Jillian LaBranche was born and raised in southern New Hampshire. She graduated from Rhodes College with a BA in International Studies and a minor in Religious Studies. During this time, she studied abroad in Rwanda and Uganda studying violent conflict and peacebuilding. She received an MA in International Human Rights from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver and an MA in Sociology at Brandeis University. She is now a PhD student in Sociology at the University of Minnesota. Jillian serves as a member of the graduate editorial board for The Society Pages and participates in the Genocide Education Outreach (GEO) program. During the 2020-2021 academic year, Jillian hopes to begin her dissertation research.

Jillian’s research interests broadly include violence, knowledge, collective memory, and comparative methods. Her research seeks to understand how societies that recently experienced large-scale political violence teach about this violence to the next generation. More specifically, her dissertation research will analyze how teachers and parents in Sierra Leone and Rwanda relay their respective countries’ violent histories to the next generation, and how the distinct classification of the violence as civil war versus genocide are reflected in these communications. In addition to her dissertation work, Jillian works as a Research Assistant for Alejandro Baer on a project that seeks to understand how education is a form of reparative justice in Minnesota and Manitoba.