Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Curriculum and Instruction

Major Professor

Michael Berson, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Vonzell Agosto, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Ilene Berson, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Leia Cain, Ph.D.


photography, hauntology, spacetimematter(ing), visual methodologies


Visual resources offer a variety of pedagogical advantages. Regardless of content, images can be leveraged to build critically analytical skills and used to cultivate dialogic literacies (i.e., articulations of thinking) about the social world. Further, images can be used to introduce and grapple with complex/abstract ideas. Given the relationship that social studies has to temporality (i.e., subjective engagements with the past, present, and future), visual resources also present teacher(s) (educators) with the opportunity to explore (theoretical) concepts foregrounding manifold relationships making up the social world (i.e., a world consisting of complex entanglements between non/human entities).

The purpose of this research was to examine how secondary students dis/connect to the social world and the notion that every facet of historical phenomenon bears traces (upon traces) of multi-dimensional perspectives that deserve to be contemplated, interrogated, and valued (Derrida, 1993a). Specifically, this research was interested in understanding how foregrounding the relationship between space, time, and matter impacted secondary students’ engagements with temporally disjointed images or (re)photographs. As such, this inquiry asked: (1) What does (re)photography expose about secondary students’ dis/connections to the social world? (2) How do students dis/entangle with spacetimematter(ing)s when exposed to (re)photographs?

Visual methodologies—specifically photo elicitation—were used to explore what was produced by 21 secondary students enrolled in a Global Perspectives course at a public high school in Northwest Florida during the 2019-2020 academic year when they engaged with (re)photographs and the concept of spacetimematter(ing). Posthumanist and poststructuralist perspectives informed the interpretation of the data corpus for this study, which was comprised from a collection of artifacts, observations, and semi-structured focus group interviews.

Through a process that involved (re)reading, annotating, illustrating, and (re)organizing, the data were reduced to three overarching themes: (1) dis/connecting to (re)photography; (2) dis/connecting to materiality; and (3) pastpresentfuture(ing). These themes are teeming with assorted inter/intra-connected subthemes and were then used to help articulate three overarching findings: (1) (re)photography exposed how secondary students dis/connected to the social world and how they study it; (2) materiality plays a role in meaning-making; and (3) changes to materiality impacts how secondary students conceptualize temporality.