The Struggle to Name the World…

Eleni Schirmer is currently a Ph.D. candidate at University of Wisconsin-Madison, studying Educational Policy Studies and Curriculum & Instruction. Her research cuts across sociology of education, labor studies and history where she investigates the contradictory capacities of social movements – particularly teachers’ unions – to shape institutions, identities, and ideas.

Miss Schirmer’s dissertation, titled From fracture to fight: teachers’ unions and the contest of public education in Milwaukee, WI, 1963-2009, traces the surprising and under-examined role of teachers’ unions in the ascent of conservative education movements over the past sixty years – as well as their vital leadership in recent educational justice struggles in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

She’s taught at UW-Madison and is active member and former co-president of the Teaching Assistants’ Association, the nation’s oldest graduate employee union.


Her academic writing has appeared in The Education Review, Gender and Education, and several book chapters. Her writings on struggles over public education and public-sector unionism has appeared in Jacobin, Labor Notes and The Progressive. She’s also written essays in espnW, on topics ranging from Serena Williams’ love of poetry to womens’ marches of 2017, to the endeavors of neighborhood jogger.


Miss Schirmer was born and raised attending public schools in Madison, Wisconsin. She currently splits her time between Madison and Montréal, Quebec.

>> Download Eleni Schirmer CV HERE