Zahira Aragüete-Toribio

Post-doctorante BNF

Zahira Aragüete-Toribio is a social anthropologist with an interest in mass crimes investigations, memory practices and commemoration, and historical production in conflict-affected societies. From 2016 to 2022, she was a postdoctoral and senior researcher in the SNSF funded project “Right to Truth, Truth(s) through Rights. Mass Crimes Impunity and Transitional Justice” at the Law Faculty of the University of Geneva. Previously, she was a PhD candidate in the ERC project “Bosnian Bones, Spanish Ghosts. Transitional Justice and the Legal Shaping of Memory after Two Modern Conflicts” at the Anthropology Department of Goldsmiths, University of London. During her previous doctoral and postdoctoral stages, her work explored scientific, historical, and social endeavours in connection to the exhumation of human remains from the Spanish Civil War and the postwar period in the southwestern region of Extremadura (Spain). As part of this research, she studied the legal, political, and scientific treatment of human remains in the production of truth, evidence and knowledge after conflict and the sociocultural legacies of mass crimes in contexts of impunity. Her work currently focuses on following the production, use and circulation of archival materials related to the investigation of mass atrocities in European contexts. She has published her work in different scholarly venues since 2013, and her book Producing History in Spanish Civil War Exhumations was published by Palgrave in 2017.

Academic Publications

Aragüete-Toribio, Zahira, Producing History in Spanish Civil War Exhumations. From the Archive to the Grave, Palgrave Macmillan. 2017.

Aragüete-Toribio, Zahira (ed), “Evidencing Mass Crimes: Anthropologies of Forensic Expertise in Mass Grave Exhumations”, Special Issue in Social Anthropology/Anthropologie sociale, vol. 30, n°3, 2022, pp. 1-105.

Aragüete-Toribio, Zahira, Garibian, Sévane and Ana Forcinito (eds) "Reflexiones en torno a La muerte del verdugo", Debate, Hispanic Issues Online, n° 9, 2019.

Aragüete-Toribio, Zahira, “Introduction: Anthropologies of Forensic Expertise in the Aftermath of Mass Violence”, in Special Issue “Evidencing Mass Crimes: Anthropologies of Forensic Expertise in Mass Grave Exhumations”, Social Anthropology/Anthropologie sociale, vol. 30, n°3, 2022, pp. 1-18.

Aragüete-Toribio, Zahira, « Recomponer la identidad familiar de las víctimas del franquismo más allá de la fosa común », Revista Huarte de San Juan. Geografía e Historia, n° 28, 2021, pp. 121-142.

Aragüete-Toribio, Zahira, Vironda-Dubray, Marion and Adriana Schnyder, “Report on the first experts’ meeting on the development of principles for the proper management of the dead in humanitarian emergencies and help prevent the missing”, coordinated by Sévane Garibian and Morris Tidball-Binz, International Review of the Red Cross, vol. 101, n° 912, 2019, pp. 1213-1229.

Aragüete-Toribio, Zahira, Garibian, Sévane and Ana Forcinito, "Introducción: Reflexiones en torno a La muerte del verdugo", in Debate “Reflexiones en torno a La muerte del verdugo”, Hispanic Issues Online, n° 9, 2019, pp. 1-9.

Aragüete-Toribio, Zahira, "Resisting Disappearance", Anthropology Now, Vol 10, n° 2, 2018, pp. 78-97.

Aragüete-Toribio, Zahira, "Confronting a History of War Loss in a Spanish Family Archive", History and Anthropology, vol. 28, n° 2, 2017, pp. 211-234.

Aragüete-Toribio, Zahira, "Negotiating Identity: Reburial and Commemoration of the Civil War Dead in Southwestern Spain", Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal, vol.1, n° 2, 2015, pp. 5-20.

Aragüete-Toribio, Zahira, "Traces of the Past: Working with Archaeology as Ethnographic Object", Goldsmiths Anthropology Research Papers (GARP), n° 18, 2013, pp. 1-14.


Aragüete-Toribio, Zahira, "Truth-seeking, Justice and Impunity in Post-Franco Spain", in Sévane Garibian ed., Right to Truth, Truth(s) Through Rights (Provisional title), collective book resulting from the SNSF program "Right to Truth, Truth(s) through Rights: Mass Crimes Impunity and Transitional Justice", (under preparation).

Aragüete-Toribio, Zahira, "Thinking Evidentiary Artefacts beyond Criminal Investigation. Scientific Renderings of Francoist Violence in Contemporary Extremadura", in Michel Porret and Vincent Fontana eds., Pièces à conviction. Pour une épistémologie de la matérialité policière et judiciaire (XVe-XXIe siècle), Georg, Geneva (forthcoming 2024).

Aragüete-Toribio, Zahira, "Memorialization from Below: The Case of Post-Franco Spain", in Claire Garbett and Sari Wastell eds., Transitional Justice beyond Blueprints: Ethnographies and Case-Studies (working title), Routledge, Oxon and New York (forthcoming 2024).

Aragüete-Toribio, Zahira, “Forensic Encounters amidst Impunity: Investigating Mass Crimes in Post-Franco Spain”, in Liliana Gómez-Popescu ed., Performing Human Rights. Contested Amnesia and Historical Justice in Latin America and the Middle East, Diaphanes, Chicago, 2021, pp. 31-68.

Aragüete-Toribio, Zahira and Jorge Moreno Andrés, "Objetos personales: exhumaciones, memoria y antropología visual", in Beatriz Nates Cruz ed., Memoria y Territorio, Instituto Colombiano de Antropología e Historia, Bogotá, 2017, pp. 103-122.

Aragüete-Toribio, Zahira, "Time and Tempo in Exhumation (Re)Search", Tenses: New Graduate Writing, n° 1, 2014, pp. 3-8.

Aragüete-Toribio, Zahira, "Rethinking the Lives and Deaths of Perpetrators: Testimonies, Corpses and the Law", International Journal of Transitional Justice, Vol. 11, n° 3, 2017, pp. 545–554.



Spanish, English, French

Areas of interest/expertise

  • Human remains and mass violence
  • Memory and memorialization processes
  • Post-violence archival politics
  • Historiographies of war and conflict
  • Mass crimes investigations
  • Human rights and transitional justice
  • Death, loss, and mourning