Christopher Kirchgasler

Assistant Professor

(608) 890-0909

456A Teacher Education Building

225 N Mills St

Madison, WI 53706

Kirchgasler, Christopher

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I study how curricular reforms to promote economic development and rectify social wrongs contain unexamined historical values and norms that differentiate and pathologize individuals, families, and communities on these bases. I draw upon comparative and historical methods to challenge common sense notions of inclusion and progress to make visible their colonial residues and make possible other ways of thinking and acting in education research, policy, and reform. This work has been published in the American Educational Research Journal, Comparative Education Review, and Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education.

I work in the area of Curriculum and Global Studies and teach courses in teacher education and at the graduate level. I specialize in postcolonial perspectives and post-foundational theories and methods in education. I am affiliated with the African Studies Program and the Holtz Center for Science & Technology Studies. Prior to joining the department, I was Assistant Professor of Curriculum Studies at the University of Kansas. I have previously taught in an East Boston middle school and as a high school teacher as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Tougué, Guinea.


  • PhD Curriculum & Instruction, University of Wisconsin–Madison, 2017
  • BA French, University of Utah, 2007
  • BA English, University of Utah, 2002

Select Media Contributions

  • FreshEd, Colonial Residues of Domesticity in Education Development. (November, 2020). Media Link
  • Central Standard, Grit. (April, 2018). Media Link
  • The New York Times Magazine, Can a Tech Start-Up Successfully Educate Children... ?. (June, 2017). Media Link

Select Publications

Select Presentations

  • Kirchgasler, C., & Desai, K. Domestic products: Historicizing the desire for the educated girl (accepted, conference cancelled). Paper presented at the AERA Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA.
  • Kirchgasler, C., & Sitomaniemi-San, J. The genius of 'curiosity': Towards a genealogy of a scientific-pedagogic object of educational reform (accepted, conference cancelled). Paper presented at the Comparative and International Education Society Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA.
  • Kirchgasler, C. Literacy for (Not) All: A Hauntology of a Transnational Imperative. Paper presented at the Curriculum & Pedagogy Annual Conference, McAllen, TX, USA.
  • Kirchgasler, C. The end(s) of inclusion: The colonial residues of the global learning crisis. presented at the After the crisis. Migration, education and employment in an interdisciplinary light, Gothenburg, Sweden.
  • Kirchgasler, C., & Desai, K. Making the Neo-Colonizer: Strategies and Tactics of Subjectification for Development. Panel Organized presented at the Comparative & International Education Society Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA.
  • Kirchgasler, C., & Desai, K. “Girls” in Crisis: Colonial Residues of Transnational School Reforms in Kenya. Paper presented at the Comparative and International Education Society Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA, USA.

Select Awards and Honors

  • Spencer Postdoctoral Fellowship Semi-Finalist, National Academy of Education, 2019
  • Division B (Curriculum Studies) Dissertation Recognition Award, American Educational Research Association (AERA), 2018