Melanie Brazzell

Graduate Student


Gender, Social movements, Violence, Criminology, Critical theory, Participatory research


B.A., Columbia University

M.A., Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin


Melanie Brazzell’s research and organizing focuses on transformative justice alternatives to prison and policing, particularly for sexual and partner violence. Drawing on their involvement in the feminist anti-violence movement for over fifteen years, Melanie’s participatory research and community engagement are housed within the “What Really Makes Us Safe?” Project. As a PhD student and Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of California Santa Barbara, Melanie studies gender, critical criminology, and social movements. They are currently exploring research as a movement building tool through research collaborations with the Momentum Community, a training institute and movement incubator, and the Ford Foundation’s Realizing Democracy Project. Melanie is also passionate about pedagogy, having worked for eight years in Berlin as a teacher at a democratic co-operative high school for non-traditional adult students that won the Bosch Foundation’s second place prize for best school in Germany in 2016. Melanie received a Bachelor’s from Columbia University and a Master’s from Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany.


As Instructor: Social Movements & Networks, Feminism and the State: Carceral Feminisms and Transformative Alternatives, Ethical Foundations of Social Work.

As Teaching Assistant: Social Movements, Introduction to Sociology