Fall 2018 - FASS 101W D005

STT - FASSFirst Special Topics Seminar (3)

Radical Acceptance: How to Navigate a Complex W

Class Number: 9753

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu, Th 2:30 PM – 4:20 PM
    AQ 5035, Burnaby



Students choose one of 10 FASSFirst Special Topics seminars open only to first-year FASS students by invitation from the Dean’s Office. Top ranked professors from across the Faculty work with students to discover the surprising, profound and interdisciplinary reach of the arts and social sciences. Students will learn to draw connections between values, ideas and evidence while developing core academic skills, from reading to research, writing and dialogue. Students with credit for FASS 101 may not take this course for further credit. Writing.


At the end of every episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race, host RuPaul says, “If you can’t love yourself honey, how you gonna love somebody else?” Self-love begins with self-acceptance, something that, as a queer black man, RuPaul knows does not come easy. This course explores what radical acceptance means, examines how others are applying it in their daily lives, and provides us with an opportunity to test it out in our own life.  

I am Professor Elise Chenier, the course instructor. I’ve been teaching at SFU since 2004, and every term I look forward to seeing how far we can travel in thirteen weeks’ time. I strive to create a supportive learning environment so that we can all relax and enjoy the process of learning and changing together. My email is echenier@sfu.ca. You are invited to AQ 6222 during the term in on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:30-12:30 to chat about the course. This class meets Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2:30-4:20 in AQ 5035.  

This course facilitates the exploration and direct application of radical acceptance principles, as well as the development of writing skills. It requires active engagement on multiple levels: with ourselves, with each other, and with assigned materials (which includes podcasts, videos, and music, as well as texts).


  • Weekly Journal and Auto-ethnography 30%
  • Documentary Film Review, first draft 15%
  • Documentary Film Review, second draft 15%
  • Field Notes, Journal Making 10%
  • Field Notes, Boing-Boing 15%
  • Field Notes, Mountain Walk 15%



Required Books:
Each week we will read one chapter of Tara Brach’s Radical Acceptance: Embracing your Life with the Heart of a Buddha (New York: Random House, 2003).

You must purchase a copy of the book; it is available in the SFU Bookstore. All other assigned “readings are free and available via the course web page.

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://students.sfu.ca/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html