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Home seta Research Team seta Collaborators seta Clara Saraiva

Clara Saraiva

Senior Researcher


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    Biographical note:

    Clara Saraiva is a senior researcher at the Centre for Comparative Studies of University of Lisbon. She is a former researcher of the Institute for Scientific Tropical Research (Instituto de Investigação Científica Tropical - IICT), and collaborator of the Centre for Research in Anthropology (CRIA). She was a Visiting Professor at University of California Berkeley (2013), Brown University (2001-02 and 2008) and a Research Fellow at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown (2001-02 and 2008).

    Her main fields of research deal with religion and ritual, drawing especially on the conceptions and practices of death in Guinea-Bissau, where she did research leading to her PhD thesis (1999). She also researches Afro-Brazilian transnational religions and transnational therapeutic practices in Lisbon. She was one of the co-founder of the network on Migration and Health. She conducted extensive fieldwork in Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, and Botswana, on several EU sponsored projects. She is an active collaborator of Codesria (Council for the Development of Social Sciences Research in Africa). She has published extensively in books and national and international peer-reviewed journals. She was PI in the project leading to the constitution of the Museum of Luz, Portugal and author of the book Luz e água. Etnografia de um processo de mudança (2005).

    She is the vice-president of the Society for International Ethnology and Folklore (SIEF), President of the Association of Portuguese Anthropology (APA), and a board member of the Ethics Task Force of the World Council of Anthropological Associations (WCAA).

    Selected Publications:

    • SARAIVA, Clara e MAPRIL, José 2015 “Scenarios of death in contexts of mobility: Guineans and Bangladeshi in Lisbon in Ricarda Vidal and Maria José Blanco, (eds.) The Carnival of Death, Oxford, Berhghan Books.
    • SARAIVA, Clara 2013 “Pretos-velhos across the Atlantic—Afro-Brazilian cults in Portugal”, in Manuel Vasquez e Cristina Rocha (eds.) The diaspora of Brazilian Religions. Londres, Brill, pp 197-222.
    • SARAIVA, Clara 2013 “Blood, sacrifices and religious freedom: Afro-Brazilian associations in Portugal” in José Mapril, Ruy Blanes (eds.) Sites and Politics of Religious Diversity in Southern Europe. The Best of all Gods, International Studies in Religion and Society  series, Leiden, Brill, pp 129-154.
    • SARAIVA, Clara; MAPRIL, José 2012 « Le lieu de la « bonne mort »  pour les migrants guinéens et bangladais au Portugal », Revue Europeéne des migrations internationales (REMI), 28 (3): 51-70.
    • SARAIVA, Clara 2011 “Energias e curas: a Umbanda em Portugal”, Revista Pós Ciências Sociais, Dossier Religiões Afro-Americanas e diversidade UFMA, vol 8, nº 16 (Julho-Dez 2011): 55-76, São Luís/MA. Versão impressa ISSN 1983-4527. Versão electrónica ISSN 2236-9473.


    HERA Project summary

    HERILIGION: The heritagization of religion and the sacralization of heritage in contemporary Europe


    What happens when religious sites, objects and practices are simultaneously considered heritage? Since World War II, heritage is increasingly seen as defining identities and communities in times of change, and often what is now considered heritage was and still is seen as religious in nature and possibly sacred. Heritage, on the other hand, involves an explicitly secular gaze that sacralizes non-religious aspects of religious sites, objects and practices in a cultural, historical, or otherwise secular, immanent frame. HERILIGION seeks to understand the consequences of the heritagization of religious sites, objects and practices which were not considered heritage before, and which may provoke tensions between heritage and religious constituencies; between religious and secular sacralizations and uses; and between different disciplines and management regimes. HERILIGION will produce new insights which can be used to understand, manage and defuse tensions, benefiting both religious and heritage constituencies in Europe. The research will take place at religious and heritage sites in Denmark, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, and the UK, or would focus on emerging practical heritage (so-called intangible cultural heritage) in these countries. In Portugal, the PI is Clara Saraiva and the project involves two institutions, Centro de Estudos Comparatistas- FLUL-UL and CRIA, Centro em Rede de Investigação em Antropologia, as well as three non academic partners, the National Museum of Ethnology, the Museum of Lisbon and a civil association.

    Mais informações em http://cria.org.pt/wp/heriligion-the-heritagization-of-religion-and-the-sacralization-of-heritage-in-contemporary-europe/

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