Life Writing

A Literary Métissage During A Global Pandemic


  • Nicholas Ng-A-Fook University of Ottawa
  • Carol M. Lee Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa
  • Catherine E. Deri University of Ottawa
  • Virginie Abat-Roy University of Ottawa
  • Johanne Barrette University of Ottawa
  • Aaron Sardinha Drake University of Ottawa
  • Nyein Mya University of Ottawa
  • Xiaoling Luo Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa



métissage, students, graduate students, pandemic


As COVID-19 mutates and as our response to the virus evolves, this Literary Métissage documents our early reactions to the pandemics as phases or strands. Strand I, Navigating A Global Stand Still At Viral Speed, highlights our shock and incredulity. Strand II, Mediated: Slow Going - Virtually Alone, speaks to our slow acceptance of the situation and our readiness to begin adapting to it. Strand III, Social Distancing: Reflections Toward A Way Forward, engages with a phase of deep reflection and thought about the negative and positive implications of COVID-19 on and for shaping the social conditions of the world we live in.

Author Biographies

Nicholas Ng-A-Fook, University of Ottawa

Dr. Nicholas Ng-A-Fook is a Full Professor and Vice-Dean of Graduate Studies. He is the former Director of the Teacher Education and Indigenous Teacher Education Programs at the Faculty of Education. Dr. Ng-A-Fook is currently part of several federally funded SSHRC partnership grants that seek to disrupt settler colonialism, systemic racisms, and inequities across the school and university curriculum. He is created the FooknConversation podcast to address these challenges with colleagues, community activists, artists, educational leaders, teachers, and politicians.

Carol M. Lee, Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa

Carol Lee is a PhD candidate in the Faculty of Education, at the University of Ottawa. Her Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) funded doctoral research looks at collaborative youth story-making as an instrument of reconciliation. She publishes regularly in Cultural and Pedagogical Inquiry, where she has also been a guest editor.

Catherine E. Deri, University of Ottawa

Catherine E. Deri is a doctoral candidate at University of Ottawa. She recently completed a career transition to the field of education, after serving 25 years as a military officer with the Canadian Armed Forces. Her research interests focus on challenges experienced by graduate students and strategies to facilitate their socialization to the profession of scholar.

Virginie Abat-Roy, University of Ottawa

Virginie Abat-Roy is a PhD candidate studying the experience of service dog users through the lens of accessibility. Her research interests are the inclusion/exclusion processes, innovative teaching methods, PhotoVoice, and disability studies. She is studying at the University of Ottawa under the supervision of Nathalie Bélanger, PhD. She is always accompanied by her Mira Foundation service dog.

Johanne Barrette, University of Ottawa

Johanne Barrette is a doctoral student in the Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa. As a published author of seven children's books, a cultural writer, and a teacher, she is interested in preschool education. Her research aims to reconceptualize of early childhood education. Johanne Barrette a été rédactrice dans le domaine culturel et a publié sept albums jeunesse avant de devenir enseignante. Travailler auprès des enfants du préscolaire l’a conduite à souhaiter contribuer à la reconceptualisation de l’éducation à la petite enfance; projet qu’elle poursuit dans son parcours doctoral.

Aaron Sardinha Drake, University of Ottawa

Aaron Sardinha Drake is a Canadian-Trinidadian MA student in the Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa studying antiracist curriculum. He is also a primary school educator. His background is in Dramatic Arts in Education and Social Justice Theatre. His current research focuses on antiracism in the Ottawa Carleton District School Board through the co-construction of a course titled Sankofa Centre of Excellence which focuses on the academic success and well-being of Black youth. Web Twitter

Nyein Mya, University of Ottawa

Nyein Mya is a MEd student in the Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa Her research interests are in second language teaching, language and identities, and citizenship. Her current research investigates how she can better address the educational needs of newcomer, immigrant, and refugee students here in Canada. Her professional background is in ESL, citizenship, and adult education.

Xiaoling Luo, Faculty of Education, University of Ottawa

Xiaoling Luo is currently a MA student in her second year in Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa under the supervision of Joel Westheimer. Her thesis research involves Chinese Canadian students in Ontario and pertains to their experiences of Canadian citizenship education.


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