Author ORCID Identifier

Date of Award

Fall 1-5-2024

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Middle and Secondary Education

First Advisor

Gertrude Tinker Sachs, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Peggy Albers, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Nadia Behizadeh, Ph.D.

Fourth Advisor

Jennifer Wolgemuth, Ph.D.


There are two purposes of this study. The first purpose is to explore what possibilities could emerge when emotions and queerness are co-constituted in teaching and research, especially in interdisciplinary fields (i.e., Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, critical queer studies, affect studies, and research methodologies). The second purpose is to trace queerness and emotions methodologically-theoretically. Two research questions in this study are: What were the possibilities in terms of theory, teaching, and research that queerness and emotions produced through the intra-active conversational process between four queer English teachers of color and Ethan-researcher? and How were queerness and emotions traced methodologically? By whom or what?

By drawing from Chicana feminism (Anzaldúa, 2015), new materialism (Barad, 2007), and Vietnamese Buddhism (Thich, 1999), and using diffractive methodology (Barad, 2007), the concepts of an atomic emotion and the spiritual third eye were born to address the research questions. An atomic emotion consists of elements of emotions that emerged from the conversations. The movement and differential becoming and reconfiguring of these elements are always held together, co-existing relationally, intra-acting, and transforming constantly in every second. There is nothing permanent in an atomic emotion. There is nothing permanent in its form. Elements of emotions in an atomic emotion motion, transform, and intra-act impermanently. The concept of atomic emotions is important in this study to deconstruct predetermination, challenge fixity, question colonial knowledge, rethink assumptions and biases toward Others, and redirect readers to look into the inseparable relationship of human, non-human, and more-than-human through discursive practices. This study concludes by offering the pedagogy of response-ability and future directions to construct a queer utopia of emotions with students, teachers, families, and policy makers in interdisciplinary fields across the world.


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