Dr. Frances Garrett

Professional Biography

Dr. Frances Garrett is an Associate Professor of Buddhist Studies and Tibetan Studies in the Department for the Study of Religion at the University of Toronto, where she has taught since 2003. From 2016-2021, she was Inaugural Director of the Robert H.N. Ho Family Foundation Centre for Buddhist Studies at the University of Toronto. Before that, she was the Associate Chair of the Department for the Study of Religion (2010-2017). She is currently Director of the popular Buddhism, Psychology and Mental Health program at New College, University of Toronto.

Dr. Garrett grew up in Oregon and studied at Columbia University and the University of Virginia. She lived and studied for many years in various parts of India, Tibet, and China. She is a certified Wilderness First Responder and has completed a Paddle Canada Level 2 sea kayak certification course (twice!) as well as certification from the Norges Padleforbund in Norway. In recent years she’s enjoyed climbing ice, winter surfing, and Brazilian Zouk.

Learn more at https://francesgarrett.info/.

Learn More

In “Embodied learning: how to bring movement into the classroom, and why it matters,” a November 2021 article in THE Campus, part Times Higher Education, Susan Hrach offers practical advice on using physical activity and outdoor space to enhance learning.

Take your online teaching outside” is a 2020 THE Campus article by Aimée Little on how being outdoors can offer both students and teachers dozens of benefits, from improved learning outcomes to better mental health.

Understanding Suffering from Cross-Cultural Perspectives

Dr Garrett talks about what we can learn from medical anthropology about our understanding of suffering and illness. Taking the work of Professor Arthur Kleinman as an example, she describes how cross-cultural analysis can reveal some of the peculiarities of biomedical theory and practice, and how this may affect our own experiences of health and disease.

Three Easy Breathing Practices

Dr Garrett describes three easy breathing patterns that can calm the nervous system.

Designing Classrooms for Inclusion and Care

Dr. Garrett speaks about her experiences designing classroom experiences to prioritize inclusion and care for all students, especially in the age of a pandemic.

a Course Assignment on “Flourishing”

Dr. Garrett speaks to students about a course assignment on “flourishing” or “self-care” will be conducted across the semester. This video is offered here as an example of how such an assignment could be framed for students, for other instructors interested in using Windvane resources in the classroom.

Step Forward, Buddhist Studies: Speaking to Graduate Students and Others

Dr. Garrett discusses academic culture with comments on how to recognize and report harmful behaviors and how faculty members or course instructors can offer positive mentorship and support for students. This video is part of a widely viewed Complaint Collective series on power and abuse in academic culture.