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Emotion regulation” refers to acts performed with the goal of modifying an emotion. In this presentation, we will explore the role that emotion regulation plays in sustaining racial injustice. In some cases, emotion regulation can cause individuals to experience emotions ill-suited for motivating antiracism. In other cases, individuals experience emotions that are well-suited for motivating antiracism, but they undergo emotion regulation that counteracts these feelings. In both cases, emotion regulation techniques are imposed to minimize levels of motivation for antiracist praxis. With this in mind, I propose that emotion regulation can and must be repurposed for antiracist ends. To conclude, I make some preliminary suggestions about what this repurposing might look like.
Nabina Liebow is a lecturer at American University in the department of Philosophy and Religion and she directs the College of the Arts and Sciences Leadership and Ethical Development Program. Her current research is focused on Critical Philosophy of Whiteness, Practical Ethics, and Moral Psychology. She is passionate about making philosophy accessible and exciting to students from all backgrounds.