People Feature

Eli Harris-Trent

MPhil in International Relations

Eli is a first-year MPhil candidate in the Department of Politics and International Relations (DPIR). His research explores the relationship between art and peace in post-conflict societies. His MPhil thesis, supervised by Dr. Neta Crawford, uses ethnographic methods to examine the everyday peacebuilding practices of and within circuses in Afghanistan. His project incorporates ideas from many disciplines, including art theory, literary criticism, and anthropology. 

In general, Eli's work engages with the theoretical and methodological aspects of critical peace research: It advocates for art-based peacebuilding as a promising alternative to conventional peacebuilding projects while also questioning how ethnography and other improvisational, reflexive research methodologies can contribute to local forms of peacebuilding. 

Eli's research interests broadly include peacebuilding, art, ex-combatant reintegration, transitional justice, and the philosophy of social science. 

In April 2023, Eli received his Bachelor of Arts with Highest Honors and Highest Distinction in political science, international studies, and Spanish from the University of Michigan.

Eli Harris-Trent I

Tom Weller Photography