Bio for Kathryn Moeller

shadow

CONTACTING US

Main Office

Educational Policy Studies
School of Education
UW - Madison
235 Education Building
1000 Bascom Mall
MadisonWI  53706

Tel: 608/262-1760
Fax: 608/262-0460

contact form
 

Dr. Kathryn Moeller

No profile photo available.

Dr. Kathryn Moeller


Educational Policy Studies (EPS)

217 Education Building  binoculars icon


kathryn.moeller@wisc.edu

Personal Biography

Kathryn Moeller is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Educational Policy Studies in the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She is also affiliated with the Department of Gender and Women's Studies and the Latin American, Caribbean, and Iberian Studies Program. She is currently a 2017-2018 National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow. Her interdisciplinary, ethnographic scholarship examines the gendered, sexualized, and racialized nature of corporate power. She specifically considers how it influences the fields of education, feminism, and international development. She received her Ph.D. (2012) from the Social and Cultural Studies Program at the University of California, Berkeley with a Designated Emphasis in Gender, Women, and Sexuality from the Department of Gender & Women’s Studies. She also holds an M.A. in Curriculum & Teaching from Michigan State University, and a B.S. in Sociology and Human and Organizational Development with a minor in African American Studies from Vanderbilt University. Prior to graduate school, she was a high school teacher in the U.S. and Honduras.



 

 

Research Interests

Dr. Moeller's interdisciplinary, ethnographic scholarship examines the gendered, sexualized, and racialized nature of corporate power. She specifically considers how it influences the fields of education, feminism, and international development using transnational feminist theory, anthropological theories of corporations and education, critical development studies, and political economy. Her forthcoming book, The Gender Effect: Capitalism, Feminism, and the Corporate Politics of Development (University of California Press), examines how and why US transnational corporations, including Goldman Sachs, ExxonMobil, Walmart, and Nike, Inc. are “investing” their philanthropic and corporate social responsibility resources in the education, employment, health, and financial futures of poor girls and women of color in the Global South as a solution to ending poverty in pursuit of economic growth and corporate profit. The book focuses on the corporate philanthropic brand of Nike, Inc. to understand how diverse, unequally resourced subjects negotiate "corporatized development" practices in distinct, yet interconnected geographies. The National Science Foundation, Fulbright-Hays, and the National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation supported this project. Scholarly publications from this project also include articles in Feminist Studies and International Journal of Education and Development. Her new project, The Political Economy of Corporations in Urban Education, seeks to understand the shifting terrain of urban education as corporations and their foundations become increasingly powerful actors in shaping education policy and practice through corporate partnerships with public schools. It examines the political economy of corporations in education amidst urban school districts’ failure to meet the educational needs of communities of color and increasing state divestment in public education. The research will provide new insights into the logics, practices and implications of corporate influence in education; a nuanced understanding of how schools, districts, communities, and corporations and their foundations negotiate the terms of these partnerships; and an assessment of the extent to which these partnerships influence student, school, and district-level outcomes. In this way, this study will offer insights into the corporatization of education in the US.

Publications

  • Moeller, K. (2013). Proving the Girl Effect: Corporate Knowledge Production and Educational Intervention. International Journal of Educational Development. 33(6).
    Online Publication/Abstract
    Abstract: The Nike Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Nike, Inc., seeks to prove the “The Girl Effect,” its theory of change, through investments in adolescent girls in the Global South. The foundation defines it as the “unique potential of 250 million adolescent girls to end poverty for themselves and the world.” This article examines the elaborate, yet continually contested processes of attempting to prove “The Girl Effect.” It draws on ethnographic research in the U.S. and Brazil (2009–2010) to analyze how the Nike Foundation funds, produces, and distributes knowledge on the purported potential of particular adolescent girls to end poverty. It focuses on how the monitoring and evaluation practices of one grantee in Brazil were informed by and contributed to the foundation's broader project of proving “The Girl Effect.” The analysis explains how this occurred through processes of knowledge production and educational intervention that were predicated on an epistemological understanding of the trope of “Third World girl.” It provides insights into how the foundation extends it power and authority over new bodies, institutions, and geographies by asserting itself as an expert on adolescent girls and by influencing the development agendas of more powerful global institutions.
  • Moeller, K. (in press). Searching for Adolescent Girls in Brazil: Corporate Development and the Transnational Politics of Poverty in the Girl Effect. Feminist Studies.
  • Moeller, K. (in press). The Girl Effect: Transnational Corporate Investment in Girls' Education. Globalization and Education.

Awards and Honors

  • Postdoctoral Fellow
    Organization: National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation
    Purpose: Scholarship/Research
    Scope: National
    Date(s): September 1, 2017 - August 31, 2018
  • Postdoctoral Scholar
    Organization: U.S. Fulbright
    Purpose: Scholarship/Research
    Scope: International
    Date(s): August 2015 - May 2016
  • Post-Ph.D. Research Fellow
    Organization: Wenner-Gren Foundation
    Purpose: Scholarship/Research
    Scope: International
    Date(s): August 2015 - January 2016
  • Dissertation Writing Fellowship
    Organization: National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation
    Date(s): 2011 - 2012
  • Dissertation Fieldwork Fellowship
    Organization: Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad Grant (Brazil)
    Date(s): 2009 - 2010
  • Dissertation Fieldwork Fellowship
    Organization: National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant, Geography & Regional Sciences
    Date(s): 2009 - 2010
© 2017 Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System • Please contact the School of Education External Relations Office with questions, issues or comments about this site.