The Maple League's Winter 2023 Better Together season is coming to an end, and so far we've welcomed over 1100 registrants to our sessions. We are wrapping up this season with an exciting session that I'm happy to get to invite you to: Pandemic Spectres in the Classroom featuring StFX's Dr. Rachel Hurst. 

On behalf of the Maple League Teaching and Learning Committee, I'll express my hope that you'll join us, and my gratitude to everyone who took part to show how we truly can be Better Together. 

Profile picture of Dr. Rachel Hurst

When: Wednesday, April 19th at 11am (EDT)/ Noon (ADT). 

Where: Live on Zoom – register with

About the Session: Outside of the classroom, many students and educators confront relational, economic, and mental precarity and the reality of COVID-19 as “the greatest mass disabling event in human history,” in the words of Long COVID patient and activist Charlie McCone.  Students and educators work in institutions pursuing “a return to normal,” as though “normal” was shared and desired, not despised (Brand, 2020)*.  In this session, I’ll offer some thoughts about what I’ve learned from the courageous ways I’ve seen students and colleagues refuse the violence of “normal,” and how understanding learning as an experience of loss and loneliness offers an interpretive framework for thinking with the pandemic spectres haunting the classroom.

About the Presenter: Rachel Alpha Johnston Hurst is Professor of Women's and Gender Studies at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. Her research is concerned with the relationships between power, embodiment, and (visual) culture, from the perspectives of psychoanalysis and decolonial thought. She is author of Surface Imaginations: Cosmetic Surgery, Photography, and Skin (MQUP, 2015), editor of Representing Abortion (Routledge, 2021), and co-editor of Skin, Culture, and Psychoanalysis (Palgrave, 2013) as well as a special section of Atlantis (41.1). Her most recent essays have been published in History of Photography, Feminist Studies, Configurations, and Body & Society.

If you have any thoughts or questions, please contact Neil Silcox, the Maple League's Faculty Excellence Developer at @email

*Dionne Brand, “On narrative, reckoning and the calculus of living and dying,” The Toronto Star, July 4, 2020. Available at: