Date of Award

Summer 2020

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Studies

First Advisor

Kara Brown


While there are burgeoning, and separate, lines of research about the shifting demographics of Latinx in the U.S South generally, as well a lack of diverse teacher representation nationally, there remains a dearth of research on how these two phenomenon intersect. This dissertation centers post-structural understandings of subjectivity and relational space with a qualitative social-spatial methodology to investigate how Latinx educators in South Carolina produce, affirm, reconstitute, refuse, and disrupt the social spatial relations that mark the boundaries of their subjectivities. I conducted interviews, photovoice, and (eco)maps with 25 Latinx K-12 educators in South Carolina to collect data and create narrative cartographies of Latinx educators which I used to demonstrate my findings.

The narrative cartographies worked to map the shifting, contingent, and fluid subjectivities and spaces of Latinx K-12 educators in South Carolina and illuminate a multiplicity of centers, a variety of entry points, to challenge practices that marginalize and exploit as well as highlight the ingenuity and creativity of educators’ own solutions to establish other spaces, other relations, other lines of flight to become otherwise, and to make possible the previously unthought. I argue that Latinx educators, even though naming their spaces as hostile, express concurrent in/exclusion, detailing multiplicity rather than dichotomy. Such relations of in/exclusion are (inter)dependent on the spaces, the sets of relations, Latinx educators find themselves in. Although I outline a number of subject positions, such as “professional,” “international teacher,” “Maestra,” “culturaambassador,” “role model,” and “unicorn” that Latinx educators (co)construct, (co)maintain, (co)legitimize, and (co)resist in South Carolina, most important is how such subjectivities are fluid, contingent, and locally negotiated. Latinx educator subjectivities are neither free from nor external to, but rather co-constitutive of knowledge/power discourse about both Latinx and educators that is used, internalized, refused and/or hailed by/within different sets of relations (spaces). Thus, it is vital to reject notions about both a static, timeless South, and a static, timeless Latinx teacher, to allow for more just spaces of becoming (the self). For Latinx educators and El Sur Latinx are more than containers for singular stories of temporality, bodies toward predestined being(s); but instead the products, the becomings, of countless relations, intra-actions, and meeting points.

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Education Commons