Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas

Ethnographic Contexts (Asia)



Academic unit

Faculdade de Ciências Sociais e Humanas





Weekly hours


Teaching language



. Historical and anthropological knowledge concerning the migratory processes developed by populations originatng in the Indian sub-continent
(1820 - present day).
. Ability to reflect on transformational processes (cultural, religious, political, etc.) within Indian diasporas, linking structural perspectives with
perspectives focused on subject agency.
. Ability to reconsider theoretical perspectives stemming from an anthropology based on the Indian sub-continent within a multi-sitituational



Subject matter

I. Reconsidering Indian societies
Caste system and hierarchy, dominance and ritual centrality
Colonialism and its effects: the development of nationalism
Plural identities
II. Indian diasporas
Stages and types of migrations (1820 – present-day)
Reunion: a reinterpretation of Tamil Hinduism in tension with Brahamic Hinduism of Martinique and Guadalupe: minority familial Hinduisms.
Trinidad and Tobago, Guinea and Surinam: ethnic and political reinterpretations of Hinduism
Reconstructed Hinduisms in colonial East Africa and in Mozambique: a comparative analysis
Indian migrations to Europe and America
Reconstructed hinduisms in the United Kingdom and in Portugal


Benoist, J. (1998), Hindouismes Créoles. Mascareignes, Antilles, Paris, Ed. du CTHS.
Gregory, R. G. (1993), South Asians in East Africa. An Economic and Social History 1890-1980, Boulder, Westview Press.
Lal, B. V. (ed.) (2006), The Encyclopedia of the Indian Diaspora, Singapura, Ed. Didier Millet.
Jacobsen, K. e Kumar, P. (eds.) (2004), South Asians in the Diaspora, Histoires and Religious Traditions, Leiden, Brill.
Mawani, S. e Mukadam, A. (2012) Gujarati Communities across the Globe, memory, identity and continuity, London, IOE Press
Salvadori, C. (1996), We Came in Dhows, 3 vols., Nairobi, Paperchase Kenya Ltd.
Vertovec, S. (2000), The Hindu Diaspora. Comparative Patterns, London, Routledge

Teaching method

Classes consist of a presentation of the key ideas of each module by the teacher; an interactive component with students (through questions and other interactive strategies), and a part involving debate on specific topics.

Evaluation method

Assessment consists of a written test and the carrying out small exercises for discussion in class. In the written assessment, students can opt for an assignment (literature review, or empirical study) or a test. Supervision of the assignments proposed by the students, whether individually or in
small groups, takes place outside the classes.