PhD student, History and Educational Policy Studies
Faculty advisor: William Reese
Brianna Lafoon is a PhD student in History and Educational Policy Studies. Originally from Joplin, Missouri, Brianna completed her undergraduate study at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Her research examines how schooling intersected with nation-building and expansion in the U.S. in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, specifically regarding African American, immigrant, and colonial subjects. In pursuing this work, Brianna is interested in the ways that expansion and imperialism shaped educators’ ideas and practices.
To support her work, Brianna received a University Fellowship that has allowed her to fully concentrate on her research and writing her dissertation. She said her research will help create a better understanding of the current mass schooling system and its roots in unequal, imperial settings.
“It will demonstrate how we have come to a place in society where education and schooling are expected to be a great equalizer, but rarely lives up to its promise,” Brianna said.