Michelle Bellino is an assistant professor at the University of Michigan School of Education.
Her research centers on the intersections between education and youth civic development, with particular attention to contexts impacted by armed conflict and forced displacement. Across diverse settings, she explores how experiences with violence, asylum, and peace and justice processes influence young people’s participation in schools and society, future aspirations, as well as educational access and inclusion. In her work, she traces youth experiences from schools to their homes and communities in order to understand how knowledge and attitudes toward historical (in)justice travel across public and private spaces, as well as between generations. She draws on ethnographic methods and youth participatory action research to ask how young people construct understandings of justice and injustice, while shaping an evolving sense of themselves as local and global civic actors. Infusing these themes into her teaching, she encourages students to consider how education systems in pluralistic societies reconcile with legacies of violence and division, and how to create authentic openings for critical inquiry, perspective-taking, and dialogue across difference. She is the author of Youth in Postwar Guatemala: Education and Civic Identity in Transition (Rutgers University Press) and co-editor (with J.H.Williams) of (Re)constructing memory: Education, identity, and conflict (Sense). Her work has been featured in Harvard Educational Review; Anthropology and Education Quarterly; and Comparative Education Review. She has been recognized as a Peace Scholar by the United States Institute of Peace and a Postdoctoral Fellow of the Spencer Foundation. Her book, Youth in Postwar Guatemala won the Council of Anthropology and Education’s Outstanding Book Award in 2018.
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