Samuel Ritholtz

Research Student

I study the dynamics of selective violence against sexual and gender minorities during the Colombian internal armed conflict and relate these dynamics to broader patterns of gendered violence during war. Through my dissertation research, I consider the roles of marginality, cruelty, and spectacle in social control strategies during war. In addition to my work on political violence, I also publish on topics related to LGBTIQ+ displacement and collaborate with other scholars at the Refugee Studies Centre. My doctoral work is funded by Green Templeton College. I have an MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies from the University of Oxford and a BSc in International Agriculture and Rural Development from Cornell University. My master’s work was funded by the Rotary Scholarship Foundation and the Harry S Truman Scholarship Foundation.

The hope of my research is to contribute to both academic and policy debates relating to queer and trans experiences of conflict and displacement. Outside of academia, I have worked on human rights, peace, and security topics for a range of institutions, including the United Nations’ Executive Office of the Secretary General as well as human rights organizations in Washington DC and Buenos Aires. I have written for Slate, the New Humanitarian, and Newsweek & the Daily Beast’s Women in the World Foundation. And I have contributed to pieces published in the New York Times, the Washington Post, El País, and Foreign Policy, among others. I am fluent in Spanish and proficient in Italian and French. I encourage prospective DPhil applicants to the department to be in touch with any questions.

In the media

Retaining-Fee Lecturer in Politics, Somerville College

Research Students supervised

Journal articles and special issues

Ritholtz, Samuel (with Rebecca Buxton) (2022) 'Sanctuary after Asylum: Addressing a Gap in the Political Theory of Refuge', American Political Science Review
Ritholtz, Samuel (2021) 'Queer kinship and the rights of refugee families', Migration Studies 9 (3) 1075–95
Ritholtz, Samuel (with Graeme Reid) (2020) 'A Queer Approach to Understanding LGBT Vulnerability during the COVID-19 Pandemic', Politics & Gender 16 (5) 1101-1109

Conference papers

Ritholtz, Samuel (2021) 'Gendered Violence, Moral Order, & Social Control during Colombia’s Paramilitary Incursion', Conflict & Change Workshop, University College London, and International Studies Association Conference
Ritholtz, Samuel (2020) 'Queer epistemology & the theoretical borders of refugee studies', Queer Accommodations & Displacement Workshop, London School of Economics
13 Apr, 2022
'How LGBT refugees from Ukraine are highly vulnerable'. Sam Ritholtz co-authors piece for the Washington Post
03 Feb, 2022
'"It gives me joy": the LGBT Colombians embracing visibility in town with a legacy of abuse'. Sam Ritholtz co-authors article for the Guardian
11 May, 2021
'OPINION: LGBT+ refugees should be resettled with their chosen families'. DPhils Sam Ritholtz and Rebecca Buxton write for Thomson Reuters Foundation News
24 Jun, 2020
'LGBTQ+ people left out by exclusionary COVID-19 aid practices'. ODID DPhil Sam Ritholtz reports for the New Humanitarian on how aid relief efforts can still produce exclusionary results, even if they don’t explicitly exclude sexual and gender minorities
Research interests:

Political violence; conflict; displacement; gender; sexuality; epistemology