Curriculum Refractions Through a Pandemic Arc



Guest Editors:

Kathryn Ricketts, University of Regina

Robert Nellis, Red Deer Polytechnic


We begin this call for papers with a moment of mindfulness and recognition for those experiencing upheaval, illness or death due to COVID-19. Our thoughts, feelings and prayers go your way. Both our title and subsequent thoughts around this call for proposals are steeped in the metaphor of a prism. We are thinking of COVID as an elongated state providing a context that has created curriculum refractions and, consequently, unexpected challenges and pedagogic possibilities.


In other times, 2021 would have been the year of the Provoking Curriculum Studies  conference, a biannual event supported by the Canadian Association for Curriculum Studies (CACS). This event of Canadian locality, and global breadth and scope, has become an important site for conversations and dialogues that influence, inform, whisper in the ear, and attendantly shape futures of curriculum studies. Work often draws from Canada’s rich traditions of narrative inquiry, poetic inquiry and life writing, among other methodologies and artful modalities. Emerging in resistance to that curious 21st-century academic verb “conferencing”, this conference breathes deeply of its opportunities to disrupt, entangle and become lost, in inspiring and inspiriting ways. Provoking Curriculum Studies has held dearly to possibilities for moving forward beyond received traditions of static conference presentations and has endeavoured to facilitate lateral exchanges in a spirit of dynamic dialogue and creatively productive conversation.


These pandemic times call us to fondly recall our last Provoking Curriculum Studies conference hosted at the University of Regina in 2019. This gathering embraced several themes: performative scholarship; pedagogue as activist; learning through and with disenfranchised persons/communities; embodied learning; and innovative technologies. These pandemic times also call us to look forward. And although the beckoning may be open-ended, our responses are particular and specific—unique to each of us in our lived situations and experiences of them. We propose a welcoming space to consider the tentativeness wrought by our pandemical time in the context of our scholarly and teacherly lives and work, to reflect upon this time from our varying positions—as practising K-12 teachers, graduate students, members of the precariat (another 21st-century academic neologism), emerging or established scholars, or senior practitioners and leaders in the field.



This special issue of JCACS arises from this moment of invitation to traverse past, present and future possibilities and practices in light of the pandemic arc. Do you find yourself to be the same person in the academy now as pre-COVID? Do you anticipate returning to previous practices and modalities? How have you changed in these fluid contexts? Are you inhabiting new shapes of the quotidian to meet healthy sustainability? How might you feel called to accept the long view and the implied implication that we are no longer in a sphere of mitigation, but, rather, adaptation and evolution?


In a spirit of provoking curriculum, we invite proposals in the form of 250-word abstracts outlining responses to these questions and considerations regarding your pedagogic/research practices and positions in light of COVID-19—and projecting hopefully towards better worlds and futures.


Please submit your proposals on the JCACS’ website at under the “COVID” section. Please complete all sections of the membership data, including a 50-word biography. While JCACS has its own style guide, for the submission, please follow APA-7 conventions, and as JCACS is an online journal, please use a sans-serif font, such as Arial or Calibri 12-point.


Timeline and Key Dates:

  • Proposal submission deadline: February 1, 2022
  • Proposal responses: March 1, 2022
  • Deadline for full article: April 25, 2022
  • Responses from full article peer review: June 1, 2022
  • Anticipated publication date: December 2022