Rebecca Tarlau is an Assistant Professor of Education and Labor and Employment Relations at the Pennsylvania State University, affiliated with the Lifelong Learning and Adult Education Program, the Comparative and International Education program, and the Center for Global Workers’ Rights. She has a Ph.D. in Education from the University of California, Berkeley (2014) and was a Postdoctoral Scholar at Stanford University (2015-2017). Her ethnographic research agenda has three broad areas of focus: (1) Theories of the state and state-society relations; (2) Social movements, critical pedagogy, and learning; (3) Latin American education and development.
Her book Occupying Schools, Occupying Land: How the Landless Workers Movement Transformed Brazilian Education (Oxford University Press 2019) examines the educational initiatives of the Brazilian Landless Workers Movement (MST), a national social movement of rural workers struggling for agrarian reform. It has been the winner of several important awards such as Winner of the 2020 American Political Science Association Michael Harrington Book Award, the 2020 American Sociology Association Sociology of Development Book Award,the 2020 Comparative and International Education Society Globalization and Education SIG Book Award, the 2020 LASA Brazil Section Best Book Prize in the Social Sciences, and the 2019 BRASA Robert Reis Best Book Award.
Dr. Tarlau current research examines teacher union organizing in Brazil, Mexico, and the United States. Her scholarship engages in debates in the fields of political sociology, international and comparative education, adult education, critical pedagogy, global and transnational sociology, and social theory.