Michael Wilson-Becerril

Faculty

Visiting Assistant Professor in Political Science, Peace Studies, and LALACS

I am an activist-scholar specialized in peace & conflict studies and environmental politics, particularly in Latin America. My research focuses on the political ecologies of violence, resistance, and justice. My everyday mission is to synthesize, disseminate, and practice the understandings and tools needed to transform violent contexts, build healing relationships, and generate durable peace.

My research has been supported by a University of California Eugene Cota-Robles Fellowship, a Jennings Randolph Peace Scholarship from the United States Institute of Peace, a Ph.D. Fellowship from the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict, and a research fellowship at the Council on Hemispheric Affairs, as well as grants from the UC Regents, the UCSC Chancellor, UCSC Politics Department, and the UCSC Research Center for the Americas, among others.

My book on violence, extractivism, and socio-environmental justice was published in 2021 via Vanderbilt University Press. My writing has also appeared in the Journal of Resistance Studies, the Feminist Review, Terrorism and Political Violence, Peace Review, the Western Hemispheric Review, the Human Rights Review, the co-edited volume Violent Conflict and Civil Resistance in Latin America (Palgrave, 2019), The Washington Post, Al Jazeera, NACLA, the Environmental Justice Atlas, ROAR Magazine, Truthout, Waging Nonviolence, AlterNet, Latino Rebels, CounterPunch, and others.

My courses examine themes like colonialism, war, pain, trauma, fear, epistemic erasure, oppression, genocide, law, development, ecocide, poverty, inequality, insurgency, intersectionality, decolonization, advocacy, and peacebuilding in depth. My teaching is explicitly crafted to cultivate our collective healing, particularly through critical reflection on structural and embodied forms of power—including race, gender, sexuality, class, ability, and more—consciously centering the experiences and voices of marginalized groups.

Originally from Mexico City, I have served as a nonprofit advocacy writer, researcher, editor, reviewer, visiting professor, campaign organizer, and elected union representative (UAW 2865). I have conducted extensive fieldwork on environmental justice in Peru, on everyday violence in Mexico, and on indigenous rights in Costa Rica and Guyana. Before graduate school, I served as student body president (leading and ultimately achieving a historic reform of student fees in the University of Wisconsin system), creator and co-host of a news radio show, News Editor of a print newspaper, and community organizer (playing a leading role in the student-labor uprising in Wisconsin in 2011, among other movements).

Fundamentally, I see love as a radical, everyday mission. Thanks for reading my work! I hope it is useful. Please feel free to reach out here or via @mwilsonbecerril.

Here's the "TL;DR" version:
• Visiting Assistant Professor, Gustavus Adolphus College (2021-2022)
• Member of the board of directors, Our Climate (2020-)
• Freelance Writer and Researcher, REFORM Alliance (2019-)
• Visiting Assistant Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies, Colgate University (2018-2019)
• PhD in Politics, University of California, Santa Cruz (2018)
• Peace Scholar at the US Institute of Peace (2017-2018)
• PhD Fellow, International Center on Nonviolent Conflict (2014-2017)
• Research Fellow, Council on Hemispheric Affairs (2015-2016)
• Eugene Cota-Robles Fellow, University of California (2012-2017)
• Person who has spent half of his life living in Latin America and the other half researching it due to homesickness.


Courses Taught

PCS-211 (Introduction to Peace Studies) and PCS-221 (Conflict & Resolution)