Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Major Professor

Jennifer R. Wolgemuth, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Tony Xing Tan, Ed.D.

Committee Member

Barbara Shircliffe, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Mirka Koro-Ljungberg, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Thomas Teo, Ph.D.


Biracialism, New Materialism, Posthumanism, Qualitative Inquiry, Racial Identity


The purpose of this new materialist study was to examine the subject performativity of ‘biracial’ individuals in an interview setting in order to disrupt the humanist assumptions of racial identity in psychological research. I also sought to promote critical resistance to subjectification to examine ‘race’ without reifying participants’ raced subjects. Four research questions guided this study: How does the researcher, researched, and interview intra-activity serve to instantiate the biracial subject? Under what material alterations to the interview process do different subjects come to be? Which subjects come to be or fail to come to be in the interview intra-action? How does purposeful entanglement function during the interview process?

In this experimental critical qualitative inquiry study, I interviewed five ‘black-white biracial’ undergraduate students three times each while enacting a series of agential cuts within and between each interview. By altering the flow of material during the interviews, I provoked multiple identity instantiations and analyzed the process of subjectification/individuation. Grounded in Barad’s agential realism, and guided by Simondon, Foucault, and Butler my analysis of this data suggests that humanist models of ‘racial’ identity are insufficient, and findings further suggest that a posthumanist and post-qualitative account of ‘biracial’ identity offers more insight into the performativity of ‘raced’ subjects. This research provides a path for psychological identity research to ethically evolve past the linguistic and ontological turns.