Irie Browning


Irie Browning is an undergraduate at Eastern Washington University pursuing a major in Philosophy and a minor in English Literature. She is interested in nearly every aspect of Philosophy, particularly in the integration of the branches. Philosophy of Education and Philosophy of Religion are also areas of special interest. Irie is currently President of the EWU Philosophy Club and works as an Academic Coach with the Program Leading to University Success. In Spring 2022, she presented her paper, The Necessary Passion of Religion in Hegel and Kierkegaard, at EWU’s Student Research and Creative Works Symposium.


For Irie’s McNair Summer Research internship, she will be working with Dr. Christopher Kirby on John Dewey’s Theory of Inquiry and how it can be applied to inspire a greater passion for learning in college freshman.  When she isn’t reading or writing Philosophy, Irie enjoys playing Dungeons and Dragons, writing stories, and going on long walks with her dog.

2022 EWU Faculty Research Mentor: Dr. Christopher Kirby

Research Title: To Inspire Inquiry: A Deweyan Response to Neoliberalism in Higher Education

Research Presentation

Abstract: Neoliberal structures in the modern university encourage competition and economic ends as the sole purpose of higher education. This is a structural problem which no one person can fix; however, a pragmatic view sees addressing conflict in trial and error as the process of democratic growth. Incorporating John Dewey’s method of inquiry and the means-ends continuum into a first-year experience course is one actionable method for improving the college experience towards a lifelong view of experience and education as opposed to the neoliberal model.