Elizabeth Herman

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New York City, NY
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Personal Statement: 

Biz Herman is a Ph.D. Candidate in Political Science at University of California, Berkeley and a photojournalist based in New York City. Her dissertation research examines the ways in which trauma impacts intergroup relations and political participation, and she is broadly interested in examining the how the psychological and physiological consequences of conflict impact reconciliation. 

She is a 2019-2020 Herb York Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation (IGCC) Dissertation Fellow, and her research has been supported by the Simpson Memorial Research Fellowship in International & Comparative Studies, the Malini Chowdhury Fellowship on Bangladesh Studies, and the Georg Eckert Institute Research Fellowship. She recently received the inaugural IGCC Academic Conference Grant to convene a conference in spring 2020 at UC Berkeley on human security, violence, and trauma in the 21st Century.

Since 2016, she has been an Innovation Fellow at Beyond Conflict’s Innovation Lab, which works to apply research from cognitive and behavioral science to reduce social conflict and foster reconciliation. Her additional research interests include the politics of history and national identity; her Masters Thesis focused on representations of 9/11 in high school history textbooks worldwide, and she has an ongoing project examining the ways in which politics influence the writing of national histories in textbooks in Bangladesh, a project she began as a Fulbright Fellow to Bangladesh in 2011. 

Upon returning to the U.S., she worked for as a freelance photo and written journalist for a number of national and international news outlets, based in New York and reporting from both the U.S. and abroad. She continues to work as a photojournalist, and is a regular contributor to The New York Times. She was the lead photographer and researcher on “The Women of the 116th Congress,” a special project for The New York Times, which featured portraits of 130 women of the 116th Congress, photographed in the style of historical portrait paintings. The project was recently published as a book with ABRAMS Books, with a foreword by Roxane Gay.

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Dissertation Committee Chair: 
Aila Matanock
Primary Subfield: 
International Relations
Secondary Subfield: 
Political Behavior
South Asia
Academic Advisors: 
Aila Matanock
Cecilia Mo
Marika Landau-Wells
Ron Hassner
Jasjeet Sekhon