The Writer’s Center presents a FREE virtual chat about the craft of nonfiction! We’re joined by Dr. Pragya Agarwal to discuss her insightful new book, Hysterical: Exploding the Myth of Gendered Emotions. She is in conversation with Amy Freeman, author and Development Director at The Writer’s Center.
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Dr. Pragya Agarwal is a behavioural and data scientist. She has held a number of senior academic positions in US and UK Universities for over 15 years and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. As well as numerous research papers, she is the author of three widely acclaimed non-fiction books, Sway: Unravelling Unconscious Bias, Wish We Knew What to Say: Talking with Children about Race and (M)otherhood: On the choices of being a woman, and a book Standing Up To Racism for young children. Her journalistic writing has appeared in the Guardian, Prospect, Forbes, BBC Science Focus, Scientific American and New Scientist amongst others, and her essays have appeared in several literary magazines.
A passionate campaigner for racial and gender equity, Pragya has given keynote talks around the world. She is a two-time TEDx speaker, a TEDx Women organiser and the founder of a research think-tank The 50 Percent Project. Pragya has been awarded the Transmission Prize for making complex scientific ideas accessible and the Nesta Crucible award for scientific innovation. drpragyaagarwal.com
About the Book
An urgent exploration of how the gendering of emotions came about, and what we can do to change these damaging stereotypes.
Emotions can be difficult things to define, yet we all recognise them when we feel them or see them in others. How we interpret those emotions and act on them has been heavily gendered, as far back as Ancient Greek and Roman times and – despite the improvements in societal equality – continues to be today.
We’ve all heard the sayings that girls should be ‘sugar and spice and all things nice’, while ‘boys don’t cry’. In Hysterical, Pragya Agarwal dives deep into the history and science that has determined the gendering of emotions to ask whether there is any truth in the notion of innate differences between the male and female experience of emotions. She examines the impact this has on men and women – especially the role it has played in the subjugation of women throughout history – and how a future where emotions are ungendered might look.