In this section you will find information about conference panels/workshops organized by the research team. If you would like to know more about these events please contact us.



Orgs: Ricardo Roque (ICS-UL), Frederico Delgado Rosa (FCSH-UNL) e João Vasconcelos (ICS-UL)

Conference workshop, as part of the SIEF 2011 Conference, People Make Places, FCSH-UNL, Lisbon, 17-21 April 2011

SIEF 2011New Histories of Anthropology: The Hidden Emotions of Colonial Ethnography was a workshop organized by project members and held at the 10th International Society for Ethnology and Folklore Congress, in Lisbon. This panel congregated researchers interested in the history of anthropology and the study of colonial situations. It focused on the emotions associated with the individual processes of understanding and classifying “otherness”, either by professional or by amateur ethnographers.

One of the late consequences of the professionalization of the History of Anthropology, together with the consolidation of the methods of Historical Anthropology, has been the reappraisal and sometimes even the discovery of the colonial archive’s true magnitude and anthropological significance. Colonial accounts were often entangled with the violence and power asymmetries of colonial situations, and thus they need to be critically used. Nevertheless, one side effect of the predominant anthropological focus on this political dimension is the anonymity of colonial producers of ethnographical “knowledge” and the oblivion of several human dimensions of the places and times of encounter and interaction, from mixed marriages to religious experiences. Malinowski’s diary “in the strict sense of the term” is probably the major exception, one of the few cases where the outburst of emotions has been exposed to the public eye (and moral judgment). But then again, he is not an anonymous colonial figure. This panel intends therefore to congregate researchers interested in the history of anthropology and the study of colonial situations. Its main purpose is to focus on the emotions associated with the individual processes of reaching the indigenous people, of understanding and classifying “otherness” in British, Portuguese, French or other empire contexts, either by professional or by amateur ethnographers, such as missionaries, travelers, military officers or administrators.
See the full workshop program (including abstracts of the papers presented).

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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.

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