Claudia Cervantes Soon

Associate Professor
TEMPE Campus


Claudia Cervantes-Soon is originally from Ciudad Juárez, Mexico and a former bilingual teacher in El Paso, Texas. Cervantes-Soon’s research interests center on critical ethnographic approaches to the study of identities, intersectionalities, and teaching practices. Her work focuses on the fostering of agency, critical literacy/biliteracy, and empowered identities among children, youth, and families from marginalized communities. In particular her research draws on critical pedagogy, border and transborder epistemologies, and decolonial/Chicana feminist thought and pedagogies to her analyses of how global and neoliberal trends intersect with local frameworks of race, ethnicity, class, and gender inequalities in border, transnational, and bilingual/dual-langauge education contexts. 

Cervantes-Soon's is the author of "Juárez Girls Rising: Transformative Education of Times of Dystopia," which  has been awarded a Critics' Choice Award from the American Educational Studies Association, and has been selected finalist for the prestigious C. Wright Mills Award from the Society for the Study of Social Problems.

Cervantes-Soon's most recent research examines the inequalities persistent in two-way dual language education and the possibilities to reclaim a focus on critical consciousness and historically marginalized, culturally diverse, and lingustically minoritized populations in bilingual education. Her current research project, "Building Black and Brown Bridges of Solidarity through Dual Language Education," has been awarded the National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship.


  • Ph.D. Curriculum & Instruction, Cultural Studies in Education, The University of Texas-Austin 2011
  • Graduate Portfolios in Women's & Gender Studies and Mexican American Studies, The University of Texas-Austin 2011
  • M.Ed. Bilingual Education, The University of Texas-El Paso 2004
  • B.I.S. Bilingual Education, The University of Texas-El Paso 1998



Cervantes-Soon, C. G. (2017). Juárez girls rising: Transformative education in times of dystopia. Minneapolis, MI: University of Minnesota Press.



Palmer, D. K., Cervantes-Soon, C. G., Heiman, D. B., Dorner, L. (Forthcoming). Bilingualism, Biliteracy, Biculturalism…and Critical Consciousness for All: Proposing a Fourth Fundamental Principle for Two-Way Dual Language Education. Theory into Practice.

Cervantes-Soon, C. G., Dorner, L., Palmer, D. K. Heiman*, D., Schwerdtfeger, R. & Choi, J. (2017). Combating Inequalities in Two-Way Language Immersion Programs: New Directions for Bilingual Education. Review of Research in Education, 41(1), 403-427.

Cervantes-Soon, C. G. (2016). Mujeres truchas: Urban girls redefining smartness in a dystopic global south. Race Ethnicity and Education, 1-14.

Cervantes-Soon, C. G. & Carrillo, J. F. (2016). Toward a pedagogy of border thinking: Building on Latin@ students’ subaltern knowledge. The High School Journal, 99(4), 282-301.

Cervantes-Soon, C. G. (2014). A Critical Look at Dual Language Immersion in the New Latin@ Diaspora. Bilingual Research Journal, 37(1), 64-82.

Cervantes-Soon, C. G. (2014) The U.S.-México bordercrossing Chicana researcher and the politics of identity and imperialism in critical ethnography. Journal of Latino-Latin American Studies.

Cervantes-Soon, C. G. (2012). Testimonios of life and learning in the borderlands: Subaltern Juárez girls speak. Equity and Excellence in Education, 45(3), 373-391.

Soto, L.D., Cervantes-Soon, C. G., Villarreal-Perales, E. & Campos, E. (2009). The Xicana sacred space: A communal circle of compromiso for educational researchers. Harvard Educational Review. 79 (5), 755-776.



Cervantes-Soon, C. G. & Kasun, G. S. (2018). Transnational learners and TESOL. In J.I. Liontas & M. DelliCarpini (Eds.) TESOL Encyclopedia of English Language Teaching, Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Palmer, D. K., Cervantes-Soon, C. G., Heiman, D.* (2017). La condición académica del estudiante bilingüe: Cómo asegurar el éxito de los estudiantes bilingües emergentes a través del programa de doble inmersión. In L. A. Soltero & M. Guerrero (Eds.) Abriendo brecha: Antología crítica sobre la educación bilingüe de doble inmersión.

Cervantes-Soon, C. G. & Turner, A. M.* (2017). Countering Silence and Reconstructing Identities in a Spanish/English Two-Way Immersion Program: Latina Mothers’ Pedagogies in El Nuevo Sur. In X. Rong & J. Hilburn (Eds.) Immigration and Education in North Carolina: The Challenges and Responses in a New Gateway State.  Boston, MA: Sense.

Cervantes-Soon, C. G. (2016). Testimonios of Life and Learning in the Borderlands: Subaltern Juarez Girls Speak. In D. Delgado Bernal, R. Burciaga & J. Flores Carmona (Eds.) Chicana/Latina Testimonios as Pedagogical, Methodological, and Activist Approaches to Social Justice. New York: Routledge.

Cervantes-Soon, C. G. & Carrillo, J.F (2015). Scholarship of Mind and Soul. In Hernandez, E. Murakami and G. Rodriguez (eds.) Abriendo Puertas, Cerrando Heridas (Opening Doors, Closing Wounds): Latinas/os Finding Work-Life Balance in Academia, pp. 163-172. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Inc.

Cervantes-Soon, C. G. & Valenzuela, A.  (2010). Subtractive Legislative Policy: The Plight of Bilingual Language Learners. Chapter prepared for B. Bustos Flores, R. Hernandez Sheets, and E. Riojas Clark (Eds.), Educar para Transformar: Teacher Preparation for Bilingual Student Populations, pp. 191-204. New York: Routledge.






Spring 2019
Course NumberCourse Title
BLE 561Parent Involvement in Language


2017  C. Wright Mills Book Award Winner for Ju�rez Girls Rising: Transformative Education Times of Dystopia 

2017  American Educational Studies Association Critics Choice Award for book, Ju�rez Girls Rising: Transformative Education in Times of Dystopia

2017  National Academy of Education/Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship

2017  Deans Office, College of Education, University of Texas at Austin: Summer Research Award

2015  American Association of University Women, American Fellowship/Publication Grant

2014  American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education Faculty Fellow

Professional Associations

American Anthropological Association

-Council of Anthropology and Education 

American Educational Research Association

-Bilingual Research SIG

-Critical Educators for Social Justice SIG

Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social