Term of Award

Summer 2018

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Curriculum Studies (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading

Committee Chair

Ming Fang He

Committee Member 1

Julie Garlen

Committee Member 2

John Weaver

Committee Member 3

Sonia Janis

Committee Member 3 Email



This dissertation explores four major themes in my life: childhood, body image, relationships, and teaching. Using memoir to theorize my life experiences, I examine issues of femininity, agency, oppression of women voices and spirits in the South, place, patriarchy, and gender norms that contribute to social, cultural, and political issues. To theorize my experience I build upon a wide array of Critical Feminist Work, such as: Living a Feminist Life (Ahmed, 2017), Gender Trouble, Giving an Account of Oneself (Butler, 1990, 2005), The Second Sex (De Beauvoir, 1987), Existential Encounters for Teachers (Greene, 1967), Feminism is for Everybody (hooks, 2015), and Sounds of Silence Breaking (Miller, 2004). These theorists contribute to my understanding of Critical Feminist Theory as they illustrate the beliefs and passions their work. Memoir allows me to invent the truth through fictionalizing. To compose my memoir I particularly refer to the works of Didion (2005), Karr (1995), Smith (1994), and Welty (1984). I also delve into the literatures espousing the idea of place as curriculum is affirmed in the works of Casemore (2008), Kincheloe and Pinar (1991), and Whitlock (2007). Currere, or lived experiences as curriculum, validates memoir as methodology in the work of Morris (2015). The challenges I have faced writing memoir are emotional and psychological. As I reached back toward the past, my present was overcome with old pain made fresh by memory work. Writing academically about my personal experiences has also been challenging, since I am usually less emotionally connected to the content of academic writing. I have also struggled with personal issues during the dissertation process, which, at times, threatened my ability to focus and produce work at my critical best. To complete the dissertation will be a miracle achievement in lieu of the life that it has been encapsulated within. My hope is that through the self-doubt, immobilizing fear of meeting expectations, and life-consuming demands that I become a deeper thinking, less insecure, more fulfilled person with heightened awareness.

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Research Data and Supplementary Material