An interdisciplinary approach to contemporary issues for education and young people An interdisciplinary approach to contemporary issues for education and young people

The Critical Cultural Studies in Education area (CCSE) brings an interdisciplinary approach to contemporary issues for education and young people. Researchers working in this area are interested in popular cultures, media and public pedagogies and the ways they are folded into larger cultural and social narratives. 

Research themes

Our guiding thematics for the next two years are:
  • Food. We are interested in how food cultures and youth cultures intersect, especially in the liminal spaces between home and school.
  • Sex. We are investigating how the physical cultures in the sporting and leisure worlds shape popular culture, gender and education
  • Death. We like to use the lens of popular culture, especially its interpretations of social apocalypse (e.g. zombies), to gain new insights into youth, schooling and education


Esther Priyadharshini - Research interests include public pedagogies, youth cultures, gender and schooling. Post-humanist perspectives (including post-colonial, post-structural and feminist) invariably inform her work. She is currently investigating how popular culture and schooling combine to shape young people’s (17/18 yrs) visions of futures and future selves.
Natalie East  - Research interests lie in the area of physical education pedagogy with a particular interest in curriculum structure and interpretation and girl's engagement and participation in physical education.
Victoria Carrington - Research interests lie in the field of digital technologies and digital cultures which have informed much of her work around early adolescents and youth.



Amy Pressland - Research interests include: Representation of sportswomen in British media, particularly newspapers, Gender and national identity in individual and team sports, The articulation of sexism in sports media, ‘Other' women in sports media; women in supportive, decorative roles and the space they occupy, Sports stars and fandom, Photographic representation of gender in minority sports and niche media, Discourses of pain as gendered, Femininities and the female body in media, Gender stereotyping in sport.
Rebecca Westrup - Research focuses on the construction of learner identities within a range of formal and informal settings


Ph.D/ MRes Students

Sonja Marzi, Edmund Barker, Laura Tallant, Harry Dyer, Alison Brown, Sam Whewall, Victoria Tooley.



Members edit the international journals Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, Cambridge Journal of Education and the book series Cultural Studies and Transdisciplinarity in Education.


Recent publications 

Carrington, V. & Priyadharshini, E. Editors of special issue on ‘Food, Youth & Education’ for the Cambridge Journal of Education, Spring 2016 (Forthcoming).

Carrington, V., Rowsell, J., Priyadharshini, E., & Westrup, B. Editors, “Generation Z: Zombies, Popular Culture, and Educating Youth”, Springer. 2015 (In Press) – Chapter contributions include:

Carrington V., ‘The “next people”: And the zombies shall inherit the earth’;

Priyadharshini, E., ‘From Prom Queen to Zombie Barbie: A tutorial in make up, gender and living death’; and

Westrup, R., ‘Students as Zombies: How can we awaken the undead?’

Priyadharshini, E., & Godoy-Pressland, A., (2016, In Press) “Doing femininities and masculinities in a “feminised” sporting arena: The case of mixed-sex cheerleading”, Special issue on ‘Sex integration in sport and physical culture’ for Sport in Society: Cultures, Commerce, Media, Politics.

Carrington, V., 'It's Changed My Life' : iPhone as Technological Artefact. Discourse and Digital Practices: Doing

discourse analysis in the digital age. Ed. / Rodney H. Jones; Alice Chik; Christoph A. Hafner. London: Routledge, 2015.

Carrington, Victoria & Nouri Esfahani, Naghmeh. ‘Rescripting, Modifying, and Mediating Artifacts: Bratz Dolls and Diasporic

Iranian Girls in Australia. Dolls Studies: The Many Meanings of Girls' Toys and Play. Ed. Miriam Brunell Forman; Jennifer Dawn  Whitney. Peter Lang, 2015. (Mediated Youth).

Nouri Esfahani , Naghmeh & Carrington, Victoria. (Re)scripting Barbie: Postphenomenology and everydayartefacts.

Phenomenology of Youth Cultures and Globalization: Lifeworlds and Surplus Meaning in Changing Times. Ed. Stuart R. Poyntz; Jacqueline Kennelly. Routledge, 2015. (Routledge Studies in Social and Political Thought).

Godoy-Pressland, Amy; Griggs, Gerald. London 2012: The Women’s Games? Examining the photographic evidence.

The Impact of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games: Diminishing Contrasts, Increasing Varieties. Ed. Kevin Dixon; Tom Gibbons. London: Palgrave, 2015. p. 56-71.

Godoy-Pressland, Amy. ‘No hint of bulging muscles’: The surveillance of sportswomen’s bodies in British print media. In: Journalism, 2015.

Godoy-Pressland, Amy. ‘Moral Guardians, Mini-skirts and Nicola Adams: The Changing Media Discourse of Women’s Boxing. Global Perspectives on Women in Combat Sports: Women Warriors around the World. Ed. Alex Channon; Christopher Matthews. Palgrave MacMillan, 2015.

Godoy-Pressland, A. (2013). The weekend as a male entity: How Sunday newspaper sports reporting centres around male activities, interests and language, Leisure Studies 32(1)

Carrington, V. (2012).The contemporary Gothic: literacy and childhood in unsettled times, Journal of Early Childhood Studies


Priyadharshini, E. (2012). Thinking with Trickster: Sporadic illuminations for educational research, Cambridge

Journal of Education, 42(4).