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Thesis defences

PhD Oral Exam - Jessica Bleuer, Individualized Program

Addressing Racial and Ethnic Microaggressions in Higher Education: Emotions and Sociopolitical Context Matter

Date & time
Monday, June 3, 2024
2 p.m. – 5 p.m.

This event is free


School of Graduate Studies


Nadeem Butt


Visual Arts Building
1395 René Lévesque W.
Room VA 212-2

Wheel chair accessible


When studying for a doctoral degree (PhD), candidates submit a thesis that provides a critical review of the current state of knowledge of the thesis subject as well as the student’s own contributions to the subject. The distinguishing criterion of doctoral graduate research is a significant and original contribution to knowledge.

Once accepted, the candidate presents the thesis orally. This oral exam is open to the public.


This research will present key findings from a Concordia University (Montreal, Quebec) arts-based action research study, that used Theatre of the Oppressed techniques to support educators in addressing racialized microaggressions in higher education classrooms. The research will highlight how Theatre of the Oppressed’s inherent capacity to attune to the body, the relational and the affective influenced the creation of a microaggression strategy roadmap, called the Pause-Reflect-Respond model that encourages students and educators to work through and learn from the emotional and psychophysiological activation caused by racialized microaggressions. The Pause-Reflect-Respond model employs a harm reduction approach that aims to highlight the nefarious effects of racialized microaggressions on successful learning and wellbeing, contextualize their sociopolitical consequences, protect the targets of racialized microaggressions as much as possible, and return the classroom to a place for more optimal learning. Pause-Reflect-Respond’s capacity to serve students and educators from diverse social locations will be critiqued and recommendations to increase the model’s applicability, relevance, and inclusiveness across racial and ethnic microaggression contexts will be shared.

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