Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

William E. Doll, Jr


Both utilizing and problematizing the notions of stranger, home, journey, and self through cross-cultural inquiry, gender analysis, psychoanalysis, and autobiography, this study attempts to draw a new picture of the human self and a new vision of curriculum. It draws upon the works of three great thinkers: Michel Foucault, a French philosopher; Confucius, an ancient Chinese sage; and Julia Kristeva, a French psychoanalyst. Traveling through a contradictory yet generative space provided by the Foucaultian subject, the Confucian self, and the Kristevian subject, this study intends to address the issues of differences, connections, and creativity in depicting a new landscape of the self to enrich curriculum as a complicated conversation. The creative, transgressive aspect of the Foucaultian subject and the relational, holistic aspect of the Confucian self are taken to the Kristevian notion of woman as a stranger who creates through differences and dynamic relationships. Traveling back and forth between China and the United States, as a woman in the academic field, my journey across the ocean and through different discourses has already put me in an unsettling position, in contradiction, and in a situation of "aporia." My own experiencing of ambiguity and paradox makes me less interested in building the bridge between and among contradictions than in embracing "aporia," in a journey of creating third spaces and new subjectivities. Such a journey enables me to understand curriculum as a continuous process of reaching out for other worlds and then returning to the self with new gifts of life.