse student cohorts in conflict and violence studies
2.30 - 3.00 Discussion
3.00 - 3.30 Afternoon Tea (seminar room)
3.30 - 4.30
Shawna Tang (University of Sydney):Liberal instincts and injury: teaching sexuality and gender studies in the classroom
Joyce Wu (UNSW):Human Rights or Cultural Rights? And what about Gender? Navigating through uncomfortable conversations from a cultural and societal studies lens
Lana Tatour (UNSW):Unlearning
Estella Carpi (University College London):Teaching humanitarianism in the Middle East: Self-Reflection as a Road to Radical Pedagogy
4.30 - 5.00 Discussion
5.00 - 5.15 Close
Sally McLaren & Ayshe Eli
6.00 Dinner at The Lounge, UNSW Kensington