Michelle J. Bellino

Assistant Professor

Michelle J. Bellino, School of Education

Michelle Bellino’s research centers on young people’s understanding of injustice, whether experienced directly or shaped through school curriculum, family narratives, or social movements. In her work, she traces youth experiences from schools to their homes and communities in order to understand how knowledge and attitudes toward historical injustice travel across public and private spaces, as well as between generations. She asks how young people construct the past while shaping an evolving sense of themselves as local and global civic actors. Bellino is committed to exploring the relationship between historical consciousness and civic development in conflict-affected and post-conflict contexts undergoing transitional justice or impacted by forced displacement. Trained as a cultural anthropologist, she has carried out ethnographic and interview-based research in Guatemala, Afghanistan, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. She facilitated a multi-year youth participatory action research collaboration set in Kenya’s Kakuma Refugee Camp, aimed at exploring youth educational aspirations as they intersect with spatial mobility and a sense of belonging in exile. Her work has been featured in Harvard Educational ReviewComparative Education ReviewComparative Education, and Anthropology and Education Quarterly. She has been selected as a Peace Scholar by the United States Institute of Peace, and a Concha Delgado Gaitan Presidential Fellow by the Council of Anthropology and Education. Her book, Youth in postwar Guatemala: Education and civic identity in transition, won the Jackie Kirk Outstanding Book Award in 2018, awarded by the Comparative and International Education Society. She co-directs the Conflict and Peace Initiative, within U-M’s International Institute.

Bellino teaches courses in the following program(s):
Educational Foundations and Policy
Literacy, Language, and Culture
New Media and New Literacies
Combined Program in Education and Psychology


Selected Publications

Bellino, M.J. (2018). Wait-citizenship: Youth civic development in transition. Compare: A Journal of Comparative and International Education, 48(3), pp. 379-396.

Bellino, M.J. (2017). Youth in postwar Guatemala: Education and civic identity in transition. Rutgers, NJ: Rutgers University Press. Childhood Studies Series.

Bellino, M.J., Williams, J.H. (Eds.) (2017). (Re)constructing memory: Education, identity, and conflict. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.

Bellino, M.J., Paulson, J., & Anderson Worden, E. (2017). Editorial: Working through difficult pasts: Toward thick democracy and transitional justice in educationComparative Education, 53(3), 313-332

Bellino, M.J. & Loucky, J. (2017). Education as solidarity. Anthropology and Education Quarterly 48(3), 229-232.

Bellino, M.J., Faizi, B., & Mehta, N. (2016). Finding a way forward: Conceptualizing sustainability in Afghanistan’s community-based schoolsJournal on Education in Emergencies, 2(1), 11-41.

Bellino, M.J. (2016). So that we do not fall again: History education and citizenship in “postwar” Guatemala. Comparative Education Review, 60(1), 58-79.

Bellino, M.J. (2015). The risks we are willing to take: Youth civic development in “postwar” Guatemala. Harvard Educational Review, 85(4), 537-561.



1/1/2019 - ongoing Teaching Peace in a Charged Landscape: The Democratic Potential of Peace Education During Colombia's Peace Process
Granting Agency: Spencer Foundation

9/1/2014 - ongoing Education and Transitional Justice: Building a Research Cluster
Granting Agency: British Association for International and Comparative Education (BAICE)

1/1/2017 - 12/31/2017 Education and belonging in the context of an unknowable future: Youth aspirations in Kakuma Refugee Camp
Granting Agency: NAEd/Spencer


Room 4027
734.647.9572 bellino@umich.edu

Personal Website