Curriculum Vitae (PDF)


"Education either functions as an instrument which is used to facilitate integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity or it becomes the practice of freedom, the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world."

- Paulo Freire

"Until I am free to write bilingually and to switch codes without having always to translate, while I still have to speak English or Spanish when I would rather speak Spanglish, and as long as I have to accommodate the English speakers rather than having them accommodate me, my tongue will be illegitimate. I will no longer be made to feel ashamed of existing. I will have my voice: Indian, Spanish, white... I will overcome the tradition of silence."

- Gloria E. Anzaldúa


Cervantes-Soon’s scholarship contributes to U.S. and international perspectives of social and educational contexts, as well as to understandings of transnational processes that examine the degree to which educational institutions are able to fulfill their potential in reducing inequality, promoting social justice, and resulting in greater humanization.

Important themes of her scholarly work are the development of identities and voice among marginalized youth, and the potential for agency in educational settings. Specifically, Cervantes-Soon’s research focuses on two, often overlapping, populations: 1) subaltern Latina/Mexican women and girls and 2) transnational learners with special interest in Latin@s in culturally and linguistically complex settings. She draws on ethnographic approaches to examining the ways in which contemporary global processes affect the cultural production of schools, as well as the local, intimate and daily lives of subaltern women and youth, their pursuits and constructions of education, and the ways in which they engage their agency. Her most recent research includes an ethnographic analysis of critical education for subaltern young women in the city of Juarez, Mexico, and ethnographic explorations of efforts and struggles to incorporate equity goals and bilingual education initiatives for transnational students of the new Latin@ diaspora into an increasingly neoliberal educational context.

Educational Background

  • Ph.D. 2011 - University of Texas at Austin, Curriculum and Instruction: Cultural Studies in Education
  • M.Ed. 2004 – University of Texas at El Paso, Instructional Specialist: Bilingual Education
  • B.I.S. 1997 – University of Texas at El Paso, Bilingual Education

Research Interests

  • Anthropology of education
  • Latina/Chicana/Mexicana and transnational feminist theory
  • Critical pedagogy
  • Bilingual/Dual Language and ESL Education
  • Education in the new Latin@ diaspora

Teaching Areas

  • Cultural Studies and Literacies
  • Master of Education for Experienced Teachers


  • EDUC 913: Language, Identity and Power
  • EDUC 776: Gender, Race and Class Issues in Education

Honors & Awards

  • 2010-11, American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education Graduate Fellowship
  • 2010-11, University of Texas Women’s and Gender Studies Dissertation Fellowship
  • 2010-11, University of Texas Graduate School Dissertation Fellowship
  • 2010-11, American Association of University Women Dissertation Fellowship Finalist
  • 2010-11, Spencer Dissertation Fellowship Finalist
  • 2007-11, Alexander Caswell Ellis Fellowship in Education
  • 2008-10, E.D. Farmer International Fellowship
  • 2007-08, Lee Hage and Joseph D. Jamail Endowed Scholarship in Education
  • 2003-04, Cultivating Bilingual Teachers and Leaders Grant
  • 1995-97, Partnerships for Excellence in Teacher Education Fellowship
  • 1995-97, Southwestern Bell Scholarship for Bilingual Educators of Math and Science

Selected Professional Affiliations

  • American Educational Research Association
  • American Educational Studies Association
  • Comparative and International Education Society
  • American Anthropological Association

Selected Publications

Cervantes-Soon, C. G. (forthcoming) The U.S.-Mexico Border-crossing Chicana Researcher: Theory in the Flesh and the Politics of Identity in Critical Ethnography. Journal of Latino-Latin American Studies.

Cervantes-Soon, C. G (forthcoming). Mujeres truchas: Urban girls redefining intelligence in a dystopic Global South. Race Ethnicity and Education.

Cervantes-Soon, C. G. (2014). A Critical Look at Dual Language Immersion in the New Latin@ Diaspora. Bilingual Research Journal, 37(1), 64-82.

Cervantes-Soon, C. G.(2012). Testimonios of Life and Learning in the Borderlands: Subaltern Juarez Girls Speak. Equity and Excellence in Education, 45(3), 373-391.

Cervantes-Soon, C. G. & Valenzuela, A. (2010). Subtractive Legislative Policy: The Plight of Bilingual Language Learners. Chapter prepared for B. Bustos Flores, R. Hernandez Sheets, and E. Riojas Clark (Eds.), Educar para Transformar: Teacher Preparation for Bilingual Student Populations, pp. 191-204. New York: Routledge.

Soto, L.D., Cervantes-Soon, C. G., Villarreal-Perales, E. & Campos, E. (2009). The Xicana sacred space: A communal circle of compromiso for educational researchers. Harvard Educational Review. 79 (5), 755-776.

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