Dr. Eva Willems

Eva Willems
Photo: Johan Belaen

Wiss. Mitarbeiterin


eva.willems@staff 1 Deutschhausstraße 12
35032 Marburg
F|14 Institutsgebäude (Raum: 02C04)


Philipps-Universität Marburg Zentrum für Konfliktforschung (ZfK)
  • Research focus

    Research interests
    Transitional Justice, Historical Justice, Memory Politics, Reparation Politics, Exhumation Politics, Post-conflict Coexistence, Civil Society, Victimhood, Survivor Identities, Civilian Resistance, Self-Defense Militias, Epistemology and Research Ethics, Post-Development

    (Ethnographic) fieldwork, Interviews, Participant observation, Qualitative data analysis, Archival research, Comparative research methods, Collaborative research methods

    Latin America (Peru, Guatemala), South-East Asia (Timor-Leste, Philippines), Europe (Belgium, Northern Ireland)

    English, Spanish, Dutch, French, (German)    

  • Research projects

    Reparation Politics of Victim Organisations in Transitional Justice Processes (Funded by the DFG, with Pia Falschebner and Prof. Dr. Thorsten Bonacker)

    Memories from no-man’s land: Archives of the Peruvian self-defense militias (Funded by the MEAP of UCLA, with Gabriela Zamora Castellares)

  • Publications

    Willems, E. Open Secrets & Hidden Heroes: Violence, Citizenship and Transitional Justice in (Post-)Conflict Peru, Ghent University, 2020.

    de Waardt, Mijke, and Eva Willems. "Recipients Versus Participants: Politics of Aid and Victim Representation in Transitional Justice Practices in Peru." Human Rights Quarterly 44, no. 2 (2022): 339-363. doi:10.1353/hrq.2022.0012

    Willems, E. Absent bodies, present pasts: Forced disappearance as historical injustice in the Peruvian highlands. In: Gandolfo L, Galai Y, Otele O, editors. Post-conflict memorialization: missing memorials, absent bodies. London: Palgrave Macmilan, 2020. 

    Willems, E.; Boeykens, T. Herinnering in naoorlogs Peru en Guatemala: inzichten uit het veld. Brood & Rozen, Gent: AMSAB-ISG, 2013;18(4):5–21.

    Book reviews
    Willems, E. Disappearances: Local Uses, Global Circulations. Human Rights Quarterly, Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 2018; 40(1):229–33.

    Policy reports
    Willems, E.; Van Acker T. Implicaties van dekolonisering voor de Vlaamse sector van ontwikkelingssamenwerking: Een verkennende studie i.o.v. ngo-federatie en 11.11.11, Governance in Conflict Network, Ghent University, 2020.

    Willems, E.; Manahan, M.A.; Delgado Pugley, D.; Vervisch, T. Mid-term evaluation of the 11.11.11 'Approach on Alternatives' program 2017-2021, Governance in Conflict Network - Ghent University, 2020.

    Other publications (selection)
    Willems, E. Statthalter in Zeiten von Krieg und Frieden. Die Rolle der „Comités de Autodefensa Civil“ in Peru, Wissenschaft und Frieden , 1/2022, 32-35.

    Willems, E. The desaparecidos of COVID-19 and the condition of eternal mourning in Latin America, Leuven Transitional Justice Blog, 16.07.2020.

    Willems, E. Het recht op demonstratie is nog erg fragiel in Latijns-Amerika, VRT NWS, 28.10.2019.

    Willems, E. White female privilege? How fieldwork is shaped by who we are and where we come from, Governance in Conflict Network, 04.03.2019.

    Willems, E.; Cottyn H.; Bonroy. W.; Van Loocke G. De econoom van de rampspoed, De Standaard, 17.03.2018.

    Willems, E. De wetten van de jungle: 'Mensenrechten bestaan alleen als er iemand toekijkt', MO* Magazine, 30.05.2017.

    Willems, E. Colombiaans vredesakkoord model voor andere conflicten?, MO* Magazine, 26.01.2017. 

    Willems, E. Peru zoekt president (en komt ongemakkelijk verleden tegen), MO* Magazine, 23.02.2016.

  • Grants and awards

    Romain Yakemtchouk PhD Award in International Relations (Belgian Royal Academy for Overseas Sciences, 2021)

    Christiane Rajewsky Award for best PhD dissertation in Peace and Conflict Studies (German Association for Peace and Conflict Studies, 2021)

    Planning grant of the Modern Endangered Archives Program of the UCLA (September 2020 - 2021)

    PhD fellowship, Research Foundation Flanders (October 2015 - October 2019)

    PhD fellowship, Special Research Fund Ghent University (February 2014 - February 2019)

    André Schaepdrijver Award for best master dissertation in History at Ghent University, OSGG (September 2012)

  • Lectures

    Invited talks
    'Desapariciones forzadas, memorias locales y políticas de justicia transicional', Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú, Lima, November 2019.

    'Secretos a voces & héroes escondidos: violencia, ciudadania y justicia transicional en el Perú (post)conflicto', Universidad Nacional San Cristobal de Huamanga, Ayacucho, November 2019.

    'Between victim and perpetrator: dealing with memory and accountability after civil war', Emerging Expertise Conference, The Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies, Clark University, Clark, April 2017.

    'Absent Bodies, Present Pasts: Forced Disappearance as Historical Injustice in the Peruvian Highlands', Symposium Missing Memorials and Absent Bodies: Negotiating Post-conflict Trauma and Memorialisation, NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies and University of Aberdeen, Amsterdam, September 2016.

    Papers presented at international conferences
    'Memories from no-man’s land: Civil self-defence militias in the Peruvian civil war', 14th Conference of the International Association of Genocide Scholars, Phnom Penh, July 2019.

    'The search for the disappeared and the pursuit of recognition in the Peruvian highlands', Conference Recognition, Reparation, Reconciliation: The Light and Shadow of Historical Trauma, Stellenbosch University, December 2018.

    'The memory of self-defence patrols in the VRAEM region. A blind spot in the Peruvian transitional justice process?', General Conference of the European Consortium for Political Research, Hamburg, August 2018.

    'The influence of transitional justice practices in shaping mainstream memory in post-conflict Peru', Sixth International Expert Seminar on Transitional Justice, KU Leuven, October 2017.

    'Cuerpos ausentes, pasados presentes: la desaparición forzada como injusticia histórica en el Perú alto Andino', Conference of the Latin American Studies Association, PUCP Lima, April 2017.

    'Memory and Justice After Violent Conflict: Dilemma’s and Opportunities', 6th Annual Conference of the Historical Dialogues, Justice and Memory Network, Amsterdam, December 2016.

    'Secrets and silences: mechanisms of forgetting in dealing with a violent past', Mnemonics 2016: The Other Side of Memory: Forgetting, Denial, Repression, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, June 2016.

    'Secrets and silences: strategies of forgetting in dealing with a violent past', Teaching about perpetrators: Ethics, aesthetics, politics, Network of Perpetrator Studies, University of Utrecht, November 2016.

    'A past that obstructs the future: Time, memory and transitional justice in Peru', 4th Annual Conference of the Dialogues on Historical Justice and Memory, University of Lund, December 2014.

    'Historical wounds and the complicated alchemy of memory and forgetting', Dag van de Nieuwste Geschiedenis, Universiteit Antwerpen, May 2014.

    Panels organized at international conferences
    'Justice on the Move: Space, Place and Contexts for Transitional Justice and Humans Rights', General Conference of the European Consortium for Political Research, Innsbruck, August 2020 (proposal submitted, co-organized with Prof. Dr. Tine Destrooper).

    'Methods and ethics in Latin American (post-)conflict research', Conference of the Society of Latin American Studies, Amsterdam, April 2020 (proposal accepted, co-organized with Dr. Mijke de Waardt and Dr. Sanne Weber).

    'Change in transitional justice. New ways of locating, understanding and measuring change in transitional contexts', General Conference of the European Consortium for Political Research, Hamburg, August 2018. (co-organized with Dr. Philipp Schulz).

    'Engaging with the world: Global Studies, Action Research and Social Impact', Research Day of the Centre for Global Studies, Ghent University, November 2017.

    ‘Retos y riesgos de la justicia transicional en el Perú post-conflicto: abriendo el diálogo desde las zonas rurales’, Conference of the Latin American Studies Association, PUCP Lima, April 2017 (co-organized with Dr. Elisabeth Bunselmeyer).

    'History, memory and transitional justice in Latin America', Dag van de Nieuwste Geschiedenis, Universiteit Antwerpen, mei 2014.

    Organized conferences, seminars and workshops
    '(Silent) Voices from the Field: Exploring New Avenues for Collaborative Research', Department of Conflict and Development Studies, Ghent University, 25-30 October 2018 (workshop).

    '(Dis)Claiming Pasts: Ownership, Responsibility and Contestation', Interdisciplinary Research Forum Thinking About the Past, Ghent University, 14-15 December 2017 (conference).

    'Transitional Justice in Practice: The Aftermath of the Internal Armed Conflict in Peru', Equipo Peruano de Antropología Forense, Lima/Ayacucho, 14 June - 3 July 2015 (field school).

    'Colonial legacies in the Low Countries', Interdisciplinary Research Forum Thinking About the Past, Ghent University, October 2014 - June 2015 (series of monthly lectures and reading groups).

    'History, Historical Dialogue and Reconciliation: Promises, Criticism, Dilemmas', Interdisciplinary Research Forum Thinking About the Past, Ghent University, October 2014 - June 2015 (series of monthly lectures and reading groups).

    'The Historian and the Judge', Interdisciplinary Research Forum Thinking About the Past, Ghent University, January - June 2014 (series of monthly lectures and reading groups).

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