Seminar: Professor Michael Orsini

Institute of Feminist and Gender Studies | School of Political Studies (University of Ottawa)

Friday 6 March — 12.30-2.30pm
Pat Hanan Room (207-501)

This presentation focuses on some of the contentious policy narratives that circulate around fatness and ‘obesity’, and explores how these are structured by intersections of race, class, disability, and gender. Drawing on interviews with researchers, policy makers and people living with ‘obesity’ or who self-identify as fat, I am interested in how different orderings of emotions – or “feeling rules” — help us to think about the ways in which emotions and affects are discursively managed in complex (and emotionally charged) policy environments. Moving beyond conventional approaches to policy analysis that privilege rationalist forms of inquiry, I ask how processes of meaning-making are influenced by the ways in which certain emotions are deployed in contexts where the policy interventions themselves involve stigmatized populations about whom particular emotions might be attached.

Michael Orsini


Michael Orsini is Professor in the Institute of Feminist and Gender Studies and the School of Political Studies at the University of Ottawa, and currently a Visiting Scholar in the School of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Queensland. He is currently completing a funded study on the role of emotions and stigma in a range of contested policy fields. Orsini is interested in critical approaches to policy and politics, and approaches that highlight the role of expertise and evidence mobilized by marginalized communities. He is co-editor, most recently, of Seeing Red: HIV/AIDS and Public Policy in Canada (University of Toronto Press, 2018), and Mobilizing Metaphor: Art, Culture and Disability Activism in Canada (UBC Press, 2016).

Brought to you by the Agencies of Kindness Research Hub and the Public Policy Institute

Print Friendly, PDF & Email