Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

William F. Pinar


Although some of the most recent work in the field of multicultural education has acknowledged and begun to theorize about what has been called the new cultural politics of difference, problems concerning the very notions of marginality, boundaries, and their accompanying "essentialist" thought remain undertheorized. It is my intention to bring discussions about marginality and essentialism from literary theory, feminist psychoanalytic theory and poststructuralist philosophy more explicitly into the conversation about multicultural curriculum theorizing. In this study I have attempted to further develop this conversation around notions of "translation" as generated by philosophers Michel Serres (1982) and John Rajchmann (1991) as well as literary critics Alan Nadel (1988) and Henry Louis Gates (1987), and novelist and critic Wilson Harris (1983, 1989). These translations expose another kind of communication across difference--that is, across difference within (Johnson, B., 1980, 1987). I approached possibilities for this sort of communication through the interweaving of translation, autobiographical, and psychoanalytic theories. Such communication theorizing, I believe, remains insufficient without consideration of the powerful significance of place (Pinar, 1991). Through the literary, sometimes explicitly autobiographical, examples of both Black and White southern American authors as well as African-Caribbean authors (and, sometimes, myself), I have attempted to expose the ways in which encounters between are constitutive of and are constituted by place.