Sahara Pradhan

I am now a first year doctoral student from Nepal in the International Education program and in the Center for International Education. I completed my BA in Political Science and Education at Vassar College in New York and my MA in International Education at UMass Amherst.


While I grew up in Kathmandu, inheriting a commitment to education through my mother’s educational work with women and girls, my professional and academic goals have emerged from experience, research, and conversations about education in a variety of contexts including in Nepal, Haiti, Costa Rica and the U.S. While I maintain that education and development open up myriad social, economic, political and creative possibilities, I am unsettled by the troubling contradictions embedded in the international development enterprise, particularly as it remains enmeshed with neoliberalism and colonial power.


The multiple, simultaneous positionalities I inhabit in relationship to development and education constitute the basis of my ongoing academic interest and my research agenda at the doctoral level.


My main areas of interest include neoliberal education reform, globalization and gender inequality in education, to which I bring postcolonial, discourse analytical and hermeneutical commitments. I am also interested in feminist and performance methodologies that call for a radical reworking of the ways in which we seek to ‘know’ the world and a reimagining of the relationship between the researcher and the researched.


As I develop my research agenda, I also hope to pursue the graduate certificate in advanced feminist studies as well as to develop the skills to practice educational evaluation.

I am excited at the prospect of being able to work with and learn from with students and faculty at UMass who share a passion for a more global and just practice of education and development




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On-Campus Student