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she/her Tel: +31 (0)118 655 500
Eleanor 1.08
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About me

I am an Assistant Professor in Sociology, where I teach courses related to classic and contemporary theories and methods of sociology, and Historical Justice and Memory.

My main research interest has been the interdisciplinary study of victims’ suffering’s social and transformative impact. I study its legal and policy-making implications and the sociological narratives of memory that help make sense of atrocity. Complementarily, my teaching aims to create a participative environment where students feel comfortable voicing their views in a way that respects diversity.

Originally from Colombia, where I got my BA in Sociology, I have lived in The Netherlands for the past eight years. I completed my MA in Religious Studies at Florida International University, and my Ph.D. in Sociology at the University of Aberdeen (2010–2014). Later, I held a postdoc position at Utrecht University, at the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights (SIM). I taught at the BA in International Studies at Leiden University (2017-2018).

My research on “How Transitional Justice contributes to the restoration of Victims’ Human Dignity in Colombia” (2018-2022) was funded by a grant from the Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique – FNRS, and carried out at the Université Catholique de Louvain, where I also taught courses on Transitional Justice and Conflict Resolution, and Sociology of Memory, among others.

Selected Publications



Book Chapters

  • Rios Oyola, S.M. (Forthcoming 2022). The Fragmentation of Historical Memory in Colombia. In: Bazin, A., Hebert, E., Rosoux, V., and Sangar, E. eds. Memory Fragmentation from Below and Beyond the State: Uses of the Past in Conflict and Post-Conflict Settings. Routledge.
  • Rios Oyola, S.M. 2021. Restoring the Human Dignity of Absent Bodies in Colombia. In: Gandolfo, K., Otele, O and Galai, Y, eds. Post-conflict memorialization: missing memorials, absent bodies. Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Rios Oyola, S.M. and Acaron, T. 2019. Peacebuilding and Dance in Afro-Colombian Funerary Ritual. In: Jolyon Mitchell, Giselle Vincett, Theodora Hawksley and Hal Culbertson, editors, Peacebuilding and the Arts. New York and Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, Rethinking Peace and Conflict Studies series.
  • Rios Oyola, S.M. 2018. Religious Emotions and Forgiveness in the context of the Peace Process in Colombia. In: John Brewer (ed.) Compromise after Conflict. New York and Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Mcmillan, Studies in Compromise after Conflict series.
  • Rios Oyola, S.M. 2018. Peace Processes and Social Acceleration: The Case of Colombia. In: 2018 with Natascha Mueller Hirth (eds.) Time and Temporality in Transitional and Post-Conflict Societies. London: Routledge, Routledge Advances in Sociology series. ISBN: 9781138631366, pp. 50-64.
  • Rios Oyola, S.M. 2015. Religion and the Social Reconstruction of Memory amid Violence in Bojayá, Chocó (Colombia): Creating TJ from Below. In: S. D. Brunn (Ed.), The changing world religion map: Sacred places, identities, practices and politics. New York: Springer. Pp. 3679-3699. ISBN: 9789401793766
  • Rios Oyola, S.M. 2010. Análisis del Discurso Neopentecostal. In: C. Tejeiro (Ed.) El Pentecostalismo en Colombia. Prácticas religiosas, liderazgo y participación política. Observatorio Diversidad Religiosa. Universidad Nacional de Colombia. ISBN: 9789588063720

Dictionary and Encyclopaedia Entries

  • Rios Oyola, S.M. 2022. Religious Emotions and Religious Peacebuilding in Colombia, In: Jolyon Mitchell, Lesley Orr, Martyn Percy, Francesca Po (eds.). Wiley Blackwell Companion to Religion and Peace. John Wiley & Sons, Limited.
  • Rios Oyola, S.M. 2020. Transitional Justice and Human Dignity. In: Oliver Richmond and Gëzim Visoka (eds.) The Palgrave Encyclopaedia of Peace and Conflict Studies. Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Rios Oyola, S.M. 2019. Colombia, In: Gooren, Henri (ed.) Encyclopaedia of Latin American Religions. Religions of the World. Springer International Publishing. DOI: