June 2018 

(Dis)Comfort Zones: Negotiating Tensions and Cultivating Belonging in Diverse College Classrooms in Quebec

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 to Thursday, May 18, 2017
09:00 to 16:00

Discomfort Zones: Negotiating Tensions and Cultivating Belonging in Diverse College Classrooms in Quebec

Zones d'inconfort et diversité: négocier les tensions et favoriser l'appartenance au cégep

17/5/2017 – 18/5/2017

(la version française suivra)


The Critical Diversity in Higher Education (CDHE) research team at Vanier cordially invites you to (Dis)Comfort Zones: Negotiating Tensions and Cultivating Belonging in College Classrooms in Quebec, a two-day conference exploring issues of diversity and inclusion in the Cégep system. The event takes place Wednesday, May 17 to Thursday, May 18, 2017 in the auditorium (A-103).

The primary objective of this conference—what we have termed a multi-vocal participatory workshop (MPW)—is to identify and exchange strategies for effectively managing the discomforts that inevitably emerge when individuals from diverse backgrounds encounter and interact with each other in the classroom. In the spirit of conversation, this event intertwines the voices of students, college educators, and experts on different forms of diversity and the “pedagogy of discomfort” in post-secondary educational institutions. Among the sessions offered are keynote presentations by the University of Toronto’s Dr. Megan Boler and the University of Minnesota’s Dr. Michael Goh; four panel discussions focusing on race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, culture and religion, and language; a presentation on disability and inclusivity; and a Playback Theatre performance.

This bilingual event, which is co-funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), aims not only to redefine the discussion around the topic of diversity and inclusion in higher education, but also to foster a more holistic perception of campus life and, ultimately, we hope, a greater sense of respect and belonging among all members of the Vanier community. With this in mind, we welcome not only faculty members, administrators, and professional staff to attend our conference, but also students, as they are the key stakeholders in this domain. 

To register, please visit http://www.vaniercollege.qc.ca/psi/discomfort-zones/discomfort-zones-conference-registration/. We kindly ask that you also disseminate this invitation to your students if you are a faculty member, as well as any other individuals you know outside of Vanier who would be interested in the topic of the conference.


Wednesday, May 17 / Mercredi, le 17 mai

9h00-9h30: Coffee & registration / Le café & l’inscription

9h30-9h45: Introduction

9h45-10h30: Guest speaker / Conférencière invitée Dr.e Megan Boler, University of Toronto / Université de Toronto

Embracing Uncertainty: Pedagogies of Discomfort and Identities of Belonging 

Embrasser l’incertitude: pédagogies d’inconfort et identités d’appartenance

10h30-11h00: Break / Pause

11h00-12h30: Panel / Table ronde: Language / La langue

Moderator/Modératrice: Katri Suhonen, Vanier College / Collège Vanier

Student Panelists / Étudiants Panelistes: Anna Symon, Abhijit Gupta

Valérie Amireault, Université du Québec à Montréal

Identity (re)definition in language teaching/learning  

La (re)définition identitaire en enseignement/apprentissage des langues

Philippe Gagné, Vanier College / Collège Vanier

Let’s dispel a “huge misconception” 

Dissipons un « énorme malentendu »

Eve Haque, York University / Université York

Pedagogical Considerations for the Linguistically Diverse Classroom  

Considérations pédagogiques pour une diversité linguistique en classe


12h30-13h30: Lunch / Déjeuner

13h30-14h15: Presentation / Présentation

Giuliana Cucinelli, Concordia University / Université Concordia

Including Disabilities in the Conversation

Intégrer les handicaps dans la conversation 

14h15-14h30: Break / Pause

14h30-16h00: Panel / Table ronde: Gender & Sexuality / Le genre & la sexualité

Moderator / Modérateur: Alan Wong, Vanier College / Collège Vanier

Student Panelists / Étudiantes Panelistes: Hannah Randolph, Brigitte Papadakis

Leila Bdeir, Vanier College / Collège Vanier

Teaching about Feminism and Anti-Racism: Can a Racialized Muslim Teacher Speak?

Enseignement du féminisme et de l’antiracisme: une enseignante musulmane racialisée peut-elle se prononcer?

Hélène Frohard-Dourlent, University of British Columbia / Université de Colombie-Britannique

Moving Beyond Accommodation: Lessons Learned from Educators Working with Trans and Gender-Nonconforming Students 

Au-delà de l’adaptation: Réflexion sur le travail des personnels éducatifs avec des élèves transgenres et non-conformes dans l’expression de genre

Lance McCready, University of Toronto / Université de Toronto

Where is the Love? How and Why Black Queer Bodies Provoke Masculine Anxiety in Urban Communities and Schools

Où se trouve l’amour? Comment et pourquoi les personnes allosexuelles de race noire suscitent-elles de l’anxiété chez la gent masculine dans les communautés et les écoles des centres urbains

Catherine Rouleau, Collège du Vieux Montréal

Pedagogy and gender diversity at a French CEGEP

La Pédagogie et la diversité de genre dans un cégep francophone

Thursday, May 18 / Jeudi, le 18 mai

9h00-9h30: Coffee & registration / Le café & l’inscription

9h30-10h15: Guest speaker / Conférencier invité 

Michael Goh, University of Minnesota / Université de Minnesota

Are we capable of civil discourse?: Making the case for cultural intelligence

Sommes-nous aptes à une conversation civile? : un plaidoyer pour une intelligence culturelle

10h15-10h30: Break / Pause

10h30-12h00: Panel / Table ronde: La culture & la religion

Moderator/Modératrice: Kim Matthews, Vanier College / Collège Vanier

Student Panelists / Étudiantes Panelistes: Farah Merad, Hannah Randolph

Paul R. Carr, Université du Québec en Outaouais

Political (Il)literacy and Living in a Society: Is there room for a Critically-Engaged Education for Democracy?

Alphabétisation politique et vie dans la société : une place pour une éducation qui s’engage de façon critique au nom de la démocratie?

M. Ayaz Naseem, Concordia University / Université Concordia

Economics of Religious Education in a Multicultural Society

Économie de l’éducation religieuse dans une société multiculturelle

Nicole Neverson, Ryerson University / Université Ryerson

Inhabiting Critical Spaces: Teaching and Learning from the Margins.
Occuper des espaces critiques: l’enseignement et l’apprentissage dans la marge

Jacky Vallée, Vanier College / Collège Vanier

Not at Odds: Teaching About Sexual Diversity in a Context of Religious Diversity
Sans désaccord: enseignement de la diversité sexuelle dans un contexte de diversité religieuse

12h00-13h00: Lunch / Déjeuner

13h00-14h30: Panel / Table ronde: Race & Ethnicity / La race & l’origine ethnique

Moderator/Modératrice: Marie-Sophia Grabowiecka, Vanier College / Collège Vanier

Student Panelists / Étudiantes Panelistes: Brigitte Papadakis, Farah Merad

Robyn Diner, Vanier College / Collége Vanier

Yo (White) Teacher Lady!: Diversity, Decentering, and Making Whiteness Strange

Yo, enseignante (blanche)!: diversité, décentrage et race blanche perçue comme étrange

Mme Bethany Or, Champlain College / Collége Champlain

Engaging with Diversity in the Classroom: A Reflection on the First Decade

S’engager à l’égard de la diversité en classe : une réflexion sur la première décennie

Gina Thésée, Université du Québec à Montréal

What is the nature of the sense of belonging where damaged citizenship is concerned? Exploring identity/alterity issues in racialization contexts

Quelle(s) appartenance(s) pour des citoyennetés blessées? Exploration d’enjeux d’identité/altérité en contextes de racialisation


14h30-14h45: Break / Pause

14h45-15h45: Debriefing / Intervention

The Living Histories Ensemble

Playback Theatre

Théâtre Playback

15h45-16h00: Closing / Clôture



We look forward to seeing you at Vanier!

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Vanier College Auditorium (A-103)

821 Avenue Sainte-Croix

Montreal, Quebec

H4L 3X9 

Alan Wong
514-744-7500, x7854