Critical Studies of Race, Class, & Gender

David Maldonado

David is a formerly incarcerated PhD candidate in the School of Education. He grew up in Berkeley and Oakland and is interested in refusing/unsettling/troubling the logics of the university and the Carceral State from an abolitionist autonomous sensibility.

Specializations and Interests

Carcerality and the University

Joy Esboldt

Joy Esboldt is a doctoral candidate in the Critical Studies of Race, Class, and Gender cluster at the University of California, Berkeley’s School of Education. Her research focuses on teachers’ learning about race, racism, and anti-racism as it intersects with gender and cultural politics. Joy’s work strives to engage a multilevel intersectional analysis, locating the work of teachers and conceptualizations of racial justice within interactional, organizational, and sociopolitical dynamics. Joy’s dissertation examines the co-construction and operationalization of racial discourses across...

Catherine Park

In a radically interconnected world, Catherine’s research focuses on how ethical, sociocultural, educational desires have turned toward the global. More specifically, she situates her current research project in rapidly urbanizing spaces in China, where urban development and the growth of global/international schools have gone hand in hand. She looks specifically to the cultural politics and meaning-making processes of students, parents, teachers, and administrators within such globalizing spaces where there are city and state-wide efforts to “go global.”


Cristina Méndez

Cristina S. Méndez is a PhD student in the Critical Studies of Race, Class and Gender. She is also pursuing a designated emphasis in Indigenous Language Revitalization. Her research interests span disciplines, drawing on sociology, ethnic studies, migration studies, among others. Through her research and other collaborations, Cristina is committed to centering Indigenous, feminist, and decolonial epistemologies and methodologies.

Currently, Cristina is engaged in an ethnographic and community-based research design project with Maya Mam activists and a UC Berkeley doctoral candidate...

Vianney A. Gavilanes

Vianney A. Gavilanes is a doctoral candidate in the Critical Studies of Race, Class and Gender. As a self-identified Mexican migrant child educated in California’s public K-12 schools and universities, she is committed to serving racially and linguistically minoritized students like herself for whom English has been a site of linguistic violence and political struggle.

As an interdisciplinary scholar of education, Vianney draws on (im)migration, critical refugee studies and language politics to engage in theoretically robust research that disrupts the objectifying study...

Caleb Dawson

Caleb E. Dawson is a PhD candidate in Critical Studies of Race, Class, and Gender with a Designated Emphasis in Women, Gender, and Sexuality. Residing on the unceded land of Ohlone peoples, Caleb engages in humanistic social science research about educational institutions and social movements. He boldly researches, teaches, and intervenes about how antiblackness is nestled across the macro-, meso-, and micro-levels; how Black people experience suffering in higher education; and how Black folk sustain themselves amidst and contest oppression. His ideal day involves research in the morning;...

C. Darius Gordon

C. Darius Gordon is a 4th year PhD candidate. Broadly, they study 20th century intellectual and social histories of the Black Atlantic. Drawing insights from Black educational philosophy and activism, they make the case for understanding Black educational thought in/as a series of transnational relationships, migrations, and circulations.

Specializations and Interests

Critical Theories of Race, 20th Century Intellectual and Social History, Black Geographies, Black Feminisms, Social Movements