From the distinct but interlinked disciplines of literary, writing and disability studies, Dr. Laila Ferreira conducts research and contributes to pedagogical initiatives that work towards creating the conditions for a fully inclusive scholarly community. Topics of interest include (but are not limited to) 18th and 19th century print culture, the role of gender and class in constructions of value, the development of consumer and popular culture, and the intersections of media and communications processes with human sensation, perception, and understanding. These interests have led to a range of research topics such as her dissertation on Romantic mediations of value in nineteenth-century gift books and annuals as well as a SoTL study on student experiences of low-socioeconomic status in the writing classroom. Dr. Ferreira is also involved in developing courses and campus-wide resources on inclusive teaching such as the principles of universal design for learning (UDL) and she participates in programs (E.g. Jump Start and Profs-in-Collegia) that strive to successfully transition students into the university community. Her goal is to empower students and instructors as collaborators in the scholarly processes necessary for knowledge production and social change. Dr. Ferreira is a lecturer in ASRW and teaches academic writing and research to both first and upper-level students in the Faculty of Arts and Vantage College.

Disability Studies

What are the definitions of a disabled body and mind? How were these definitions established and how have they impacted the ways in which we structure our society, from the design of our buildings and city streets to our education system and employment practices? In this class, we will grapple with these questions and more through the analysis of six scholarly articles on the topic of disability. More specifically, we will look at how each discipline’s methods of research and style of writing reflect their definitions of disability and the kinds of knowledge they produce on the topic.


Inclusive Design:

While universities such as UBC are building inclusion and accessibility into their strategic plans and policies, it is not always clear what this means for teaching and learning as well as research and writing practices across the different disciplines. This section of WRDS 150 will take as its focus the concept of inclusive (also known as universal) design to analyze what inclusive design is and what it looks like in the context of non-Arts disciplines such as Science, Engineering, Forestry, Math, Computer Science, and Commerce. Throughout the term, we will evaluate the scholarly research and writing practices of these fields through academic articles about the application (or not) of inclusive design. Students will have the opportunity to engage in original research that brings inclusive design principles to the research and writing practices as well as the expected professional competencies of their fields.