Name: Amanda Blewitt
Program: International Education
Research Interests: everyday peace, grassroots peacebuilding, peace in non-conflict contexts, nonformal community-based education, critical peace education, arts-based peace interventions
Principal Advisor(s): Elisabeth King (Chair), Carol Anne Spreen (NYU), Roger Mac Ginty (Durham University)
Research Description/Bio: Amanda Blewitt is a Ph.D. student in International Education at New York University. Her dissertation fieldwork explores how people in Honduras “live peace” amidst the violence in their environment. She uses multiple qualitative research methods to analyze local perspectives on positive peacebuilding as well as the informal or everyday ways in which people disrupt cycles of violence. She additionally asks how Hondurans share knowledge and learn in ways that help them to disrupt violence and build peace, whether through structured education or informal learning processes. Her research contributes to scholarship that views peace and violence as interacting within complex systems, and it draws attention to organic solutions to the social problems that affect people’s everyday lives.
Amanda is also interested in evaluating nonformal educational approaches to reducing polarization. She is part of an interdisciplinary research team conducting a mixed-methods study of how the innovative theatre work of NYU’s Verbatim Performance Lab impacts biases and political perceptions.
While at NYU, Amanda has served as a teaching assistant for courses on qualitative and quantitative research methods, political issues in international education, and the philosophy of learning; and as a technical editor for the Journal on Education in Emergencies.
Prior to doctoral study, Amanda worked for community development, women’s empowerment, and educational nonprofit organizations in Honduras and Ecuador for six years, and she has worked or volunteered as an educator for universities and nonprofits in the U.S. and numerous international settings. Amanda holds a Master of Education in International Education Policy & Management from Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College and a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Franklin & Marshall College.
Selected Awards, Publications, and Presentations:
Blewitt, A., Choi, C., & King, E. (2021). Combining the theory and practice of peace and conflict studies through an experiential conflict analysis activity. PS: Political Science & Politics. doi:10.1017/S1049096521000445
Shearwater Research Grant (2020).
King, E. (PI), Dunlop, E., Acris, S., and Blewitt, A. $25,000. (2018–2019). Innovative Social Change Methodologies in International Development. GIZ German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.