Jillian LaBranche Awarded Fulbright Scholarship

Jillian will be conducting her fieldwork in Sierra Leone next year.

The Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies is excited to announce that Jillian LaBranche has been awarded the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship. Jillian, a 3rd year PhD candidate in Sociology, will begin her dissertation fieldwork in Sierra Leone this fall. Jillian will explore how educators and parents teach younger generations about the 1991-2002 Sierra Leone Civil War. Her project examines how narratives about the war put forth by the Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the Special Court for Sierra Leone impact the teaching of national history and civics curricula in Sierra Leone. 

Jillian LaBranche

“The Fulbright Scholarship is an excellent opportunity for me to continue my field research,” Jillian said of the award, “Fulbright allows scholars to connect with institutions within the countries they research, and I am excited to work with Fourah Bay College at the University of Sierra Leone. This wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the Center for Holocaust & Genocide Studies and its faculty.”

Jillian has been involved with the Center for several years. This past academic year, she was a Badzin Fellow, working with the Center through the pandemic, which had delayed her fieldwork. She has also served as a research assistant for the Center’s Human Rights Lab project, “Public Education on Indigenous Dispossession and Reparative Justice Across Minnesota & Manitoba.” 

“Jillian’s dissertation project delves into a fundamental question in the field of genocide studies, which is the consequential problem of naming, narrating, and conveying knowledge of past violence to the next generations,” says Alejandro Baer, the Center’s director, and Jillian’s co-advisor. “Fulbright undoubtedly made a good choice! At CHGS we were very fortunate to count on Jillian’s expertise, and ability to conduct high-quality research over the last years.”

Jillian is the second student affiliated with the Center to be awarded a Fulbright Scholarship in the last three years. Brooke Chambers received the award in 2019 to conduct fieldwork in Rwanda.

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