Lisa Perhamus

Assistant Professor & Padnos/Sarosik Endowed Professor of Civil Discourse

Office Address: 469 C DeVos
Phone: (616) 331-6736


  • B.A., William Smith College
    (Majors: English; Religious Studies)
  • M.A., The New School for Social Research
    (Major: Sociology)
    (Concentration: Sociology of Urban Education)
  • Ph.D., University of Rochester
    (Concentration: Curriculum Studies)

Scholarly Interests:

  • Sociology of childhood, curriculum and urban education
  • Kinesthetic experiences of schooling
  • Marginalized narratives

Academic/Professional Activities:

  • Sociology of Education Association (SEA)
  • American Educational Research Association (AERA)
  • American Sociological Association (ASA)

Recent Scholarship:

Perhamus, L. (article forthcoming). On becoming a public intellectual:  Re-professionalizing teaching, one relationship at a time.

Perhamus, L. & Joldersma, C. (September, 2015). Interpellating dispossession: Distributions of vulnerability and the precarious mattering of lives. Paper presented at the 2015 Ohio Valley Philosophy of Education Annual Meeting. Dayton, Ohio.

Patterson, N. & Perhamus, L. (2015). The rubricization of teacherhood and studenthood: Intertextuality, identity, and the standardization of self. In Tenam-Zemach, M. & Flynn, J. (Eds.) Rubric Nation:  Critical Inquiries on the Impact of Rubrics in Education.

Perhamus, L. (November, 2014). Collective resilience:  Integrating micro-publics in the re/patterning of a classroom’s social life. Paper presented at the 2014 American Educational Studies Association. Toronto, Canada.

Thornberg, R., Perhamus, L. & Charmaz, K. (2014). Grounded Theory. In Handbook of Research Methods in Early Childhood Education, Vol II. Information Age Publishing, Inc.: Charlotte, North Carolina.

Perhamus, L. & Levinson, N. (November, 2013). State of the Field. A special research session presented at the 2013 American Educational Studies Association. Baltimore, MD.

Perhamus, L. (December, 2010). “But your body would rather have this…” Conceptualizing health through kinesthetic experience. The International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education 23 (7), pp. 843-866.

Teaching Areas:

  • Foundations of Education
  • Anti-Oppression education
  • Sociology of urban education
  • Issues of race, class, gender and sexuality in education
  • Civil discourse


  • EDF 315: Diverse Perspectives on Education
  • EDF 485: The Contexts of Educational Issues
  • EDF 672: Social and Cultural Foundations of Education
  • IDS 350: Detroit’s Public Dialogues: Listening Across Differences, Seeing Beyond Stereotypes, Talking Among Communities
    -Impact Report for IDS 350:

Additional Information:

Lisa M. Perhamus is the Padnos/Sarosik Endowed Professor of Civil Discourse at Grand Valley State University and an Assistant Professor in the Foundations of Education Program in the university’s College of Education.  Perhamus received her Ph.D. in Education with a concentration in Curriculum Studies from the University of Rochester, her Master’s degree in Sociology with a concentration in Urban Education from The New School for Social Research, and her Bachelor of Arts degree from William Smith College.  Her qualitative research asks questions about the human experiences of oppression across multiple contexts. She is particularly interested in how young children, their families and community members create emotional and material conditions of resiliency.  Her teaching interests include anti-oppression education; the sociology of urban education; kinesthetic experiences of schooling; issues of race, class, gender and sexuality in education; and the role of civil discourse in community capacity-building.  In her recent work, Dr. Perhamus has focused on the relationship between life narratives in the classroom, civil discourse and community-based public dialogues.  Dr. Perhamus is a recipient of GVSU’s Early Career Scholars Grant and serves as a reviewer for a number of refereed scholarly journals and national conferences in the field of Educational Research.  She is a member of the American Educational Research Association, the American Educational Studies Association and the American Sociological Association.