Professor Amy Stambach

Amy Stambach was Professor of Education and a Fellow of St Edmund Hall.

Before coming to Oxford, she held positions as Faculty Director of Global Studies and as Associate Dean of International Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

An anthropologist by training, she has served as Principal Investigator on projects funded by the U.S. Department of Education, the Spencer Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, and the United States Institute of Peace.

Amy Stambach is a co-editor of the Comparative Education Reviewand serves on the editorial board of a number of journals including theBritish Journal of Sociology of Education (BJSE).

Amy Stambach’s research and teaching interests focus on theoretical and methodological issues in comparative and international education, theories of social and educational change, and the anthropological study of education.  She especially welcomes new students wishing to work in these areas.


Amy Stambach’s research examines the social value and purposes of education. Interests include the global and comparative dynamics of education; education in East Africa; community efforts to control education in an era of liberalization; education policy shifts as they reflect new forms of global governance and international relations; and the intersections of religion, education, and secularism. To conduct her research, Amy Stambach employs ethnographic field methods, which enable her to analyze the particular cultural ideations that people mobilize to realize their visions of education. This anthropological approach builds on and complements political-economic and sociological orientations by considering how education policies and programs are culturally operationalized in various settings.

Topically, Amy Stambach’s research has focused on community schools in Tanzania, charter schools in the United States, American evangelical religious groups’ educational programming in East Africa and, most recently, Confucius Institutes in the United States and parts of Africa. She is author of Lessons from Mount Kilimanjaro: Schooling, Community, and Gender in East Africa and Faith in Schools: Religion, Education, and American Evangelicals in East Africa. She has guest edited a special section on religion and education for Social Analysis: The International Journal of Cultural and Social Practice, and she has contributed to the 2010 United Nations Institute of Statistics (UNIS) Global Education Forum, led by Nelly Stromquist. With Mark Ginsburg, Emily Hannum, and Aaron Benavot, she serves as co-editor of theComparative Education Review, under the chief editorship of David Post.



  • Stambach, Amy (2014) Confucius and Crisis in American Universities: Culture, Capital, and Diplomacy in U.S. Public Higher Education. New York: Routledge.
  • Stambach, Amy (2010) Faith in Schools: Religion, Education, and American Evangelicals in East Africa. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
  • Stambach, Amy (2000) [Reissued 2006]. Lessons from Mount Kilimanjaro: Schooling, Community, and Gender in East Africa.  New York: Routledge.

Journal Articles, Book Chapters, and Essays (selected):

  • Stambach, Amy (2015, under contract) Ethnography and the Localization of Global Education Policy. The Handbook of Global Policy and Policy-making in Education, edited by Karen Mundy et al Wiley: Blackwell
  • Stambach, Amy (2014, in press) Confucius Institute Programming in the United States: Language Ideology, Hegemony, and the Making of Chinese Culture in University Classes. Anthropology and Education Quarterly. 45(3)
  • Stambach, Amy (2014, in press) Faith-based education: Recent turns toward ethics and dialogue. In The Handbook of Religion and Development, edited by Emma Tomalin.
  • Oppenheim, Willy and Amy Stambach (2014) Global Norm Making as Lens and Mirror: Comparative Education and Gender Mainstreaming in Northern Pakistan. Accepted for October 2014 issue of Comparative Education Review.
  • Stambach, Amy (2012) ‘Take the Gift of My Child and Return Something to Me’: On Children, Chagga Trust, and an American Evangelical Orphanage on Mount Kilimanjaro. Journal of Religion in Africa. Special issue edited by H. Dilger and D. Schulz.
  • Stambach, Amy (2012) Rethinking Culture and Education.British Journal of Sociology of Education 33(2): 323-333.
  • Stambach, Amy and Christina Cappy (2012) What We See, What is Missing, and What Has Fallen Away: The 2011Comparative Education Review Bibliography. Comparative Education Review 56(3): 534-546
  • Stambach, Amy (2012) Cross-border Higher Education: Two Market Models that Do Not Compete. Winter Issue.International Higher Education Newsletter, Philip Altbach, ed. Boston College.
  • Stambach, Amy (2011) The United Nations. In The Encyclopedia of Global Studies, edited by Mark Jurgensmeyer, Helmut Anheier, and Victor Faessel. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  • Stambach, Amy and Zolani Ngwane (2011) Development, Postcolonialism, and Global Networks as Frameworks for the Study of Education in Africa and Beyond. By Amy Stambach. InCompanion to the Anthropology of Education, edited by B. Levinson and M. Pollock. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Stambach, Amy, Rosalind Raby and Christina Cappy (2011) Changes in the Field: Analysis of the 2010 Comparative Education Review Bibliography through a Lens of Global Norm Making. Comparative Education Review 55(3): 457-472.
  • Stambach, Amy (2011) Religion and Education in Secular Institutions: A Moderated Discussion with A. Kwayu, H. El-Bilawi, L. Andreescu, M. Nelson, K. Marshall, and P. Wexler and colleagues. Comparative Education Review 55(1): 534-546.
  • Stambach, Amy (2010) Education, Religion, and Anthropology in Africa. Annual Review of Vol. 39: 361-79,
  • Stambach, Amy (2010) Pedagogy and the Paradox of American Evangelical Involvement in East African Schools. Discourse31(3): 295-306.
  • Stambach, Amy (2010) Symposium Review, Globalizing Education Policy by F. Rizvi and B. Lingard (Taylor and Francis)British Journal of Sociology of Education 31(3): 353-358.
  • Stambach, Amy (2009) Spiritual Warfare 101: Preparing the Student for Christian Battle. Journal of Religion in Africa 39: 137-157.
  • Stambach, Amy (2009) What 20th-century Theorists Have to Say about Our World Today. Global-e: A Global Studies Journal.
  • Phillips, Kristin and Amy Stambach (2008) Cultivating Choice: The Invisible Hand of Educational Opportunity in Tanzania. InThe Globalization of School Choice? edited by M. Forsey, S. Davies, and G. Walford. Oxford: Symposium Books.
  • Stambach, Amy (2008) Charter School entry, in The International Encyclopedia of Education, edited by Gary McCulloch and David Crook. NY: Routledge.
  • Stambach, Amy (2006) Guest Editor of Thematic Issue: The Cultural Politics of Education and Religion. Social Analysis: The International Journal of Cultural and Social Practice 50(3): 1-126.
  • Stambach, Amy (2006) Introductory Essay. Revising a Four-Square Model of a Complicated Whole: On the Cultural Politics of Religion and Education. Social Analysis 50(3): 1-18.
  • Stambach, Amy (2006) Education, Technology, and the ‘New’ Knowledge Economy: Views from Bongoland.  By Amy Stambach and George A. Malekela.  Globalization, Societies and Education 4(3): 321-336.
  • Stambach, Amy and Natalie Crow Becker (2006) Finding the Old in the New: On Race and Class in U.S. Charter School Debates. By Amy Stambach and Natalie Crow Becker. Race, Ethnicity and Education 9(2):159-182.
  • Stambach, Amy (2006) Essay Review: African Education, Culture, and Modernity Unwound.  Comparative Education Review 50(2): 288-295.
  • Stambach, Amy (2005) Rallying the Armies, Bridging the Gulf: Questioning the Significance of Faith-based Educational Initiatives in a Global Age. Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies 12(1):205-226.
  • Stambach, Amy and Miriam David (2005) Feminist Theory and Education Policy:  How Gender is ‘Involved’ in Family-School Choice Debates. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 30(1): 1633-1658.
  • Stambach, Amy (2005) Reprinted article (“Consumerism and Gender in an Era of School Choice: A Look at U.S. Charter Schools” from Gender and Education 13(2): 199-216), in A Feminist Critique of Education: Fifteen Years of Gender Development, edited by C. Skelton and B . Francis.  New York: Routledge.
  • Stambach, Amy (2005) Differences in Men and Women Scientists’ Perceptions of Workplace Climate. By Ramona Gunter and Amy Stambach. Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering 11(1): 97-116.
  • Stambach, Amy (2004) Faith in Schools: Toward an Ethnography of Education, Religion, and the State.  Social Analysis: The International Journal of Cultural and Social Practice 48(3): 90-107.
  • Stambach, Amy (2004) ‘As Balancing Act and as Game’: How Women and Men Science Faculty Experience the Promotion Process. By Ramona Gunter and Amy Stambach. Gender Issues 21(1): 24-42.
  • Stambach, Amy (2004) Symposium Review, Teaching in the Knowledge Society: Education in the Age of Insecurity by A. Hargreaves. British Journal of Sociology of Education 25(3): 371-382.
  • Stambach, Amy (2003) World-Cultural and Anthropological Interpretations of ‘Choice Programming’ in Education. In Local Meanings of Global Schooling: Anthropology and World Culture Theory, edited by Kathryn M. Anderson-Levitt.  New York: Palgrave/St. Martin’s.
  • Stambach, Amy (2003) Kutoa Mimba: Debates about Schoolgirl Abortion in Machame, Tanzania.  In The Socio-Cultural and Political Aspects of Abortion, edited by Alaka Basu.  Westport: Greenwood Publishers.
  • Stambach, Amy (2003) Charter School entry, in Dictionary of American History, 3rd Edition, edited by Stanley I. Kutler.  NY: Charles Scribner’s Sons.
  • Stambach, Amy (2002) Symposium Review, Parents Founding Charter Schools: Dilemmas of Empowerment and Decentralization by Patty Yancey.  British Journal of Sociology of Education 23(1): 123-126.
  • Stambach, Amy (2001) Consumerism and Gender in an Era of School Choice: A Look at U.S. Charter Schools.  Gender and Education 13(3): 199-216.
  • Stambach, Amy (2000) Evangelism and Consumer Culture in Northern Tanzania.  Anthropological Quarterly 73(3): 171-179.
  • Stambach, Amy (2000) Using Texts on Education to Teach about Africa: A Research Note. Educational Practice and Theory21(1): 87-95.
  • Stambach, Amy (2000) The Rationality Debate Revisited. Reviews in Anthropology 28: 341-351.