Anthropologist. Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology/School of Social Sciences at the University of Évora. She has a PhD in Anthropology (Iscte-IUL, 2012), with the thesis “Paraísos Desfocados: Nostalgia Empacotada e Conexões Coloniais em Malaca” [Paradises out-of-focus: Packaged Nostalgia and Colonial Connections in Malacca]. She has a master’s degree in Sociology (University of Évora, 2002) and a degree in Anthropology (ISCSP-UL, 1998).

Her research interests include the processes of social appropriation of spaces, anthropology of colonialism, processes of patrimonialisation and touristification. She has carried out research in European and Asian contexts. She has been an Integrated Researcher at the IHC since November 2015. She is also a Collaborating Researcher at CRIA — Iscte-IUL, in the Research Group on Cultural Practices and Policies. Since 2016, she has also been collaborating with the Department of Anthropology at the University of Brasilia (Brazil).

Research fields

  • Space, tourism, and politics
  • Social appropriation of places
  • Colonialism and patrimonialisation processes
  • Historical anthropology

Selected publications

  • Pires, Ema, & Maria de Fátima Nunes. “Práticas científicas e colonialismo tardio em Portugal: acerca da (in)visibilidade de género em narrativas sobre quotidianos asiáticos,” Cadernos Pagu 49 (2017): e174911. DOI: [link]🔓
  • Pires, Ema. “On Soft Architectures,” e-cadernos CES 23 (2015): 8-22. DOI: 10.4000/eces.1897 [link]🔓
  • Pires, Ema. “Re-scripting Colonial Heritage,” Cultura – International Journal of Philosophy and Axiology 11 (2014): 131-141 [link]

Main projects

  • Coordinator of the project “Legados coloniais e seus fragmentos: espaços, agentes, conexões” [Colonial legacies and their fragments: spaces, agents, connections] — An non-funded partnership between the University of Évora and the University of Brasília. 2017-2019
  • Researcher in the project “Presença Karajá: cultura material, tramas e trânsitos coloniais” [Karajá presence: material culture, weaves and colonial transits] — Coordinated by Manuelina Duarte Cândido (Universidade Federal de Goiás), non-funded.


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