Call for Papers: Reflections: The University of Waterloo, 2020-2024


The University of Waterloo communities (students, staff, faculty, and alumni) experienced numerous local and global events between the years 2020 and 2024. Some, including the Global COVID-19 pandemic at the outset of 2020, were macro-level phenomena with micro-level impacts. Others, including the unfortunate stabbings in Hagey Hall in 2023, were micro-level traumatic experiences within macro-level manifestations of oppressive and normalized heteronormative violence. The University of Waterloo communities have seemingly ‘lurched’ from one tragedy to another, without having the possibility to breathe and unpack their experiences. Moreover, during this period, the ability for educators to guide students to critically examine these ways of being (ontologies) through sound research and scholarship, was severely limited by the North American ideological and legislative demonization of theoretical frameworks such as Critical Race Theory.

One key step in moving forward as a collection of ‘One Waterloo’ communities, is the ability to share experiences of violence grounded and guided by autoethnographic writing. Irma McClaurin (1999) defines auto-ethnography as a form of research that allows authors to rely on their knowledge to “assemble a portrait that is a combination of personal memories (biographical) and general cultural descriptions (ethnography).”[1] This Call for Papers, from UW communities, seeks personal memories, contextualized by cultural descriptions, from the years 2020-2024. Ultimately, this volume will become a toolkit for how UW can create ‘made-in-house’ solutions on how we can move beyond tolerance to truly create an allophilic ‘One Waterloo.’ In 2005, Harvard Professor Todd L. Pittinsky created the concept of “allophilia,” arguing that “the necessary approach is not to replace prejudice with the neutral stance of tolerance. Something critical lies beyond the reduction of prejudice and the promotion of tolerance: positive intergroup attitudes, allophilia” (Pittinsky, 2005).[2] This CFP seeks to hear from the voices of the subaltern (the unheard, the silenced).

Possible Themes

The Global COVID-19 Pandemic

  • Where we were you in March 2020?
  • Sinophobia and UW
  • Not getting what you paid for: learning, teaching, or working from home
  • The fear, or reality, of getting sick
  • Losing a loved one
  • Isolation
  • Vaccines, mask mandates, and back to campus

The Negro-Apocalypse[3]

  • George Floyd: what did he mean to UW?
  • Anti-Black racism: did (does?) it exist in our communities
  • White supremacy and UW
  • Protest in a pandemic
  • Change and continuity: cluster hires and performative change
  • Unapologetic Blackness on campus


  • Freedom of Expression vs Academic Freedom: what does it mean in reality?
  • The IHRA and UW
  • Antisemitism, anti-Palestinian racism, and divestment: what is it on campus?
  • The ‘look’ and impact of student protests in the 2020s
  • ‘Allyship’ at UW: is it a thing?
  • The failures of EDI-R

Gendered Violence

  • Hagey Hall: who is safe on campus?
  • Pronouns and the university
  • Secularization on a religious campus: competing rights
  • The power of heteronormative masculinity on Ring Road
  • Why do we fly the flag?

The Politics of Sport

  • Tre Ford and the politics of race and sport in Canada
  • Conflicting narratives: the rise (women’s) and fall (men’s) of hockey across UW and North America
  • Cricket and the curious case of international students in KW
  • (Track) athletes of the year and the ‘inclusion’ of trans athletes


  • AI and UW
  • ChatGPT and the classroom
  • Teams: the tie that binds us (to work 24/7)
  • Research in the age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution
  • Social media and knowledge dissemination and acquisition
  • Abstracts
    • Abstract submissions (250 words) will begin December 1, 2024 (more details to come)
  • Autoethnographic pieces (grounded in applicable with-in or with-out ‘traditional’ academic frameworks) of 2,000 to 3,000 words.
  • Tentatively scheduled ‘gathering of the minds’ (a conference, but not really) in late 2025




[3] Taylor, C.S. (2024), "Cause for change: lessons for Black liberation", Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Vol. 43 No. 2, pp. 230-242.