skip to primary navigation skip to content

Dr. Kathryn Moeller


Assistant Professor

E-mail Address




  • Ph.D., Social & Cultural Studies, Graduate School of Education, University of California, Berkeley • Designated Emphasis in Women, Gender, and Sexuality, Department of Gender and Women’s Studies
  • MA, Curriculum & Teaching, College of Education, Michigan State University
  • BS, Sociology and Human & Organizational Development, Vanderbilt University • Minor in African American & Diaspora Studies

Back to top


I am a critical feminist scholar, educator and author. My interdisciplinary, ethnographic scholarship examines the relationships between capitalism, education, and international development through critical feminist, race, and political economic approaches.

I am the author of The Gender Effect: Capitalism, Feminism, and the Corporate Politics of Development (University of California Press 2018), winner of the National Women’s Studies Association’s Sara A. Whaley Prize.

My current book project, Silicon Futures, examines Silicon Valley’s investments in the intertwined futures of education and work around the world with a focus on venture capitalists and educational technology companies. The Spencer Foundation is funding my research on venture capital investment in educational technology companies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

My academic writing has also been published in scholarly journals, such as Feminist Studies, Educational Researcher, Race, Ethnicity & Education, Journal of Education Policy, British Journal of Sociology of Education, and International Journal of Education Development.

My research has been funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation, U.S. National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation, Spencer Foundation, and the Wenner-Gren Foundation.  I am a former recipient of the Fulbright and Fulbright-Hay fellowships in Brazil. 

In addition to my academic writing, I have written essays for The New Yorker, Chronicle of Philanthropy, Fast Company, and The Huffington Post based on my research.

I have also appeared on BBC’s Business Daily, NPR’s Marketplace, Wisconsin Public Radio’s Central Time, Northeast Public Radio’s 51%, among other programmes.

I am an editor of Feminist Studies, the first scholarly journal in the field of gender, feminist, and women’s studies in the U.S.

Prior to my appointment at the University of Cambridge. I was a Senior Lecturer in the School of Education at the University of Glasgow, Assistant Professor in the School of Education at University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Visiting Assistant Professor in the School of Education at Stanford University. I was also postdoctoral researcher at the Haas Institute for a Fair & Inclusive Society (now Othering & Belonging Institute) at University of California, Berkeley. Prior to graduate school, I was a high school teacher in the U.S. and Honduras.

Academic Area/Links

  • Knowledge, Power & Politics Research Group

Back to top

Research Topics

  • Political economy of education and international development
  • Transnational feminisms 
  • Global raciality and anti-racism

Current Research Project(s)

  • Venture capital investment in educational technology companies during the COVID-19 pandemic, funded by Spencer Foundation
  • Global raciality, anti-racism, and knowledge production in a transnational perspective (with Dr. Amilcar Pereira)
  • Entangled Futures in Higher Education, funded by School of Social Sciences & Humanities, University of Cambridge (with Dr. Annouchka Bayley)

Back to top


  • Postgraduate
    • Masters in Knowledge, Power & Politics
    • Ph.D. in Education
  • Undergraduate
    • Tripos in Education

Back to top

Principal and Recent Publications

Moeller, K. (2023). "On Hauntings & Hierarchies: Bridging between Elite Universities and Communities." In special issue: Paulo Freire Global Educator. Globalisation, Societies and Education, 22(1).

Moeller, K. (2023). “Girls as New Frontiers: Corporatized Development and the Politics of Investing in Girls.” In Switzer, Heather, Karishma Desai, and Emily Bent (eds), Girls in Global Development: Theoretical Contestations, Empirical Demands. Berghahn Press.

Moeller, K. (2021) “Nike’s Search for Third World Potential: The Tensions between Corporate Funding and Feminist Futures.” In Millicent Thayer and Ashwini Tambe (eds), Transnational Feminist Itineraries: Situating Theory and Activist Practices. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Moeller, K. (2020). “The Politics of Curricular Erasure: Debates on Race, Gender, and Sexuality in the Brazilian ‘Common Core’ Curriculum.” Race, Ethnicity, and Education, 24(1), 18-38. (Citation count: 12)

Moeller, K. (2020). “Accounting for the Corporate: An Analytic Framework for Understanding Corporations in Education.” Educational Researcher. 49(4), 232-240. (Citation count: 36)

Tarlau, R. and K. Moeller. (2020). “O Consenso por Filantropia: Como Uma Fundação Privada Estabeleceu a BNCC no Brazil.” Currículo sem Fronteiras 20(2), 553-603. (Citation count: 92)

Tarlau, R. and K. Moeller. (2019). “Philanthropizing Consent: How a Private Foundation Pushed through National Learning Standards in Brazil.” Journal of Education Policy, 35(3), 337-366.

Moeller, K. (2018). The Gender Effect: Capitalism, Feminism, and the Corporate Politics of Development. Oakland: University of California Press.

Moeller, K. (2016). “A Critical Feminist and Race Critique of Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century,” Special Issue on Piketty’s Relevance for Education. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 37(6), 810-822.

Moeller, K. (2014). “Searching for Adolescent Girls in Brazil: Corporate Development and the Transnational Politics of Poverty in the Girl Effect.” Feminist Studies 40(3), 575-601.

Dr. Kathryn Moeller

image of staff member