PhD candidates

Howard Prosser

Howard is an historian whose previous research focused on twentieth-century European and American intellectual history, especially the legacies of the Frankfurt School and the New Lefts. He has taught a range of histories at universities in Australia and Canada, as well as in schools.

Howard joined the team to analyse how education, class, colonialism, and globalization intersect, in different settings, and join the discussions about social elites in education. Although Buenos Aires was a bit of an anomaly in the British colonial experience, the concept of informal imperialism, and the large number of British schools in the city, made for a perfect location for his ethnographic research into political culture in an elite school – how those in the school’s community saw themselves as political actors in a society with a past of social upheaval and in a world that was subject to shifting forces and futures. Howard completed his fieldwork in Buenos Aires in 2011.

Matthew Shaw

Matthew Shaw has received an MA degree in Roman history from the University of Tasmania, an MTeach from the University of Melbourne and a Graduate Diploma in Sports Coaching from the University of Queensland. For his MA thesis he examined the emperors of third century imperial Rome and the difficulties they faced in establishing and maintaining their legitimacy. His MT thesis explored historical reasoning and how it can be applied to the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) Classical Studies. Matthew’s research interests include the historical role of sport in elite schools and as a transmitter of imperial values. He is also interested in how this contrasts to the place sport has in the curriculum in today's post-colonial societies and how schools seek to transmit values and cultural understanding to students. Matthew has presented papers at conferences in both history and sport and is currently in Cyprus examining the effects of globalisation on an elite school and the effect it has on the place of sport in the school. He will be at this site until mid-2012.

Mousumi Mukherjee

Mousumi Mukherjee is a Fulbright alumna from India. She has 10 years experience of teaching and research in India and in the United States. She earned M.A and M.Phil degrees in English with a thesis in the area of Comparative Literature from Calcutta University (India); and MA degree in Cultural and Educational Policy Studies from Loyola University, Chicago (USA) with a thesis on global civic-mindedness and engagement among two groups of American students studying abroad in Italy and China. Her current research interests include social, cultural and economic aspects of globalization and educational policy reform. In December 2011, Mousumi graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with an Ed. M in Education Policy, Organization and Leadership. She has presented and published several scholarly articles in international conferences and journals. She is one of the founding members and secretary of South Asia (SIG) at the Comparative and International Education Society, and a standing committee member of the World Council of Comparative Education Societies. Currently, Mousumi is one of our Elite Schools Project Ph.D research associates, studying an elite girls’ school in India and undertaking a PhD at Melbourne University.

Shlomi Hanuka

Shlomi received his BA degree in Political Science & Islamic and Middle East studies from the Hebrew University, Israel. He earned his MA degree in Educational Leadership & Policy (the program of education, society and culture) from the University of Haifa, with a thesis exploring the coping strategies junior high school teachers use when facing classroom disarray.

Alongside his studies, and afterwards, Shlomi has gained much research and academic experience from working closely with world renowned professors, participating in various research groups and helping formulate research projects. He was chosen by his faculty professors as the MA students’ representative to the Education Faculty Council at the University of Haifa.

He has an exceptional record of working, volunteering and counseling in the field of informal education. Within this framework, he served as a member of the steering committee of the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (‘Green Map’ project); as a Head Coordinator at the Center for Youth Leadership (World WIZO); founded and was the head of a youth center; and volunteered (hands on & counseling) at the youth center of the Aid Organization for Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Israel.

As an Elite Schools Project PhD research associate, Shlomi will be studying an elite school(s) in Israel. Focusing on issues such as social elite, privilege, power, imagination and identity and class formation, he is addressing the question of ‘If and how future global, as well as national, leaders are being prepared at elite schools’.

Shlomi will conduct his research in Israel during 2014-2015.

Alexandra Dunwill

Alexandra holds an MA degree in Polish and Slavonic Philology from the University of Warsaw Poland, a Diploma of Education, a Master of Educational Studies from Monash University and a Graduate Diploma in Librarianship from the University of Melbourne. 

For her Masters thesis in Poland, she examined the topic: "A Vision of Art in the Philosophical Works and Plays of Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz".  The thesis required extensive historical, aesthetic, philosophical and literary analysis of a body of work by Witkacy, a well known Polish poet, playwright, novelist, painter, photographer and philosopher of the first half of the 20th century.

In Poland she worked briefly as a freelance literature and theatre critic, journalist and commentator.

For her second Masters thesis in Australia, she examined topics such as globalisation and internationalisation of the educational context in Australia, including the policy context of Australian schooling, trends in educational policy and economic factors influencing government policies. 

Alexandra has been an active member of the Polish intellectual community in Australia. She was a founding member of Polish community Radio 3ZZ, and a founding member of the Polish VCE Committee and Polish VCE Studies, a member of the VCE Panels of Examiners, and the NAATI panels for Interpreters and Translators of the Polish language. She is currently a member of the Executive Committee and Secretary of the Australian Institute of Polish Affairs, an independent non-political organisation that seeks to develop stronger and more diversified ties between Australia and Poland by inviting and organizing meetings with expert speakers, both Polish and Australian.

Alexandra joined the Monash project: "Elite Schools in Globalising Circumstances: a Global Ethnography", to investigate elite schools in Poland in the context of post-communist developments in Central and Eastern Europe and the European Union. She is interested in the reconfiguration of Polish elites and the role that education plays in this process.  Her current research interests include social, cultural and economic aspects of globalisation, transnationalism and educational policy reforms in Poland after 1989.