Julia C. Lerch
Assistant Professor of Sociology

Ph.D., Stanford University, 2017
Comparative sociology of education; globalization and world culture; refugees, war, and emergencies; international development

Julia C. Lerch is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Irvine. She received her Ph.D. in Education from Stanford in 2017, her M.Sc. in International Development from the University of Amsterdam in 2010, and her B.A. in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Oxford in 2008.

Her research examines how evolving global cultural emphases transform social domains of life around the world, especially education. One current project focuses on the rise of education as a humanitarian response. While education has traditionally been seen as a development activity, global responses to humanitarian crises have recently come to deliver “emergency education” to affected populations (e.g. refugees), in addition to more established humanitarian services like medicine, shelter, and food. The project seeks to understand the world cultural changes that have facilitated this re-conceptualization of education as a humanitarian need. A second project studies the impact of the global cultural environment on school curricula worldwide, asking to what extent world cultural emphases on individual rights and multiculturalism have challenged nationalism and the mono-cultural narratives once favored in schools.