Ricardo Roque is a Research Fellow at the Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon. Currently he is also a Honorary Associate in the Department of History, University of Sydney, as part of the Race and Ethnicity in the Global South Laureate Program (REGS). He has received training in Sociology (BA Hons, MA, New University of Lisbon) and in History (PhD, University of Cambridge). His research combines imperial and postcolonial studies, social and cultural anthropology, and history and sociology of science. He has been working on the connections between human sciences, colonialism and indigenous cultures in the nineteenth and twentieth century in the late Portuguese empire, with a special focus on East Timor, Goa, and Angola.

For the current project, he is focusing on topics, agents and projects associated with the history of race and physical anthropology in Timor. He is also conducting an in-depth study of the colonial ethnographies and surveys produced by military officers, governors and missionaries, in connection with the Timorese usos e costumes (manners and customs), and the colonial study of customary law.

Selected publications:

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  • Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
  • Instituto de Ciências Sociais da Universidade de Lisboa
  • Associated research projects

  • Associated research projects

Exploring Colonial Anthropologies

  • The presence of the Portuguese in Timor, a small island at the end of the Lesser Sunda Islands chain, dates from the mid-sixteenth century. For the next 250 years, Portuguese Catholic missionaries, soldiers, traders, officials, governors, scientists, and military became regular company of the Timorese populations. First based in Lifau (Oecusse), and since 1769 based in Dilly, the Portuguese claimed sovereignty and exercised colonial government over the Eastern half of the island. Today’s nation Republic of Timor-Leste, went by the name of ‘Portuguese Timor’, a colonial province of Portugal, until the Indonesian occupation in 1975. Throughout this long colonial period a great and rich variety of published and unpublished documents was produced by colonial agents.

    From manuscript letters to administrative reports, travelogues, journal articles, or book-length texts, the Portuguese colonial archives offer an abundant field of important material about the past and present of the bodies, languages, and cultures of Timor-Leste peoples. It is this varied and complex colonial material on the history and anthropology of Timor that this research project aims at revealing, exploring, and critically analyze.

    In engaging with these archives, we are concerned not just with how they illuminate former anthropological understandings and colonial encounters between Indigenous and Europeans; we also aim at exploring how they shape current understandings and might help the creation of a post-colonial moment for the history and anthropology of Timor-Leste.

Welcome to the Histo

We are a research team composed of a group of ...

Conference "Crossing

Conference "Crossing Histories and Ethnographies" - Lisbon - ICS-UL 1-2 ...

Biography of Ruy Cin

NEW BIOGRAPHY OF RUY CINATTI Poet, engineer, botanist, ethnologist, Ruy Cinatti ...

Conferences on Timor

CONFERENCES ON TIMOR LESTE - 2012 In 2012 and early ...

Conference "Timor Le


Conference Proceedin

On this website you will find the open-access online publication ...