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Personal profile


Dr. Esther Priyadharshini is an Associate Professor at the School of Education & Lifelong Learning.  She is Co-Director for 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. She worked in the market research sector India, conducting social and commercial research in business and charitable/voluntary settings. Esther curently teaches and supervises across several programmes in education - BA, MRes, PhD and EdD. 

Key Research Interests

Dr. Esther Priyadharshini’s research is on educational futures, youth/childhood, schooling and gender. Her work 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/students 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 research aims to deploy ideas from social theory to processes of learning, and to critique and re-think educational organisation and identities. 

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., (2021) Pedagogies for the post-Anthropocene: Lessons from Apocalypse, Revolution & Utopia, Springer Press. https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-981-16-5788-7

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. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.futures.2019.102453

Esther Priyadharshini & Amy Pressland (2018) Analysis as assemblage: making sense of polysemous texts, Critical Studies in Media Communication, 35:5, 420-439, DOI: 10.1080/15295036.2018.1492143

Areas of Expertise

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

Teaching Interests

Most of Dr. Priyadharshini’s teaching is at the postgraduate level, contributing to the Ed.D course, Ph.D seminars and advanced research training events. She is the EDU lead for the MRes in Social Sciences. She also leads the BA year 3 module ''Constructions of Childhood' and supervises dissertations/theses across BA, MA and doctoral programmes. 

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