Audrey Bryan holds a PhD in Comparative and International Education (with an academic specialisation in Sociology) from Columbia University, New York. Her PhD research examined the dynamics of racism and anti-racism in Irish schools and society, and was supported by a Conflict Resolution Network Award from Columbia University, a Spencer Foundation Research Training Grant, a Dean’s Grant for Student Research and a President’s Grant for Research in Diversity from Teachers College, Columbia University.

Dr Bryan teaches courses in Sociology across the range of programme offerings on the Humanities and Education degrees at St. Patrick’s College, Drumcondra and is a Visiting Faculty member of the Paris School of International Affairs (PSIA) at SciencesPo University.  During the Spring 2012 semester, she taught a course on Gender, Youth and Development to students enrolled in the Master of Development Practice (MDP) programme at SciencesPo.

Much of Dr Bryan’sresearch to date has focused on the experiences of those who are ‘othered’ and marginalised by inequitable and discriminatory educational structures, relations, and practices, and with the broad pedagogical and ethical question of what it means to educate for social and global justice.  Much of this work has sought to disrupt comfortable assumptions about the role that education pays in resolving conflict, in fostering tolerance, or in promoting development. Dr Bryan has published nationally and internationally on issues relating to racism and anti-racism, discrimination against LGBT-identified youth, and the role of education in fuelling genocide and structural violence. Collectively, her work has sought to highlight the role that education systems can play in fuelling conflict, and stresses the need for radical alternatives to existing educational strategies and practices which are purportedly designed to promote tolerance in schools and the wider society.

Dr Bryan’s most recent research is concerned with film as a pedagogical tool through which to engage learners with ‘difficult knowledge’ (Britzman, 1998) about their shared political responsibility for injustices as grave as racism, poverty, famine, war, and genocide. This work involves a critique of commonly used pedagogical approaches which are designed to enable learners to develop empathy and to ‘stand in someone else’s shoes’; rather, it seeks to explore learners’ experiences of engaging with difficult knowledge through an alternative range of pedagogical devises and concepts, such as ‘critical re-enactments’ which are designed to enable learners to see themselves as self-implicated in their learning, and as active participants within a wider framework of responsibly (Esquith, 2010).

Dr Bryan serves on the editorial boards of the journals Policy and Practice: A Development Education Review and Translocations: Migration and Social Change. She also serves on the steering committees of the Centre for Human Rights and Citizenship education, the UBUNTU Network: Education for Sustainable Development, and the Irish Development Education Association.

Dr Bryan is currently supervising a number of doctoral students whose work addresses questions about the role of education in promoting and/or alleviating conflict, the philosophy and practice of interculturalism in schools, arts-based citizenship education, and youth studies.  She is interested in supervising students whose interests lie broadly in the areas of youth studies; globalization and education; race, ethnicity and interculturalism;  gender and sexuality; feminism; citizenship/development education and routine and extreme manifestations of violence in schools.

Contact Details

Recent Publications

  • ‘Peacebuilding and International Responsibility’, International Peacekeeping 21:5, 2014, with Gezim Visoka;
  • “Indian approaches to security and conflict resolution, in Manish Thapa, Jakub Zajaczkowski and Jivanta Schottli (eds.) India in the Contemporary World.  London: Routledge, 2014;
  • “The Transformation of Policing in Post Conflict Societies: Lessons from the Northern Ireland Experience”, in Timothy White (ed.) Lessons from the Northern Ireland Peace Process. Wisconsin, USA: The University of Wisconsin Press, 2013;
  • Irish Foreign Policy, Royal Irish Academy, 2012