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From the Deconstruction of the Nation-Empire Duality to the Reaffirmation of Anthropology in Portugal: The History and Contemporary Challenges of the Associação Portuguesa de Antropologia (APA)

Carla Costa Teixeira

Universidade de Brasília, CNPq

Pour citer cet article

Teixeira, Carla Costa, 2023. “From the Deconstruction of the Nation-Empire Duality to the Reaffirmation of Anthropology in Portugal: The History and Contemporary Challenges of the Associação Portuguesa de Antropologia (APA)”, in Bérose - Encyclopédie internationale des histoires de l'anthropologie, Paris.

URL Bérose : article2819.html

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Publié dans le cadre du thème de recherche « Histoire de l’anthropologie et archives ethnographiques portugaises (19e-21e siècles) », dirigé par Sónia Vespeira de Almeida (CRIA/NOVA FCSH, Lisbonne) et Rita Ávila Cachado (CIES-IUL, Lisbonne).

Résumé : L’Associação Portuguesa de Antropologia (APA) est peu étudiée dans les recherches sur l’histoire de l’anthropologie au Portugal. Cet article se propose de combler cette lacune en s’intéressant à l’institutionnalisation récente de l’anthropologie dans le pays à travers les activités de cette société savante. Il fait fond sur une recherche documentaire dans ses archives, sur son site Internet et sur des entretiens avec plusieurs générations d’anthropologues provenant de divers milieux institutionnels. Est pour la première fois étudiée ici l’histoire des congrès de l’APA, à partir des archives et d’une observation participante pendant les congrès de 2013 et 2019. À partir d’une enquête bibliographique, l’article aborde de façon synthétique la façon dont les anthropologues portugais racontent l’histoire de leur discipline, ses jalons, ses tensions, son articulation avec la construction de l’empire et de la nation. Il envisage l’APA comme un coproducteur de ces évolutions, et met en perspective les défis auxquels l’association fut et continue d’être confrontée pour consolider l’anthropologie, dans les domaines de la recherche et de l’enseignement.

The Associação Portuguesa de Antropologia (Portuguese Anthropological Association, APA), formally registered in 1989, arose out of the meeting of a number of young anthropologists who felt the need to meet, in the words of Pina-Cabral, [1] as though it were a coming together of friends. [2] These were years in which anthropology was expanding in several Portuguese institutions and was benefitting from the favourable environment engendered by the country’s recent return to democracy. This was also a moment when anthropologists who had trained abroad returned to the country, where a new generation was graduating from the degree courses created after the “Carnation Revolution” of 1974. Since this time, APA has been the dynamizing pole of anthropology in Portugal and has : developed initiatives to include anthropologists in different professional domains ; strengthened international networks with other associations ; organized seven conferences ; held two inquiries on the profile of anthropologists in Portugal ; modernized forms of disseminating information on anthropology ; [3] promoted other periodical activities like forums and opened applications for research grants and awards for different categories of anthropological production. The importance of APA is reflected by its growing membership, which rose from 132 associates in December 1989 [4] to approximately 800 anthropologists in 2015. [5] The aim of this article will be to provide a deeper understanding of this trajectory, including its advances, difficulties and challenges. [6]


On 15 July 1989, the Diário da República [7] acknowledged the creation of the Associação Portuguesa de Antropologia (APA) with excerpts from its statute, in which the association’s aims are described as follows :

…to promote and publicize anthropology, contributing actively to its social insertion in Portugal, as well as to the creation of spaces of inter-relationship within the scientific community at the level of anthropology and with other related sciences. (Diário da RepúblicaIII Série, 12 381, no. 161, 15 July 1989)

Fifteen years had passed since the “Carnation Revolution” of 1974 and the democratic regime was flourishing in Portugal, bringing about important political, economic, social and cultural changes, as well as the restructuring of universities and scientific research. This also had effects within the field of anthropology. Many texts exist on the anthropology produced in Portugal during this period, written by a group of anthropologists who maintain something of a shared chronology of the principal landmarks of this history (Branco 1986 ; Pina-Cabral 1991 ; Leal 2000, 2018 ; Afonso 2006 ; Viegas & Pina-Cabral 2014 ; Bastos & Sobral 2018 ; Godinho 2019). Among these reflections, however, few turn their attention to the APA and when they do, the remarks are brief and to the point. Here are some examples :

Throughout this stage the first undergraduate degree courses were established (all in Lisbon), new university departments were founded, and a professional association of anthropologists was established – the APA (Associação Portuguesa de Antropologia) – directed successively by a series of academics. (Afonso 2006 : 161).

Founded in 1989, the Associação Portuguesa de Antropologia (APA) has accompanied the highs and lows of the discipline. APA was set up as a voice for the discipline whenever matters of common interest exist and since 2005 was a founding member of the World Council of Anthropological Associations. (Viegas & Pina-Cabral 2014 : 321)

With the double purpose of updating a scattered database and achieving an accurate profile of its constituency, in 2015 the Associação Portuguesa de Antropologia launched an online questionnaire to be filled in by people who identified themselves as anthropologists. (Bastos & Sobral 2018 : 1)

And also :

The conferences of the Associação Portuguesa de Antropologia, founded in 1989, are popular and of interest to colleagues from other countries. (Godinho 2019 : 17)

Taking this gap as a starting point, this article seeks to contribute to our understanding of the recent process of institutionalization of anthropology in Portugal through the activities of APA and those surrounding the association : its conferences, connections and networks. The text is based on documentary research in the association’s archives, located in the Instituto de Ciências Sociais (Social Sciences Institute) of the University of Lisbon and on its website, interviews with anthropologists from different generations with diverse institutional affiliations, and a survey of the records of the APA conferences (and participant observation in the 2013 and 2019 conferences), as well as a bibliographic survey of the anthropology produced in Portugal.

With this goal in mind, I firstly present a synopsis of how Portuguese anthropologists tell the discipline’s history, its landmarks, its tensions and the way it relates to Portuguese nation-building, before situating APA as a co-producer of this historical trajectory.

Anthropological Narratives : Landmarks, People and Institutions

The revolution of 25 April 1974 that put an end to the Estado Novo regime – the longest fascist-type dictatorship in Europe and colonial empire (1933–1974) - is the fundamental watershed for anthropologists aiming to understand the historical trajectory of the discipline in Portugal. Recorded in writings and oral accounts, the memory of anthropology before the “Carnation Revolution” is a complex topic and demands an in-depth exploration before we turn to an examination of the more recent period.

The disciplinary past of social and cultural anthropology, [8] as evoked by different authors in narratives that are essentially in agreement, can be traced back to the nineteenth century and the influence of Romanticism on the collection of oral traditions, folk songs and music, regional and local customs, and material culture. There was an emphasis on the rural world, especially the regions of Douro and Minho, which were perceived as the ‘cradle’ of Portuguese nationality (Branco 1986 ; Leal 2000 ; Pina-Cabral 1991 ; Afonso 2006 ; Bastos & Sobral 2018 ; among others). [9] This focus was related to an understanding of rurality as a depository of tradition and the peasant world as reflecting the core of the “Portuguese people”. During this first moment, which extended until the start of the Salazar regime in the 1930s, the most prominent names were Adolfo Coelho (1847–1919), Teófilo Braga (1843–1924), Consiglieri Pedroso (1851–1910), Rocha Peixoto (1866–1909) and Leite de Vasconcelos (1858–1941). Here it is worth highlighting the extent to which the British Ultimatum of 1890 [10] and the crisis in the Portuguese monarchy – which saw mutual feedback between political actions and intellectual production – generated a deep unease among the ancestors of modern anthropology, people like Adolfo Coelho and Rocha Peixoto, who expressed the idea of Portuguese decline (Leal 2000).

Active during the period of the Estado Novo (1933–1974), Jorge Dias (1907–1973) and his team of brilliant scholars – Ernesto Veiga de Oliveira (1910–1990), Benjamim Enes Pereira (1928–2020), Fernando Galhano (1904–1995) and Margot Dias (1908–2001) – are generally recognized as the ‘founding fathers’ of social and cultural anthropology. They were responsible for some level of theoretical and methodological modernization of the discipline in dialogue with international trends. According to Cristiana Bastos and José Manuel Sobral, “Dias claimed to pursue the ethnographic enterprise of studying the Portuguese people that had begun in the late nineteenth century and at the same time he introduced in Portugal, in limited ways, elements of modern anthropology” (2018 : 6).

The academic production of Jorge Dias is itself considered illustrative of the paradoxes of a ‘new’ anthropological science which was developed at the height of the Salazar regime. On one hand, his doctoral studies were undertaken in Germany during the Second World War (with a thesis on Vilarinho da Furna, a village in the north-east of Portugal, completed at the University of Munich in 1944) ; on the other hand, some of the leading German and Austrian figures with whom he was in dialogue during this period, like Richard Thurnwald (1869–1954 ; see Stoll 2020), represented not Nazi racism but the universalist cosmopolitanism that had preceded the Third Reich. [11] Prominence is given to Dias’s first works mapping the material culture of the rural world, as well as his studies of national character, influenced by Boasian anthropology in the 1950s – which some authors consider to be a turning point in his career (Afonso 2006 : 159) – or his community studies, considered a new moment for anthropology in Portugal (Sobral 2007 : 485). It is also worth mentioning the emphasis given to his involvement, albeit marked by ambiguity, with studies of the Portuguese colonial world from a culturalist perspective (in particular the Makonde of Mozambique). [12]

It appears, therefore, that over the course of his academic career, Jorge Dias transited between nation-building and empire-building anthropology. This debate on the vocation of Portuguese anthropology gained impetus mainly through the work of João Leal (2000). And by the mid 2010s, the following historiographic synthesis by Viegas and Pina-Cabral seemed to have achieved a degree of consensus : “Whenever the empire became politically less relevant, folklore and ethnology assumed a central place ; whenever the political relevance of the empire grew, the anthropology of exotic peoples dominated the discipline” (2014 : 312).

In an interview conducted on 29 May 2019, João Leal pondered, however, that more recently a group of scholars have drawn attention to the parallel importance of physical/biological anthropology during Estado Novo, while another group have turned their interest to ‘colonial knowledge’ from a broader perspective, including ethnographies produced by agents of the empire other than anthropologists within Jorge Dias’ network. This new perspective, in his view, renders ‘our understanding’ of the history of Portuguese anthropology more complex.

The institutions to which Jorge Dias was linked also reinforce the idea of shifting between the two tendencies of anthropology – nation-building and empire-building – initially proposed by Stocking Jr. (1982). At the invitation of António Mendes Correia (1888–1960), Dias directed the Ethnographic section of the Peninsular Ethnology Studies Centre (Centro de Estudos de Etnologia Peninsular, CEEP) at the University of Porto (and would later head CEEP itself after Mendes Correia’s death). He taught at the University of Coimbra, the Higher Institute of Overseas Studies (Instituto Superior de Estudos Ultramarinos) [13] and the University of Lisbon. Jorge Dias also played an important role in the creation of research and museum units like the Ethnology Studies Centre (Centro de Estudos de Etnologia, CEE), the Cultural Anthropology Studies Centre (Centro de Estudos de Antropologia Cultural, CEAC) and the project for the Museum of Ethnology (Museu de Etnologia) – which did not materialize, as everyone emphasizes, due to his premature death in 1973.

The “Carnation Revolution” on 25 April 1974 [14] is interpreted as a rupture with the institutionalization then under way, marked by a close relationship with the Estado Novo regime. Two new dimensions are highlighted. Following the pioneering work of José Cutileiro (1977), researches on the rural world began to focus on conflicts and power issues, thus breaking from the nationalist project in favour of a sociological project (Pina-Cabral 1991 : 40). Further, as a consequence of the so-called “Colonial War” (or the “War of Liberation”), anthropologists initially underwent what Branco called an “intellectual mourning”, experienced collectively as “forced abstinence in relation to Africa” (Branco 2014 : 376). The Higher Institute of Social Sciences and Overseas Policy (Instituto Superior de Ciências Sociais e Política Ultramarina) was closed by government order between the end of 1976 and 1979 (Pignatelli et al. 2016). When it reopened, now reformulated as the Higher Institute of Social and Political Sciences, there still persisted a “genuine aversion to talking about Africa”. [15]

The dominant view about the first decades of the post-revolution era (from the mid-1980s to the beginning of the 2000s) emphasizes the development of a strong institutional and political capacity, despite the aforementioned initial ‘mourning’ arising from the critiques of what was now called ‘colonial anthropology.’. [16] These were the years of expansion in the undergraduate courses in anthropology created at the Nova University of Lisbon (1978), the Higher Institute of Labour and Corporate Sciences (Instituto Superior de Ciências do Trabalho e da Empresa), also in Lisbon (1982), the Fernando Pessoa University in Porto (1990–2003), the University of Coimbra (1995), and the University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro (in Miranda do Douro, between 1998/1999 and 2008/2009). While some of these initiatives did not last, the undergraduate degrees in Lisbon developed into master’s degrees on specific themes in social anthropology and into doctoral programmes, some of them interconnecting various universities. In 2015, according to the O Perfil do Antropólogo em Portugal, there existed “five higher education institutions offering teaching in the scientific area of anthropology with study plans that cover the various study cycles at undergraduate, master’s and doctoral level, as well as postgraduate and specialization courses of variable duration” (Pignatelli et al. 2016 : 33).

The expansion of journals specializing in anthropology, particularly the journal Etnográfica [17], and the growth of research centres, especially the Centre for Research in Anthropology (Centro em Rede de Investigação em Antropologia, CRIA) [18], which was created in 2007 and currently has 87 researchers and 350 collaborators – are highlighted by Portuguese anthropologists reflecting on recent transformations of the discipline in their country. [19] Emphasis is also given to the Institute of Social Sciences, which transformed into a laboratory linked to the University of Lisbon at the start of the 2000s. The expansion of postgraduate training and research centres has been linked to the constitution of a national system of scientific research, spurred by Portugal’s entry into the European Union – the role of José Mariano Gago being central to this movement. [20] In the view of Mariano Gago, however, membership of the EU is not the main factor regarding the consolidation of the sciences in Portugal, given that precedents already existed :

We are gradually witnessing the social and political rooting of the country’s scientific development (Mário Soares even called it – and thus proclaimed it – a true national intent, a goal that has become, at last, generally acknowledged and consensual. (Pina-Cabral 2011 : 394)

APA and the Field of Anthropology in Portugal

The creation of the APA is identified as one important element of the new ‘critical anthropology’ that was allowed to flourish in Portugal by democracy. As we saw above, this was part of a broader process of consolidation and expansion of the core role assumed by scientific research in the country, including anthropology and other social sciences. (This process would be interrupted, in terms of investments, during the years of austerity instigated by the ‘European troika’ at the start of the 2010s, a situation that persists to some extent today – at least with regard to anthropology and for reasons that cannot be understood solely in terms of financial constraints, a topic addressed in the final section.)

Along this trajectory, the APA conferences and their growing internalization have expressed the vitality of anthropology in Portugal, as will become apparent in the next section. However, an examination of the institutional reproduction of the association reveals greater or lesser weaknesses. I was able to observe this facet when consulting the documents available on the APA website and in the archives of its secretariat located in ICS-UL, and when comparing the information on its boards of directors since its creation through interviews which I myself conducted and the public statements made at the 7th APA Conference held in 2019.

To provide an example, I begin with a situation that led me to track down discrepancies among the different records of who APA’s first president had been. In an interview (14 August 2019), I asked João de Pina-Cabral to help me identify the signatures in the original version of the APA statutes I had found in the folders and boxes of old documents. Among the five anthropologists who signed the document, he identified four signatures in the following order : his own and those of Jorge Crespo, Fernando Freitas and José António Braga Fernandes Dias. On this occasion he also stated that he had been the association’s first president. Consulting the APA website, however, I learnt that this position had been attributed to the anthropologist Raúl Iturra. I therefore turned to the first minutes of the meetings of APA’s board of directors, but the initial reading did not enable me to identify who had been the first president, given that the person is unnamed, and referred to as ‘president’. Some colleagues, a little taken aback by my doubts, wondered whether this imprecision was due to the fact that Pina-Cabral had been the founding president and Raúl Iturra the first elected president.

Fig. 1
João de Pina-Cabral (ICS-UL), Susana Viegas (ICS-UL), Brian O’Neill (ISCTE), Clara Saraiva (CEC-UL), Carlos Nuno (ESCS-IPL) and José Sobral (ICS-UL), “Session in honour of former presidents” of APA, 7th APA Conference 2019, Lisbon. Note that Brian O’Neill was on the round table, but, as announced at the event, was not president of the APA.
Antónia Lima’s personal archive.

So I returned to the minutes of the board meetings to consult them in more detail. In Minute no. 9, I located the following elucidating remarks :

On October 12 1990, the directorate of the Associação Portuguesa de Antropologia met in the absence of its president who was abroad for professional reasons. The meeting was headed by the vice-president, Jorge Crespo, […] Sérgio Pereira reported on the progress of the teaching project and the delays caused by the ill health of Professor Raúl Iturra.

It seemed, therefore, that Iturra could not have been president of APA in 1990. Given this fact and the detail that Pina-Cabral had been on a research trip to Macau in October 1990, [21] I opted to retain the information given by him that he had been APA’s first president – also restated in his interview with CPDOC-FGV in 2010 (see Fig. 3). [22] In taking this decision, I also considered that his name appears in the previous minutes (in contrast to the name of Iturra, which only appears in Minute no. 9 as transcribed above) ; that Pina-Cabral was member of the aforementioned roundtable of the “Session in honour of the former presidents” of APA, held on 4 June 2019 at the 7th APA Congress in Lisbon. Furthermore, his remark about Jorge Crespo, being vice-president, having assumed the directorship when Pina-Cabral stepped back to dedicate his time and energies to EASA in 1990 seemed to coincide better with the information cited above. This information was later confirmed when in APA Bulletin no. 1 I discovered a small note in English announcing the creation of the association, on page 5. This reads : “João de Pina Cabral is the President, Jorge Crespo the Vice-President, and Fernando Santos the Secretary.”

Fig. 2
Composition of the first APA Board of Directors.
Boletim no 1APA, December 1989, APA website (consulted 15 September 2021).

My reason for exploring this imprecision does not stem from an appreciation of anecdotes from the anthropological world or the search for the ‘true facts’, but is based on the assessment that such impressions are meaningful when investigating the process of institutionalization of this type of organization. After all, an institution’s memory is a fundamental constitutive element of a shared narrative to be celebrated and, therefore, transformed into a factual history with all its characters, landmarks, dates and achievements. When we look at the founding heroes of anthropology in Portugal, as seen in the previous section, we come across a relatively consolidated and rarely disputed account. When we turn to APA, however, what we encounter from the outset is an uncertainty over the correct order of the presidents in the chronology of its boards of directors. This uncertainty emerged, or persists, after thirty years of existence.

The difficulties concerning the succession in APA directorship at the turn of the 2000s reinforces the fact that this is a sensitive aspect of institutional life. The president Carlos Nuno had to remain in the post throughout 2001, following the end of his mandate, due to the lack of candidates for the succession in APA’s Board of Directors (Minutes of the Assembly on 11 March 2000). [23] Along the same lines, his successor, José Sobral, remarked that by the time he assumed the presidency in 2002, the enthusiasm of APA’s founding period no longer existed. The association remained alive administratively because of the work of the former president, Carlos Nuno, and some members of the Board of Directors. Thus, José Sobral recalls that in his administration, he too encountered a lack of mobilization among members to take part in APA activities. It is not my intention here to suggest an analysis of motivational factors, or their absence, or seek any kind of quick response. My purpose in this brief digression is to call attention to the importance of carefully examining information and forms of recording organizational life that, far from being merely administrative questions, require us to immerse ourselves in the institutional idiom to comprehend the relations, practices, values and conditions of possibility subjacent to APA. This ‘immersion’ will be undertaken at a future date and demands a different level of investment to what I have set out to achieve in this article.

Fig. 3
List of APA presidents 1989–2022.
Produced by the author based on interviews, data available on the APA website and in the archives consulted in the association’s secretariat.

APA Conferences : Themes and Internationalization

We turn now to focus on APA conferences, which express the association’s growth and dynamism, albeit not in linear form. As can be seen in the graph below (Fig. 4), the temporary drops in the overall rise of membership observed in 2006 and 2009 are not directly related to the previously mentioned cuts in research funding, which came later. [24] What should be emphasized is that from 2006, the conferences tended to be held more regularly and presented a clear upward trend in both the number of people enrolled (with an average growth of 567.6% over the period studied) [25]and the volume of works presented – indicating that the conferences provided an opportunity for scientific dialogue and not merely a space of dissemination in which some scholars presented the results of research while others simply listened. In 2006, as well as the lectures and roundtables, there were 26 parallel sessions (as the panels were then called, with a call for the submission of papers taking place for the first time that year). [26] By 2009 there were 40 panels, while in 2013 and 2016 there were 60 and 91, respectively. Finally, in 2019, this number had jumped to 115 panels.

Without doubt, the continuous involvement of Portuguese anthropologists in the APA conferences is a key element in understanding their success over the course of the different editions. However, it is not the sole factor explaining this growth, given that from 2009 the conferences ceased to be predominantly frequented by Portuguese anthropologists. While the first APA conference (1993) was entirely a Portuguese event, [27] in 1999 [28] two roundtables were held on anthropology in Brazil : two sessions of the roundtable “Anthropology in Brazil at the turn of the millennium”, with the participation of eight Brazilian anthropologists, five women and three men ; [29] and one on anthropology in Spain, called “Anthropology in Spain today. Some lines of research”, with the participation of three Spanish anthropologists, one woman and two men. [30] The 3rd APA Conference (2006), for its part, already included the then president of the Brazilian Anthropology Association, Miriam Grossi, on its organizing committee and the Brazilian anthropologist Gustavo Lins Ribeiro, who was at the time president of the World Council of Anthropological Associations (WCAA) – as well as around twenty Brazilian anthropologists involved in the conference’s activities. Thereafter, the dialogue between Portuguese and Brazilian anthropology would intensify, [31] ceasing to be centred around a few already well-established names in both communities or linked to personal networks and becoming generalized and distributed in many different activities in the conferences. [32] Albeit at a different scale, the same could be observed in relation to Spanish anthropology.

Fig. 4
Number of participants at APA conferences.
Produced by the author based on data available on the APA website and in the archives consulted in the association’s secretariat.

It is indispensable, therefore, to consider the international networks mobilized at these meetings organized by APA. Observed longitudinally, the connections with Brazilian and Spanish anthropology remain the most dense and significant, although in terms of volume they are clearly distinct – here, however, we need to consider the size of the respective anthropological communities. The networks with the United Kingdom and France show an upward growth, attaining a peak of 27 and 22 participants, respectively, in 2019 (see Fig. 2).

While the European connections appear less significant at this level, they should not be thought to be non-existent. The most plausible hypothesis is that they are embedded in other circuits. After all, in 1990, one year after APA’s creation, Coimbra would host the 1st Conference of the European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA), whose organizing committee included the anthropologist João de Pina-Cabral. Pina-Cabral remarked in an interview that, having presided over APA at the time of its foundation, he stepped back to dedicate himself to the likewise recently-created EASA (1989), which he would head for two years in 2003–2004. In 2020, Portugal (Lisbon) once again hosted the biannual EASA Conference, its 16th edition, this time held virtually due to the pandemic crisis, but considered the largest conference held to date. Over the course of its history, EASA has also had Portuguese anthropologists occupying various posts on its elected board. [33] Another association that a diverse group of Portuguese scholars indicated as important to their European networks is the International Society for Ethnology and Folklore (SIEF). Between 1954 and 1957, Jorge Dias had earlier been secretary-general of the Commission des Arts et des Traditions Populaires, which preceded SIEF, and was renamed as the latter from 1964. [34] As well as this historical involvement, it is worth emphasizing that Clara Saraiva (president of APA 2014–2016, 2017–2019 and 2020–2022) was consecutively elected three times (2008, 2013 and 2016) as a member of the SIEF board. [35] The 10th SIEF Congress (2011) was held in Lisbon, organized locally by CRIA, while other Portuguese anthropologists have also presented papers at SIEF conferences and been members of its scientific committee.

A careful examination of the APA conferences as the association’s public face also allows us to map the main themes of the Portuguese anthropological community through its interfaces with other national communities involved in these encounters.

Fig. 5
Clara Carvalho (CEI-IUL), Juliana Bráz Dias (UnB), Wilson Trajano Filho (UnB), Gustavo Lins Ribeiro (UnB) and Mariano Piçarro. Closing dinner, 3rd APA Congress 2006, Lisbon.
Juliana Bráz Dias’ personal archive.

A survey of the titles of the panels reveals various trends and lines of interest. The researches dedicated to museums, heritage, memory and tradition are remarkable for their volume and their consistent growth – having already been present at the 1st APA Conference in 1993. Let us recall that museums, heritage and memory are part of the deeper history of Portuguese anthropology : in the period before 1974, this was due to the relevance of rural material culture – ‘folk culture’ (Leal 2016) – and the importance of the artifacts brought back from the colonies for the scientific and political co-production of the nation and the Portuguese Empire (see Barros 2012). After 1974, this growth in study of the topic was due to the relevance of cultural heritage policies and the creation (or renovation) of regional and local museums as a reflection of the new wave of politicization of culture (Wright 1998) as well as the scientific and professional career interests of anthropologists. [36]

Fig. 6
Jean-Yves Durand (UMinho), Miguel Vale de Almeida (ISCTE), Suzana Narotzky (UBarcelona) and Federico Neiburg (UFRJ). Plenary Session II, IV APA Congress 2009, Lisbon.
Antónia Lima’s personal archive.

The thematic interest in politics, government, power and resistance, and, on a smaller scale, migrations, flows, movements and mobility, shows consistent growth and is also expressed in the postgraduate courses cited below : “questions of contemporary political relevance – e.g. ‘Human Rights and Social Movements’ or ‘Migrations’” (Viegas & Pina-Cabral 2014 : 322). One last remark : it is worth noting the limited presence of classic themes of anthropology like family, kinship and conjugality ; the recent growth in the interest in health, the body and therapies ; [37] the return of the term ‘culture’ in 2019 ; and, finally, we can pick out the strong interest in ethnography and fieldwork traversing the various themes of the panels (Fig. 9).

Fig. 7
Nationality (institutional affiliation) of the participants in the APA conferences.
Produced by the author based on data available on the APA website and in the physical archives consulted in the association’s secretariat.

The survey by Viegas and Pina-Cabral (2014) of postgraduate courses in anthropology is aligned with the thematic mapping of the APA conferences focused on here :

Postgraduate teaching reflects the areas of most thematic interest in the discipline : visual anthropology – e.g. ‘visual cultures’ ; ‘material culture and consumption,’ ‘tourism and heritage,’ ‘digital visual culture’ – or questions of contemporary political relevance – e.g. ‘human rights and social movements’ or ‘migrations’ – and questions of regional relevance – e.g. ‘Islamic studies,’ ‘African studies,’ ‘Indian studies’ and ‘Brazilian studies.’ (Viegas & Pina-Cabral 2014 : 322)

Fig. 8
Pina-Cabral (ICS-UL), Bob Barnes (Oxford), Bill Watson (UKent) e John Davis (UKent). II EASA Congress 1992, Prague.
Pina-Cabral’ personal archive.

While we can identify continuity between the themes of the APA conferences and the postgraduate courses, the survey made by Paula Godinho on the Portuguese anthropological production of the 1990s (2019 : 17-23) also reveals some changes in the predominant interests in the 2000s compared to the previous decade. Godinho mapped five major themes that converge with the main thematic axes of the panels held in the APA conferences between 2009 and 2019. These were : memory and social change ; heritage and the phenomenon of “emblematisation”, along with the marketing and touristification of culture ; borders, identity politics and cultural practices ; and systems of state surveillance and control of “marginal” populations. On the other hand, urban life, gender studies, anthropology and the environment, also mentioned by Godinho, seem to have experienced something of a slowdown – although scientific conferences should be considered primarily as spaces for interaction between researchers, meaning that their conversion into bibliographic output on a similar scale is neither necessary nor expected.

Scientific conferences are sui generis events which function as a stage for fixing previous agendas and honouring individual contributions, but also as spaces for experimenting with new scientific knowledge. Consequently, they display polemics and tensions that, based on my personal experience as well, are more openly expressed in the smaller discussion forums, whether formal or informal, than in the plenary sessions and panels, where people seek to express a degree of consensus (even if only in relation to the terms under which disputes should occur). They also allow institutional and national boundaries to become permeable by enabling people with different institutional affiliations and career profiles to circulate in the same time and space, combining formal interaction and sociability – whether the latter is improvised by the participants themselves or promoted by the event organzers.

Fig. 9
Thematic axes at the APA conferences.
Produced by the author based on data available on the APA website and in the physical archives consulted in the association’s secretariat.

With varying degrees of success, the conferences become visible beyond the venues in which they occur and thus enter into dialogue with other environments and people, whether through news reports published in the media or through the presence of their participants in spaces of conviviality and leisure in the towns and cities where the events are being hosted. Their dynamic creates connections between researchers who attend consecutive editions of the same event, in particular the APA conferences, or at other anthropological conferences like those of EASA and SIEF, mentioned earlier, or the biannual meetings of the Brazilian Anthropology Association (ABA) and Mercosur Anthropology, or the conferences of the Network of Ibero-American Anthropology (Associação de Antropólogos Ibero-americanos em Rede, AIBR), the American Anthropological Association (AAA) and the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES) – to mention just a few.

All of the above allows us to affirm that APA, by means of its conferences but also beyond them, has played an undeniable sociological role in the construction of Portuguese anthropology, although one seldom highlighted in the texts I consulted. After all, keeping alive an anthropological community in local terms through diverse links, the inclusion of anthropologists from different regions in the association’s directorship and the rotation of the host cities of the conferences (Coimbra, Lisbon, Vila Real, Évora…) – within a national context where institutions are concentrated in Lisbon – is no easy task.

Fig. 10
João Leal (UNL) and Benjamim Enes Pereira (honoured). 4th APA Conference 2009, Lisbon.
Antónia Lima’s personal archive.

This is especially the case when we consider that APA, as well as enabling the realization of these “international scientific parliaments” (Nunes, n.d.), also promotes other activities (dissemination of information considered relevant and different virtual and face-to-face interactions). It also aims to increase the visibility of Portuguese anthropologists as a whole through the production and dissemination of data on their professional ‘profiles’ (1999 and 2016). In this way, networks and media are constructed that allow the existence of the anthropological community to be seen and “believed” – in other words, by enunciating this community, APA also constitutes it. These are processes that, when coordinated, contribute to the making of the social and symbolic fabric necessary to any scientific field. Nonetheless, the fields are also constituted by diverse tensions and struggles. It is precisely APA’s struggles in relation to the professional inclusion of anthropologists in teaching and research areas, one of its original commitments, that will be the theme of the next two sections.

Fig. 11
Carmen Rial (president of ABA) and Robert Rowland (president of APA), 5th APA Conference 2013, Vila Real.
Raquel Carvalheira’s personal archive.
Fig. 12
Wilson Trajano Filho (UnB) and Cristiana Bastos (ICS-UL), Duet III, 5th APA Conference 2013, Vila Real.
Juliana Bráz Dias’ personal archive.
Fig. 13
Closing party, 6th APA Conference 2016, Coimbra.
APA website (consulted 15 September 2021).
Fig. 14.
Antónia Lima (ISCTE), Book launch, 7th APA Conference 2019, Lisbon.
Maria Manuel Quintela’s personal archive

Challenges of Yesterday and Today (I) : Anthropology in Secondary Education

The choice of the above subtitle is not just a reference to the semantic field evoked by the term challenge : obstacle, adversity, combat. It seeks to highlight the uncertain course, the advances and setbacks of an important public aspect of APA, present in its statutes since 1989. In defining the association’s objectives, Article 2 observes that APA is committed to :

b) encourage teaching, study and research in anthropology, contributing to the attainment of a high scientific and pedagogical level ;

c) defend the professional interests of anthropologists and expand the scope of their social intervention. [38]

In the minutes of the first meeting of the directorate, held on 3 June 1989, it can be read that : “Professor Jorge Crespo was nominated to coordinate the workgroup ‘Teaching and Anthropology’” [39] – a topic that would be mentioned in various other meetings over the years. APA’s archives contain official letters, publications in the Diário da República, press releases and other documents concerning the negotiations between APA and the Ministry of Education on the teaching of anthropology at primary and secondary levels of education, spanning from 1993 to 2001. In fact, discussion of this topic continued long after this period and included various initiatives undertaken by the association : in 2019, APA’s directorate promoted the forum “Expanding horizons and building futures for anthropology in Portugal” in which the theme of anthropology in secondary education was central.

Many proposals were made by APA from the end of the 1980s to ensure the professional inclusion of anthropology graduates at these levels of education, initiatives that also involved formal coordination with all the country’s anthropology departments. [40] However, these actions failed to achieve significant results, meaning that the association still continues to work towards this end. On its website, on the page ‘Profissão’ (profession), among the three subcategories selected to represent the theme, we find “Anthropology in Secondary Education”, where the most recent activities developed in this area can be consulted. This inclusion is explained as follows :

Under the previous directorship (2017–2020), APA began a project/dossier called Anthropology in Secondary Education. The current directorship is committed to continuing these activities and promoting anthropology as a subject taught in secondary education, preferentially by anthropologists. While many people remember this subject being taught in secondary school in the past, courses are seldom available in the country today. [41] (My italics)

In an interesting analysis of this process of the transformation of anthropology into a subject seldom if ever taught in secondary education, Santos and Seixas (1997) identify a paradox at the heart of the reforms introduced at the end of the 1980s : while these reforms seem to have an anthropological inspiration (‘ideology’) – with the use of the concept of culture in different texts, including ‘cultural teacher,’ also called an antropagogo or ‘anthropagogue’ (1997 : 116), to mention some examples – at the same time they exclude anthropologists from the educational system. [42] Appearing in various documents, this exclusion is mainly attributed to : (i) the status of anthropology being transformed into an optional course in the area of humanities with a reduced course load ; and (ii) the fact that anthropologists began to be classified as having merely ‘sufficient qualifications’ and no longer ‘specific qualifications’ – meaning that to qualify they would have to take a master’s on teaching methods’ in the area of anthropology. APA maintains a line of activity seeking to reverse this situation, either through strategies designed to ‘open small cracks’ for anthropology to enter into secondary schools, or with the intention of ‘breaking down walls’ – as was stated in the aforementioned forum held during the 7th APA Conference in 2019. To this end, APA has promoted activities to disseminate anthropology in secondary schools and, since the beginning of 2021 has, along with the anthropology departments in Portugal, sought to implement a master’s on teaching methods with the aim of filling a gap in the vacancies open to the profession. [43]

Challenges of Yesterday and Today (II) : Recognition of Anthropology in Research Policies

Teaching, however, is not the only challenge posed to APA in the recognition of anthropology and anthropologists in Portugal. Research funding policy has also become an important issue in its recent public activities. [44] The event that triggered this line of action was the change in the classification adopted by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education and by the General Directorate of Education and Science Statistics of the Ministry of Education. In this new classification, anthropology became a subarea of sociology within the larger area of social sciences – in accordance with a schema taken from the Frascati Manual issued by the OCDE (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development/OCDE, republished various times since 1963). [45] This manual, which constitutes the international reference text for surveying research and development activities, only incorporated the social and human sciences in its third edition, in the 1970s. Moreover, its 2002 version emphasized that discrepancies in the standards for surveying these activities could be accepted, with the following excerpt seeming to allow for variations between countries :

Although the Manual recommends standard practice, it is understood that, for various reasons, some deviations may have to be accepted for the social sciences and humanities (SSH). Experience in member countries differs : some find that surveys can cover all sciences in all sectors, others find that common procedures are not always appropriate. (2013 : 20) [46]

It is important to observe that the 2002 Frescati Manual, in use until 2015, contains a table that covers the larger area of the social sciences with the following scientific subareas : psychology, economics, educational sciences and other social sciences. The latter in turn includes : anthropology (social and cultural) and ethnology, demographics, geography (human, economic and social), law, political science, sociology, and so on (2013 : 67).

The revision of the manual in 2015, which remains the current version, altered this schema, creating new scientific subareas : sociology, law, political science, economic and social geography, and media and communications. As in the previous version, it explicitly permits leeway for countries to make alterations at the subarea level (2013 : 278). Despite this fact, Portugal decided to maintain anthropology within the scientific subarea of sociology. It even ignored the recommendation for alterations (Fig. 15) made by the Think Tank on the Evaluation of Science and Technology – contracted by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education (MCTE) itself – which, as can be seen below, raised anthropology to the category of a secondary scientific area (equivalent to a scientific subarea in the Frascati Manual).

Faced with this political decision, APA channelled its efforts in two directions : arguing that the decision was unreasonable – including in statistical terms [47] – and singling out its consequences. Along these lines, various meetings have been held with the Foundation for Science and Technology (Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia, FCT) since 2013 and many documents produced, which highlight : (i) the loss of anthropology’s autonomy, failing to recognise its history and growth in Portugal ; (ii) its invisibility in the R&D system and statistics ; (iii) the consequent negative impacts on work contracts (FCT/universities), since the candidacies ceased to be evaluated by anthropologists ; (iv) the negative consequences in terms of the evaluation of research units (FCT/universities), since they could no longer indicate anthropology as a scientific area ; (v) the impact on the scientific curriculum (CIÊNCIAVITAE Platform – State Secretariat of Science), since it generated a public profile as ‘sociologist’ rather than ‘anthropologist’ ; and, finally, (vi) APA’s documentation highlights the fact that this classification produces misleading databases that have distorted the investments made by universities over recent decades. [48]

This struggle is still unfolding and Portuguese anthropologists are also striving to understand the specificity of this subalternization of the discipline in Portugal, recognizing that the downgrading of the social sciences is a broader phenomenon. The opinions I heard from various colleagues in interviews and in public statements were diverse, though they sometimes showed convergences : they argue that it is an effect of hegemony and not of an ideological conspiracy against the social sciences and more specifically anthropology ; it is part of the view that, if the social sciences contribute little to a certain model of development, [49] anthropology does so even less by being associated, in stereotypical form, with the study of the exotic and the primitive ; one effect of the poor visibility of anthropology in the public sphere and the curbs on the possibilities for the professionalization of anthropologists when compared, say, to sociology ; and also the strategies for the affirmation of Portugal within the European Union over time, expressed in its different scientific policies.

Fig. 15
Proposal for Classification of Scientific Areas and Subareas – Social Sciences. Source : Report of the Think Tank on the Evaluation of Science and Technology by the Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT) – October 2016 (:28). The full proposal for the social sciences can be consulted on pages 28 and 29 of the document.
Available at _ Avaliacao_Ciencia_Tecnologia_Fundacao_Ciencia_Tecnologia.pdf (Consulted on 26 February 2021).


This last consideration allows us, as a conclusion to my reflections on APA and the field of anthropology in Portugal, to make explicit a fundamental dimension that has so far remained implicit : the relation of co-production between state processes and governance (not necessarily exerted by the state bureaucracy) on one side and, on the other side, processes of knowledge production. Or, in a broader sense, between politics and science. After all, as Ezrahi (2004) astutely observed, legal and political institutions lead and are simultaneously led by the investments made, in an ample sense, by society in science and technology – which very definitely should not be confused with a relationship of the context-response type. In making this point, I wish to emphasize that the understanding of the place of the social sciences and anthropology in scientific policies in Portugal needs to consider the tensions that have marked the modernization of the production of scientific and technological knowledge in the country since the start of the 1990s.

Echoing the view of José Mariano Gago (Pina-Cabral 2011 : 397-400), an important architect of this process, this constitutes tension between two models : on one hand, a model that includes all the sciences and all the research and teaching institutions, considering that all of them may promote dialogues with the productive sector in order to create a scientific culture in society ; and, on the other hand, a model that privileges only selected sciences, i.e. the ones considered central to development, understood in the strictly economic sense with an emphasis on industrial and technological specialization. In Gago’s words, it amounts to a dispute over the definition of a scientific policy based on ‘scientific opportunities’ or on ‘scientific priorities’ ; in other words, a policy guided by the evaluation of the quality of the teams and the research projects, independently of belonging to a specific science, or by a matrix of scientific areas previously defined as of economic relevance, based on established institutional hierarchies. This dispute, it is important to stress, did not (and does not) take place in a single direction from politics to science and neither is the issue specific to Portugal. For us to perceive this mutuality and not exclusivity, suffice it to consider that the specialists involved in implementing scientific policies do so on their own terms and produce hegemonic effects both outside and inside the scientific field in each national context – witness the global processes of auditing scientific production (Shore & Wright 1999 ; Strathern 2000).

In this scenario, the Portuguese Anthropological Association is both product and producer of the more inclusive project of scientific development and continues to work in this direction in its liaisons within and beyond the country. From this perspective, the struggle to reinsert the discipline of anthropology in secondary education ceases to be merely a question of the professional inclusion of anthropologists and can be seen as a meaningful part of the set of strategies for building a broader basis for the sciences in Portuguese society. Meanwhile, the demand for the recognition of anthropology as an autonomous scientific area expresses a commitment to the pluralization of the understanding of science, which should not be reduced to corporate interests. Both lines of work, combined with the successful organization of its conferences and its international networks, reposition APA as an active agent in the ongoing process of building a scientific field and a democratic political order, always subject to contestation. In this exploration that traverses and interconnects science, power and values, I have sought to reveal the complex weaving of a “co-production” of the world (Jasanoff 2004) in which only momentarily and in determined local contexts does one of these terms gain precedence. I hope that, in this journey of reflection, APA’s activities with regard to scientific and social policies (clearly expressed in the themes of the conferences) can reach broader horizons than those suggested by the apparent low visibility of anthropology in the public sphere and its negligible direct influence on government policies and contemporary struggles. After the construction of nation and empire, followed by their deconstruction, new goals are today on the agenda in Portuguese anthropology with APA assuming a prominent role in this reorientation.


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[1Pina-Cabral in his presentation in the ‘Session in homage of former presidents’ of APA, held on 4 June 2019, at the 7th APA Congress.

[2I thank CNPq for the grant that allowed me to conduct the research on which this article is based and the Institute of Social Sciences at the University of Lisbon for hosting me as a visiting researcher in 2019. I am also grateful to the Portuguese anthropological colleagues who dedicated their time to grant me interviews and share their photographic records, which are partially reproduced here. To the APA directorship and secretariat, my thanks for welcoming me and making available the physical archive containing the association’s documentary records.

[3And communicating with its members through the creation of a website :

[4Boletim APA no 1 ; Consulted on 3 May 2021.

[5Data taken from “O perfil do antropólogo em Portugal,” Report 2016 (p. 10) – information relating to the organization of the register of members to be sent to the inquiry in question. Available at Consulted on 24 February 2021.

[6The research on which this article is based was undertaken during my stay as visiting researcher at the Institute of Social Sciences at the University of Lisbon (ICS-UL) between March 2019 and January 2020 – a period during which I received the support of a PDE-CNPq grant. I thank all my Portuguese colleagues for dedicating part of their time to interviews, conversations and suggestions, especially Cristiana Bastos and João Vasconcelos who received me at ICS-IL and to Maria Manuel Quintela, friend and companion for many years who, once again, generously took me in and, with her experience, helped me understand the field of Portuguese anthropology.

[7Official newspaper of the Portuguese state.

[8Physical anthropology or, as it was called previously, anthropobiology emerged in the same cycle (Sobral 2007 ; Bastos & Sobral 2018). The cities of Porto and Coimbra were centres of this discipline, their central figures and institutions being, respectively, Mendes Correa (1888–1960), the University of Porto and the Portuguese Society of Anthropology and Ethnology ; and Bernardino Machado (1851–1944), Eusébio Tamagnini (1880–1972) and the University of Coimbra. Along these lines, as observed in various other European countries, the reflection on national identity was developed in search of the origin of its population – led in this instance by Lusitanist theories (Leal 2000 ; Leal 2006 ; Ferraz de Matos 2017) and subsequently by the investigation of the “races of the Empire” (Roque 2006).

[9To cite just one narrative variation, Branco identifies the eighteenth century as central : “it seems most relevant to highlight the activity developed from the second half of the eighteenth century in which the state tasked itself with the art of good governance and administration of the territor(y/ies) under its tutelage. Hence, this period can be considered decisive to the slow gestation of the distinct discourses and disciplines of the social sciences, particularly of anthropology” (Branco 1986 : 76).

[10After the Berlin Conference in 1884–1885 defined the effective occupation of territory as the criterion for possession in Africa, the United Kingdom issued an ultimatum to the Portuguese monarchy in 1890, demanding its military withdrawal from the territories between Angola and Mozambique under threat of a rupture of the relations between the two European nations.

[11It should be pointed out that the context in which Dias developed his doctorate in Germany is not emphasized in the various works consulted on his importance to the consolidation of anthropology in Portugal, but rather the relevance of his thesis on Vilarinho da Furna.

[12The ambiguity of Dias’s involvement in the Missão de Estudos das Minorias Étnicas do Ultramar Português (Study Mission on the Ethnic Minorities of Overseas Portugal), created in 1957 and which he headed, can be read in the qualification of his investigations, on one hand, as a kind of anthropological advocacy (Afonso 2006 : 160) and, on the other, as part of the “scientific occupation of the overseas Portuguese territories” (Pereira 1989 : 67) or, again, as the expression (Dias and his team) of a “project of implicit theoretical opposition to political power and a relative practical conciliation” (Rodrigues de Areia 1986 : 142).

[13In 1906 the Escola Colonial (Colonial School) was created – with backing by the Lisbon Geographic Society (1875) – and later renamed the Escola Superior (Higher School, 1926) and the Instituto Superior de Estudos Ultramarinos (Higher Institute of Overseas Studies, 1954), where Dias taught. The school thus transformed “into a ‘specialized institute’ focusing on problems of the Overseas Territories, given the necessary reforms of a country that had formally ceased to be a colonial metropolis and transformed into a Nation State with dependent territories” (Abrantes 2012:24). In 1962 it was again renamed, this time as the Instituto Superior de Ciências Sociais e Política Ultramarina (Higher Institute of Social Sciences and Overseas Policy) and it was in this period that Dias created the Centro de Estudos de Antropologia Cultural (Cultural Anthropology Study Centre, CEAC) cited below.

[14For a survey of how anthropologists have approached (or ignored) this critical event, see Almeida 2014.

[15Interview with Celeste Quintino on 19 November 2019.

[16The number of works analysing this more recent period are few in number. In addition to those already mentioned, I suggest reading the “Memória” section of “Antropologia em Portugal nos últimos 50 anos,” Etnográfica, vol. XVIII(2), 2014

[17CRIA is a restructuring of the Social Anthropology Studies Centre ( CEAS-ISCTE) which already brought together researchers from various universities. Following this transformation, the journal Etnográfica (in existence since 1997) began to be published by CRIA. See (consulted 12 February 2021).

[18For additional information, see I would add that in a recent consultation I discovered that CRIA had become, from 2021 onwards, an Associated Laboratory of the State through its participation in the consortium IN2PAST – Associated Laboratory for Research and Innovation in Heritage, Arts, Sustainability and Territory. My thanks to Rita Cachado for the reference.

[19Information obtained in interview with Antónia Lima (22 November 2019).

[20As well as being mentioned in various personal interviews conducted throughout 2019 and the beginning of 2020, a deeper examination of the significance of his role can be found in Viegas and Pina-Cabral (2014 : 322) and in the interview published with him in Análise Social (Pina Cabral 2011).

[21Consultation by e-mail made to Pina-Cabral (5 May 2021) on the trip mentioned in the minutes in question.

[22 (p. 26). Consulted 18 February 2021.

[23It should also be pointed out that the administrative periods of each president also show variations depending on the source consulted (the APA website, minutes or bulletins).

[24It is difficult to attribute a causality to this brief downturn but speculation ranges from a certain imprecision in the available data to conjunctural questions.

[25Certainly not all those enrolled at the conferences actually participated, but the increase in the number of people who enrolled remains a viable indicator of their expansion and importance.

[26Information from Robert Rowland, interviewed on 7 May 2019.

[27The First APA Congress occurred in 1993 on 10–12 February. I was able to find its program among the association’s physical archives.

[28The available documents include just an article on the congress written by the then Brazilian anthropology student Lino João de Oliveira Neves (de Oliveira Neves 2000), some information in APA bulletins, a draft programme with the title of the congress and suggested topics (in the archives of the APA secretariat), but not the book of abstracts or official programme.

[29Mariza Peirano (UnB), Alcida Ramos (UnB), Mariza Corrêa (Unicamp), Bela Feldman-Bianco (Unicamp), Ilka Boaventura Leite (UFSC), João Pacheco de Oliveira (MN, UFRJ), Márcio Goldman (MN, UFRJ) and Sérgio Carrara (UERJ).

[30Maria Cátedra (UCM), Joaquín Rodríguez Campos (USC) and Joan Pujadas (URV).

[31A similar survey of the participation of Portuguese anthropologists in the biennial meetings of the Brazilian Anthropology Association would enable a mapping of this relationship, which is undoubtedly two-way.

[32On the important role played by Brazilian anthropologist Gilberto Velho in approximating Portuguese and Brazilian anthropology, see Castro & Cordeiro 2014 and Bastos 2017. Meanwhile, for a historical trajectory of the construction of personal networks with Brazil, see Bastos 2014, as well as the interview with Pina-Cabral at CPDOC- FGV (2010:30-31 ; 33), available at (consulted on 18 February 2021).

[33These are : Cristiana Bastos, ICS-UL (2019–2020) ; Manuela da Cunha, UMInho (2009–2010, 2007–2008) ; Pina-Cabral, ICS-UL (1995–1996, 1993–1994).

[34For further information, see Bastos & Sobral 2017 and the SIEF website, specifically SIEF historian ( and History of SIEF ( (consulted on 18 February 2021).

[35No information is available on the previous boards : SIEF Board ( (consulted on 18 February 2021).

[36In personal interviews, some colleagues indicated that this niche of the work market is important, especially following the cuts to research and development funding observed following the agreement reached with the troika in 2011.

[37This growth includes the line of research developed by Cristiana Bastos – Repositório da Universidade de Lisboa : Percorrer o repositório ( ; and the thematic line of anthropology of health coordinated by Maria Manuel Quintela and Mónica Saavedra no CRIA - CRIA (consulted on 19 February 2021), as well as the EASE Network of Medical Anthropology Meeting held in Lisbon in 2017.

[38APA archives.

[39Document “Direção da Associação Portuguesa de Antropologia – ACTAS,” archives of the APA secretariat.

[40See, for example, APA Bulletin no. 10, available at (consulted on 24 February 2021).

[42Employment in primary or secondary education effectively fell from 28.9% in 1989 to 4.8% in 2015, while overall unemployment doubled between 1999 (8.1%) and 2015 (16.3%). This data was taken from “Inquérito à situação dos antropólogos em Portugal,” 1999 Report, and “O perfil do antropólogo em Portugal,” 2016 Report, respectively. Available at (consulted on 24 February 2021).

[43According to Rita Cachado, a member of APA’s directorate, the objective is, as well as teaching anthropology in the 12th year, to include the citizenship and development course in the second and third cycles and in secondary education. APA argues that anthropologists are especially qualified to teach this course, as well as anthropology, which is a course taught optionally in secondary school. Seeking to reintroduce the discipline more widely, APA took part in the updating of the curriculum as part of the “new apprenticeships” programme of the Ministry of Education, which can be consulted at, as suggested on the APA website (consulted on 26 March 2021).

[44My thanks to Susana Viegas for the hours of interview, which were invaluable to my comprehension of this process.

[45All the editions of the Frascati Manual can be found at Frascati Manual – OECD (consulted on 25 February 2021).

[46Citation taken from the English version of the 2002 Frascati Manual, published in 2013, available at est&checksum=A30A16B40E4B11DC8932826497409CE2 (consulted on 26 February 2021).

[47In a letter sent to the FCT in February 2019, it was argued that statistically anthropology is equivalent to geography, classified as a secondary scientific area.

[48Information taken from the APA documents available at (consulted on 25 February 2021).

[49See (p. 45) (consulted on 25 February 2021).