Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2018

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

First Advisor

Elizabeth Dutro

Second Advisor

Ben Kirshner

Third Advisor

Silvia Noguerón-Liu

Fourth Advisor

Seema Sohi

Fifth Advisor

Cinthya M. Saavedra

Abstract

This qualitative study focuses on the literacies produced, practiced, and embodied among Chicanx/Latinx youth in an im(migrant) housing community. Working at the intersections of Chicana feminisms, critical literacies, and Youth Participatory Action Research (YPAR), this dissertation explores spaces for re-imagining literacy pedagogies as feminista, participatory, and as a way to disrupt oppressive narratives and approaches to education that have deemed oppressed communities illiterate. The youth in this study cross and navigate borders, their families have been displaced by colonial projects, many of their lives have been criminalized, and their humanity called into question. Yet, this study responds to the urgent call within educational research to highlight the ways in which im(migrant) young people are producers and holders of knowledge, have agency, and above all, are human. The research questions guiding this study are, (1) how do the Chicanx/Latinx young people in this housing community engage with YPAR and Chicana feminist pedagogies as ways to disrupt dominant notions of knowledge production? And, (2) How does YPAR in community spaces inform the theory and praxis of Chicana feminist literacy pedagogies? The findings of this dissertation reveal that the literacies and knowledge of the young people in this study are etched on and within their bodies, shaped by their lived realties, and transcend generations and borders. Further, this study grapples with the implications for examining literacies in community spaces, de-centering school, and looking towards young people as collaborators in efforts to trouble and rupture colonial ideas of teaching and learning.

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