Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in English and Writing Studies



First Reader/Committee Chair

Rowan, Karen


Critical pedagogy is a teaching philosophy that guides students to question dominant discourses and the status quo, encouraging them to reflect on the part they play in these discourses. Since critical pedagogy deals with critical consciousness and sociopolitical topics, teachers who engage in this teaching philosophy are expected to exert some power in the classroom in order for students to get to that place of critical consciousness or personal growth. However, when female-identifying teachers use their power to embody critical pedagogy in the classroom, they are often met with resistance from students and fellow colleagues, rendering them unable to effectively teach critical topics. In analyzing the masculinist origins of critical pedagogy scholarship, I argue that an intersectional-feminist perspective of critical pedagogy can mitigate these gendered dynamics at play. To address these dynamics further, I also interview female-identified faculty at a West Coast University in California, exploring the ways in which all teachers can effectively use their power to address gender inequalities that may arise in the classroom, using these narratives to spark or encourage new scholarship in this field.