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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Arts
October 28, 2016
Canadian Excellence

Dr. Gavin Brockett

About the Associate Dean: Student Affairs and Learning

Dr. Brockett is a graduate of the University of Victoria, Simon Fraser University and the University of Chicago. 

Prior to arriving at Laurier in 2005, I taught at the University of Northern British Columbia.  Currently I teach in the departments of History and Religion & Culture, as well as the Muslim Studies Option.

I serve as a Laurier Teaching Fellow (2014); a member of the Core SIVC Team; Global Engagement Liaison for Laurier International; and as a member of the ICT Teaching and Learning Steering Committee.  I work closely with and advise students who lead Laurier’s International Students Overcoming War initiative.

In recent years my teaching has increasingly incorporated methods related to active learning and experiential learning.  My commitment is to drawing on my expertise as a scholar of the Middle East and Islam to develop effective environments in which students of all kinds can excel at learning.  My hope is to inspire students to engage and learn about people in parts of the world – in particular about Muslims and the Middle East – that seem very foreign to young Canadians today.  The challenge is to ignite an interest in and empathy for other peoples and cultures such that students desire to engage contemporary politics and lived experiences in a productive manner that is grounded in critical analysis and an appreciation of historical context.

My current research concentrates on two very different subjects.  I am actively engaged in research related to developing effective methods to teach in a globally connected, active learning classroom.  This research draws on Muslim Studies courses that I currently teach in conjunction with both Laurier and Istanbul Şehir University.  At the same time I study “International Islam” as a global phenomenon after 1945, particularly as articulated by the World Muslim Congress.  At a time normally associated with secular nationalism and decolonization, the World Muslim Congress worked to cultivate a shared Muslim identity within the nation-state framework.  This produced an expression of Muslim unity distinct from both early Pan-Islam and the Islamism with which we are more familiar today.  In light of the prominence of various expressions of Islamism in recent years it is imperative that we consider the nature of International Islam, its capacity to reflect the priorities of people in countries throughout the world and the framework it offers Muslims trying to negotiate modernity and globalization in the twenty-first century.  I am currently exploring these themes as they have been manifest in Turkey, Pakistan and Egypt.

My responsibilities as Associate Dean of Arts: Student Affairs and Learning include:

• Providing assistance to students, parents, faculty and staff on all matters related to undergraduate students
• Collaborating with faculty to cultivate effective environments within which effective teaching and learning can occur
• Mentoring students to assure their success while at Laurier
• Evaluating student petitions for relief from academic regulations and chairing the Petitions Committee
• Addressing issues of academic misconduct
• Assisting students who are struggling with physical or psychological concerns, or who have experienced personal crisis such as the death of an immediate  family member
• Providing leadership to Faculty of Arts initiatives related to the First Year Experience
• Overseeing both the Laurier Arts Scholars and Strategies for Academic Success programs

Dr. Brockett can be reached at or at extension 3774.  He can be found either in the Dean of Arts Office on the 5th floor of the DAWB or in his History Department office in DAWB 4-144.