Research Supervision Interests

I am interested in supervising students working on critically-oriented approaches to: the ethics, philosophy, foundations, and political economy of higher education; and internationalization, decolonization, political economy, sustainability, and the politics of difference in both formal and informal educational contexts. My approach to research and supervision emphasizes self-reflexivity, critical generosity, and deep engagements with the complexities, paradoxes, contradictions, and uncertainties of educational research, pedagogy, and practice in a contemporary era characterized by multiple overlapping local and global challenges. If you are interested in working with me, please send me an email with a bit about yourself and your interests, and how they relate to one or more of the texts listed in my publications under the “Research and Education” tab.



My research brings critical and decolonial perspectives to the role of the university in society, and denaturalizes narrow imaginaries of justice, responsibility, and change. In particular, I am interested in examining the social, political, and economic foundations of higher education and how these shape contemporary issues, including the internationalization, decolonization, diversification, economic rationalization, social innovation, and environmental sustainability. In my work on higher education and beyond, I emphasize the educational challenges of addressing the interrelated ecological, cognitive, affective, relational, and economic dimensions of local and global (in)justice. I am committed to supporting different communities to denaturalize the attachments and desires that keep us invested in harmful, unsustainable modes of existence, and to ethically encounter and engage other horizons of possibility. This means that I also work beyond institutionalized educational contexts and conceptualize education in a broader sense as the practice of encountering and being taught by the world in its full depth, complexity, and contradiction.



University of British Columbia, PhD
The Ohio State University, MA
University of Virginia, BA

Research Projects

Critical Internationalization Studies

In this project, I support the identification, denaturalization, and reimagining of dominant patterns of relationship, representation, and resource production and distribution in the internationalization of education. Beyond fostering engagements with and between diverse critical perspectives, and between scholars, practitioners, students, and community-based organizations, I seek to facilitate deepened understandings of the complexities and contradictions of internationalization as it is currently practiced, as well as the challenges and circularities of efforts to enact internationalization in a more ethical way. While my emphasis is on higher education contexts, there are many resonances with K-12 and informal education contexts as well.

Higher Education Otherwise

In this project, I examine the social, political, and economic foundations of higher education, study the contemporary implications of these foundations, and consider how we might collectively work to imagine and practice higher education otherwise. The formalized field of higher education has yet to have a sustained and rigorous conversation about how the colonial-capitalist foundations of modern higher education institutions continue to shape both the challenges we face and dominant responses to those challenges. However, in my work in this area I do not seek nor claim to offer answers or recipes for “decolonizing higher education.” Rather, I work collaboratively and cross-disciplinarily with others to grapple with the uncertainties, complexities, contradictions, and difficulties that we face, and to support people in strategic, self-reflexive, and situated efforts to work within the ‘cracks’ of existing institutions to both reduce harm and experiment (responsibly) with possible alternatives. Future work in this area will develop critical and decolonial approaches to teaching and learning in higher education institutions across multiple disciplinary contexts.

Decolonial Futures in Global Education and Social Change ;

In this project, I work with research groups and networks of educators, practitioners, community activists, and artists who have identified the limits of dominant theories of social change and imaginaries of justice, and who therefore seek to experiment with alternative possibilities that are viable but largely unimaginable within modern/colonial frames of reference and institutionalized forms of education. This work specifically emphasizes engagements with experiments that conceptualize social change beyond horizons of hope oriented by separability/individualism, global capitalism, the nation-state, and universal reason/values.

Selected Publications

Selected articles

  • Stein, S, Andreotti, V. & Suša, R. (in press). Pluralizing frameworks for global ethics in the internationalization of higher education in Canada. Canadian Journal of Higher Education.
  • Buckner, E. & Stein, S. (in press). What counts as internationalization? Deconstructing the internationalization imperative. Journal of Studies in International Education.
  • Stein, S. (in press). A colonial history of the higher education present: Rethinking land-grant institutions through processes of accumulation and relations of conquest. Critical Studies in Education.
  • Stein, S. (in press). Beyond higher education as we know it: Gesturing towards decolonial horizons of possibility. Studies in Philosophy & Education.
  • Stein, S. (2018). Confronting the racial-colonial foundations of US higher education. Journal for the Study of Postsecondary and Tertiary Education, 3, 77-98.
  • Stein, S. (2018). Frames of racial value in U.S. university presidents’ responses to the travel ban. ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies. 17(4), 893-919.
  • Stein, S. (2018). Higher education and the im/possibility of transformative justice. Critical Ethnic Studies, 4(1), 130-153.
  • Stein, S. (2018). National exceptionalism in the “EduCanada” brand: Unpacking the ethics of internationalization marketing in Canada. Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education, 39(3), 461-477.
  • Stein, S. (2018). Rethinking critical approaches to global and development education. Policy & Practice: A Development Education Review, 27, 1-13.
  • Andreotti, V.D.O., Stein, S., Amsler, S., Sutherland, A., Suša, R., Pashby, K. & the Gesturing Toward Decolonial Futures Collective. (2018). Mobilising different conversations about global justice in education: Toward alternative futures in uncertain times. Policy & Practice:  A Development Education Review, 26, 9-41.
  • Stein, S. (2017). Internationalization for an uncertain future: Tensions, paradoxes, and possibilities. Review of Higher Education, 41(1), 3-32.
  • Stein, S. (2017). The persistent challenges of addressing epistemic dominance in higher education: Considering the case of curriculum internationalization.Comparative Education Review, 61(S1), S25-S50.
  • Stein, S. & Andreotti, V.D.O. (2017). Afterword: Provisional pedagogies toward imagining global mobilities otherwise. Curriculum Inquiry, 47(1), 135-146.
  • Stein, S. & Andreotti, V.D.O. (2017). Higher education and the modern/colonial global imaginary. Cultural Studies <-> Critical Methodologies, 17(3), 173-181.
  • Stein, S., Hunt, D., Suša, R. & Andreotti, V.D.O. (2017). The educational challenge of unraveling the fantasies of ontological security. Diaspora, Indigenous, and Minority Education, 11(2), 69-79.
  • Stein, S. (2016). Rethinking the ethics of internationalization: Five challenges for higher education. InterActions: UCLA Journal of Education and Information Studies, 12(2), 1-23.
  • Stein, S. (2016). Universities, slavery, and the unthought of anti-Blackness. Cultural Dynamics, 28(2), 169-187.
  • Stein, S. & Andreotti, V. D. O. (2016). Cash, competition, or charity: International students and the global imaginary. Higher Education, 72(2), 225-239.
  • Stein, S., Andreotti, V. D. O., Bruce, J., & Suša, R. (2016). Towards different conversations about the internationalization of higher education. Comparative and International Education/Éducation Comparée et Internationale, 45(1).
  • Andreotti, V. D. O., Stein, S., Pashby, K., & Nicholson, M. (2016). Social cartographies as performative devices in research on higher education. Higher Education Research and Development, 35(1), 84-99.
  • Stein, S. (2015). Mapping global citizenship. Journal of College and Character, 16(4), 242-252.
  • Stein, S. & Andreotti, V. D. O. (2015). Complicity, ethics and education: Political and existential readings of Spivak’s work.Critical Literacy: Theories and Practices, 9(1), 29-43.
  • Andreotti, V. D. O., Stein, S., Ahenakew, C., & Hunt, D. (2015). Mapping interpretations of decolonization in the context of higher education. Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education &  Society,4(1), 21-40.

Selected book chapters

  • Stein, S. (in press). Framing the public good in the future of British Columbia international education policy. In R. Trilokekar, M. Tamtik, & G. Jones (Eds.), International education as public policy in Canada.McGill-Queen’s University Press.
  • Haapakoski, J. & Stein, S. (2018). The ethical implications of internationalisation for a knowledge economy: A critical discourse analysis approach to contemporary strategies in  Finland and Canada. In V. Korhonen & P. Alenius (Eds.), Internationalisation and transnationalisation in higher education. Peter Lang.
  • Stein, S. & Andreotti, V.D.O. (2018). What does theory matter? Conceptualizing race critical research. In G. Vass, J. Maxwell, S.Rudolph and K. N. Gulson, The relationality of race in education research. Routledge.
  • Naepi, S., Stein, S., Ahenakew, C., & Andreotti, V. D. O. (2017). A cartography of higher education attempts at inclusion and insights from Pasifika scholarship. In C. Reid & J. Major (Eds.), Global teaching: Southern perspectives on working with diversity (pp. 81-99). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Stein, S. & Andreotti, V.D.O. (2016). Postcolonial insights for engaging difference in educational approaches to social justice and citizenship. In A. Peterson, R. Hattam, M. Zembylas, & J. Arthur (Eds.), The Palgrave international handbook of education for citizenship and social justice(pp. 229-245). London: Palgrave Macmillan.