Dr. Nicole Iturriaga

Dr. Nicole Iturriaga


Tel.: +49 (551) 4956 - 236
Fax: +49 (551) 4956 - 170

Nicole Iturriaga is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Religious and Ethnic diversity. Nicole graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, with a PhD in sociology (June 2018). Her dissertation research was a global and multi-sited ethnographic study of the transnational forensics-based human rights movement. Specifically she looked at the Spanish Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory’s movement use of forensic interventions to challenge the dominant collective memory of the Spanish Civil War and the Franco regime. In sum, she found that, by basing their claims in science, human rights activists transform perceptions of them from prejudiced activists with political goals into objective experts. Using science, international protocols, and tropes of modernity; activists depoliticize their version of state terror that, in turn, allows activists to be able to meaningfully change how people understand and remember past violence, mold transitional justice efforts, restitute the identities of missing persons, and facilitate important death rituals for victims’ families.

Her research at MPI-MMG expands on her dissertation research by comparatively examining the multi-faceted impact of exhumations and identifications on post-conflict societies. Specifically, she is focusing on the impact of the reincorporation, both secularly and religiously, of the disappeared in Spain and Argentina.


Iturriaga, N., & Saguy, A. C. (2017). “I Would Never Want to be an Only Wife”: The Role of Discursive Networks and Post-Feminist Discourse in Reframing Polygamy. Social problems64(3), 333-350. https://doi.org/10.1093/socpro/spw038

Iturriaga, N. (2019). At the Foot of the Grave: Challenging Collective Memories of Violence in Post-Franco Spain. Socius: Sociological Research for a Dynamic World. https://doi.org/10.1177/2378023119832135