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The Childhood, Law & Policy Network (CLPN)

Dr Melinda Lemke


Associate Professor, Educational Policy; University at Buffalo, State University of New York, United States



I am a feminist scholar who examines the politics of education, and how social policies address structural violence to center the health, well-being, and human rights of young women and girls. The first area investigates policy actor knowledge, discourse, and decision-making, while the second considers how power and normative culture affect policy-making. Both areas rely upon interdisciplinarity and qualitative methods to examine causes, effects, and public sector responses to gender-based violence and forced displacement. Current projects include further development of feminist critical policy analysis tools and critique of intersecting social policies that delimit, dislocate, and engender structural trauma and disposability. My work is shaped by a prior career in U.S. secondary public education and ongoing sexual assault prevention advocacy.



Lemke, M. & Rogers, K. (2022). A feminist critical heuristic for educational policy analysis: U.S. social emotional learning policy. Journal of Education Policy, 1-26.

Lemke, M., Nickerson, A. & Saboda, J. (2021). Global displacement and local contexts: A case study of U.S. urban educational policy and practice. International Journal of Leadership in Education, 1-26.

Shubin, S. & Lemke, M. (Eds.). (2020). Special Issue – Children displaced across borders: Charting new directions for research from interdisciplinary perspectives. Children’s Geographies, 18(5), 505-515.

Lemke, M. (2019a). Educators as the “front line” of human trafficking prevention: An analysis of state-level educational policy. Leadership and Policy in Schools, 18(3), 284-304.

Lemke, M. (2019b). The politics of ‘giving student victims a voice’: A feminist analysis of state trafficking policy implementation. American Journal of Sexuality Education, 14(1), 74-108.

Lemke, M. (2017). Trafficking and immigration policy: Intersections, inconsistencies, and implications for public education. Educational Policy, 31(6), 743-763. 


Critical and FemCrit Policy Analysis; Forced Displacement; Gender-based Violence; Neoliberal Educational Reform; Politics of Education; Qualitative Methodology; Youth Rights
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