• 1.16 Lawrence Stenhouse Building

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I welcome PhD/EdD proposals in the areas of education, youth and futures studies, that seek to address interconnected social challenges/injustices. Studies that use creative, participatory, or speculative methods to create desirable futures are particularly welcome.

Personal profile


Dr. Esther Priyadharshini is an Associate Professor at the School of Education & Lifelong Learning.  She is the Director of Research in the school and co-leader of the Cultural Studies in Education research group. Esther completed her Ph.D from Lancaster University and previously graduated from Bharatidasan and Madras Universities, India. Esther curently teaches and supervises across several programmes in education - BA, MRes, PhD and EdD. 

Key Research Interests

Dr. Esther Priyadharshini’s research is located in the intersection of futures studies, youth studies and education. She is interested in how processes of education and learning can be made to respond to the challenges of the Anthropocene, and to support youth/children in the making of more desirable futures. To do this, she draws on feminisms, postcolonialism, new materialisms, and post humanist perspectives. She is interested in experimental and innovative approaches to research methodology (non-representational, speculative approaches and participatory persepectives). 

Her recent (2021) book, "Pedagogies for the Post Anthropocene" was awarded the Runner Up Prize for the CIES 2022 Book Award, Globalisation & Education SIG.

Recent Publications

Priyadharshini, E. (2024). Speculative Method-Making for Feminist Futures: Insights from Black Feminist Science and Afrofuturist Work. Australian Feminist Studies, 1–18

Priyadharshini, E., (2023) 'Decolonizing Citational and Quotational Practices as Reparative Politics', (199-219) In, Decolonizing Education for Sustainable Futures, Eds. Y. Hutchinson, A. Ochoa, J. Paulson, L.Tikly, Bristol University Press. 

Priyadharshini E., (2021) Pedagogies for the post-Anthropocene: Lessons from Apocalypse, Revolution & Utopia, Springer Press.

Jere, C., Robinson-Pant, A., Priyadharshini, E., Millora, C., & Evren, B. (2021). Cooperation, collaboration and compromise: Learning through difference and diversity. Educational Action Research.

Priyadharshini, E. (2020). 'Re-imaginging futures, education and learning relations' in Humanist Futures: Perspectives from UNESCO Chairs and UNITWIN Networks on the futures of education. Paris, UNESCO.

Priyadharshini, E., (2019) 'Anticipating the apocalypse: Monstrous educational futures'. Futures 113 (2019), 102453. 

Esther Priyadharshini & Amy Pressland (2018) Analysis as assemblage: making sense of polysemous texts, Critical Studies in Media Communication, 35:5, 420-439.

Areas of Expertise

Educational Futures; Posthumanism, Postcolonial and feminist theory; post-qualitative research, speculative methods, participatory approaches.

Teaching Interests

Dr. Priyadharshini contributes to teaching across UG, PG and doctoral programmes. She is the EDU lead for the MRes in Social Sciences. She also leads the BA year 3 module ''Understanding Childhoods: Society, Politics and Culture"

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action

External positions

ESRC Peer Review College Member, ESRC Peer Review College

External Examiner - Edinburgh Futures Institute, University of Edinburgh

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or