Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



Major Professor

Susan L. Groenke

Committee Members

Iliana Rocha; Diana K. Nguyen; Stephanie Benjamin


There has been a chronic need for more high-quality children’s books by minoritized authors, yet few scholars have examined the historic contexts and formative processes impacting such authors’ success. This critical autoethnographic study employs a decolonial feminist lens and creative practices to help one children’s book writer examine the formative sources impacting both her fragmentation and her inner strength. The Vietnamese American author specifically examines historic sources of Anti-Asian racism in the United States including those that influenced her directly during her childhood. On a personal level, she explores artifacts from her K-12 and college experiences that help her understand her socialization in White-dominant educational and publishing industry systems. Combined, these activities allow her to explore her colonially-influenced fragmentation. Drawing on Gloria Anzaldúa’s Coyolxauhqui Imperative, the author uses artmaking, creative writing, embodied grounding practices, and writing to gently make sense of this fragmentation and to help her put her fragmented parts of self back together in a harmonious whole. She also examines the lived experiences that set her on a decolonial path and those that have supported her authenticity and wholeness as a minoritized writer. She offers findings through autohistoria-teoría counter-stories and through a rich discussion of the aspects of process which helped her both unveil her fragmentation and heal it.

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