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Christopher Kirchgasler, PhD

School of Education - Curriculum & Teaching
Assistant Professor
Primary office:
Joseph R. Pearson Hall
Room 344
University of Kansas
1122 West Campus Road
Lawrence, Kansas 66045

Christopher Kirchgasler, Assistant Professor of Curriculum and Instruction, joined the faculty in 2017. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His work examines the historical, ethnographic and comparative qualities of schooling, particularly as they relate to notions of inclusion, equity, and justice. His research directs attention to how contemporary transnational school reforms are "haunted" by colonial residues that define who and what are seen and acted on as the "problems" of individual and social development.

Dr. Kirchgasler has recently co-edited A Political Sociology of Educational Knowledge: Studies of Exclusion and Difference (Routledge, 2017), and is currently at work on a book, Building Bridges and Colonial Residues: Transnational School Reforms and the Making of Human Kinds. This book juxtaposes transnational school reforms of past and present in order to make visible how difference, exclusion, and abjection are generated as particular populations who are made the targets of educational expertise in order to instill qualities they are assumed to lack.

Dr. Kirchgasler works in the area of Curriculum Studies and teaches courses in Curriculum and Instruction at the graduate and undergraduate levels. He specializes in critical and post-structural theories and methodologies in education.


Ph.D., Curriculum & Instruction, University of Wisconsin-Madison

B.A., French, University of Utah

B.A., English, University of Utah


Christopher Kirchgasler teaches graduate courses in Curriculum & Instruction and undergraduate courses in Teacher Education.

Teaching Interests

  • Curriculum studies
  • Historical and cultural studies of education
  • Postcolonial studies of education
  • Post-foundational theories and methods


Dr. Kirchgasler's research draws upon post-foundational approaches to comparative, historical, and ethnographic methods in order to examine the common sense of educational research, policy, and practice. His work seeks to make visible the strategies and tactics that make up particular peoples and spaces as educational "problems" towards which school reforms are directed.

Research Interests

  • Comparative and transnational studies of education
  • Educational sciences and the making of human kinds
  • History and historiography of education
  • Inclusion, equity, and justice


Dr. Kirchgasler is involved in the Comparative & International Education Society, the American Educational Research Association, and the International Standing Conference for the History of Education.

Selected Publications

Kirchgasler, C. (2018). True Grit? Making a Scientific Object and Pedagogical Tool. American Educational Research Journal. DOI:10.3102/0002831217752244

Popkewitz, T. S., Diaz, J., & Kirchgasler, C. (Eds.). (2017). A Political Sociology of Educational Knowledge: Studies of Exclusion and Difference (T. S. Popkewitz, J. Diaz, & C. Kirchgasler, Eds.). New York: Routledge. 268.

Selected Awards & Honors

Tashia Morgridge Wisconsin Distinguished Graduate Fellowship
Department of Curriculum & Instruction, University of Wisconsin-Madison
2014 - 2015

Scott Kloeck-Jenson International Pre-Dissertation Fellowship
Global Studies Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Foreign Language & Area Studies Fellowship, Swahili
African Studies Program, University of Wisconsin-Madison
2012 - 2014

Expert instruction in Arabic, Kiswahili, and Wolof at the beginning and intermediate levels will be offered over eight weeks in June-July 2018.

Foreign Language & Area Studies Fellowships

The Kansas African Studies Center has received $140,000 in funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities to launch public discussions, community programming, and the creation of educational resources in local communities to discuss the challenges and opportunities surrounding recent demographic changes in the region. Visit to learn more. 

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