Samuel Ritholtz

Departmental Lecturer in International Relations in association with St Hilda's College
International Relations Network
St Hilda's College

I am a Departmental Lecturer in International Relations at the DPIR, in association with St Hilda's College. Previously, I was a Max Weber Fellow and Part-Time (Assistant) Professor of Qualitative Methods in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the European University Institute. I earned my DPhil and MSc at the University of Oxford’s Refugee Studies Centre and my BSc at Cornell University.

I have held visiting research fellowships at the Hertie School (Centre for International Security) in Berlin, and at the Universidad de los Andes in Bogotá, and have worked for the United Nations, in the Executive Office of the Secretary-General, as well as for human rights organisations in Washington DC and Buenos Aires.


I am interested in the politics of identity, stigma, and brutality during war and other episodes of violence. My research centres around marginalised social groups in studies of contentious politics and political violence. My current book project investigates collective violence against LGBTIQ+ people during the Colombian civil war and ties these dynamics of violence to wartime social transformation processes. At the DPIR, I will begin a new research project, which explores the phenomenon of 'social cleansing' in Latin America through a theoretical and historical analysis of the concept of 'subversion' in Colombia and Argentina. 

I have further research interests in LGBTIQ+ displacement from both theoretical and empirical perspectives, queer articulations of peacebuilding and resistance, as well as the role of aesthetics and art in contentious politics.

I am the co-editor of the volume Queer Conflict Research (Bristol University Press, 2024) and co-author of the forthcoming monograph Toward a Queer Theory of Refuge (University of California Press). I have served as a guest editor for special issues on 'Queer Peacebuilding' for the Revista de Estudios Sociales and 'LGBTIQ+ People in Situations of Forced Displacement' for the Journal of Refugee Studies.


Book cover
This volume provides a foundational guide to queer methodologies in the study of political violence and conflict. It is the first in-depth discussion of queer methods for research on these topics.


Peer-Reviewed Articles

Samuel Ritholtz, forthcoming, ‘Brutality on Display: Media Coverage and the Spectacle of Anti-LGBTQ Violence in the Colombian Civil War’, Third World Quarterly.

Samuel Ritholtz and Rebecca Buxton, 2023, ‘Sanctuary after Asylum: Addressing a Gap in the Political Theory of Refuge’, American Political Science Review, 117(3), 1166-1171.

Samuel Ritholtz, Fernando Serrano-Amaya, Melanie Judge, and Jamie Hagen, 2023, ‘Under Construction: Toward a Theory and Praxis of Queer Peacebuilding’, Revista de Estudios Sociales , 83, (spanish translation available 'En construcción: hacia una teoría y praxis de la construcción de paz queer/cuir').

Samuel Ritholtz, 2022, ‘The Ontology of Cruelty in Civil War: The Analytical Utility of Characterizing Violence in Conflict Studies’, Global Studies Quarterly, 2(2), ksac014.

Samuel Ritholtz, 2022, ‘Is Queer-and-Trans Youth Homelessness a Form of Displacement? A queer epistemological review of refugee studies’ theoretical border’, Ethnic and Racial Studies, 46(9), 1854-1876.

Samuel Ritholtz and Rebecca Buxton, 2021, ‘Queer kinship and the rights of refugee families’, Migration Studies, 9(3), 1075-1095.

Graeme Reid and Samuel Ritholtz, 2020, ‘A Queer Approach to Understanding LGBT Vulnerability during the COVID-19 Pandemic’, Politics & Gender, 16(5), 1101-1109.

Special Issues

Martha Balaguera, Tina Dixson, B Camminga, Anup Shekhar Chakraborty, Sarah Nandi, and Samuel Ritholtz, ‘LGBTIQ+ People in Situations of Forced Displacement’, special issue with Journal of Refugee Studies, forthcoming

Fernando Serrano-Amaya, Jamie Hagen, Melanie Judge, and Samuel Ritholtz, ‘Queer Peacebuilding’, special issue with Revista de Estudios Sociales of Universidad de los Andes, 2023, available in English and Spanish ('Construcción de Paz Cuir/Queer).

Sarah Nandi, Samuel Ritholtz, and Megan Bradley, ‘LGBTIQ+ Refugees’, virtual thematic issue with Journal of Refugee Studies, 2022.

Book Chapters

Samuel Ritholtz, ‘The “queer” in conflict research as subject, structure, and method: initial epistemological considerations for the early career researcher’, in Queer Conflict Research with Bristol University Press, edited by Jamie Hagen, Samuel Ritholtz, and Andrew Delatolla, 2024.

Jamie Hagen, Samuel Ritholtz, and Andrew Delatolla, ‘Introduction: Telling Queer Stories of Conflict’, in Queer Conflict Research with Bristol University Press, edited by Jamie Hagen, Samuel Ritholtz, and Andrew Delatolla, 2024.

Samuel Ritholtz and Miguel Mesquita, ‘The transnational force of anti-LGBTIQ politics in Latin America’, The Right Against Rights in Latin America with Oxford University Press, edited by Leigh Payne, Simon Escoffier, and Julia Zulver, 2023.

Selected Media Articles, Interviews, and Blogs

Samuel Ritholtz, “From streets to stage: Colombia’s magical dance school in a forest”, The Guardian, September 2023.

“Conflict Tipping Podcast 25: Queering the Colombian Conflict with Dr Samuel Ritholtz”,, August 2023.

Samuel Ritholtz and Margaret Neil, “LGBTQ+ parents are being removed from their children’s birth certificates in Italy – here’s what’s behind this disturbing trend”, the Conversation, June 2023, republished in Yahoo News, Qrius Magazine, Philippine Canadian Inquirer, and Mamba Online.

Samuel Ritholtz, Allison Koh, and Anita Gohdes, “Fanning the Flames of Hate: The Transnational Diffusion of Online Anti-LGBT+ Rhetoric and Offline Mobilisation”, Global Network on Extremism and Technology Insights, November 2022

Yvonne Su and Samuel Ritholtz. “How LGBT Refugees from Ukraine Are Highly Vulnerable”, the Washington Post, April 2022

Samuel Ritholtz, “Feeling the Heat in Los Montes de María”, Oxford Review of Books, March 2022

 Samuel Ritholtz and Kiran Stallone, “‘It Gives Me Joy’: the LGBT Colombians embracing visibility in town with a legacy of abuse”, the Guardian, February 2022 (with Kiran Stallone, print edition, 4 Feb 2022, page 32, republished with official Spanish translation in La Lista (Mexico), February 2022

“Interview – Samuel Ritholtz”, E-International Relations, November 2021

Samuel Ritholtz, ‘How COVID-19 aid is leaving LGBTQ+ people out’, the New Humanitarian, June 2020