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Mexicana/Latina Campesinas Cultivating Knowledge: A Collective Agricultural Land-Based Education in Central Washington State in the Homelands of Yakama Nation


Rooted in Chicana/Latina feminism and interdisciplinary frameworks, this dissertation uses autoethnographic (Behar, 1996), participatory (Baquedano-López, 2021; Irizarry & Brown, 2014), and art-based research (Leavy, 2015; Delgado Bernal, Burciaga & Flores Carmona, 2012) to document Mexicana/Latina campesinas' education in agriculture in the homelands of the Yakama Nation. Agricultural land-based education, the education paradigm that I am theorizing, encompasses Mexicana/Latina campesinas' education or their active and intentional production of knowledge in which they are generating ways of being/knowing that entail sensibilities, skills/movements, and relationships to live, be, work, and teach/learn in agriculture. Guided by campesinas' conceptualizations of words, I break down three interconnected elements of campesinas' education: coyote literacies, ligera strategies, and pedagogies of barbear. The first element, coyote literacies, captures campesinas' ways of being/knowing and their reading sensibilities (in mind.body.spirit) to navigate across the terrains of agriculture to sobrevivir (survive and thrive) (Galván, 2015). The second element, ligera strategies, shows campesinas' life methods that actively build solidarity and meaningful interactions. The third element, pedagogies of barbear, highlights campesinas' teaching/learning approaches that draw on body-land-agriculture as the educational material. I argue that through campesinas' education, they demonstrate not to be passive workers but intersectional social actors/educators that create knowledge, literacies, and new identities to live and work with dignity.

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