The Centre for Research in Anthropology (CRIA) is an interuniversity R&D unit founded in 2007 and qualified as Very Good in the R&D units’ international evaluations promoted by FCT in 2007 and 2013.
Anthropology has become a vital instrument to critically understand social and cultural dynamics of today’s shifting and conflict-ridden world. It enables the articulation of person and community-centred approaches with broader formulations from the fields of biology, philosophy, history or sociology. Anthropology’s theoretical and methodological tools contribute to deepening the engagement between science and the social world, and rethink the complexities of social and cultural lives, its fluxes and mediations, determined by constant transits of people, concepts, goods, political and economic structures, and their creative metamorphoses. Anthropology is nowadays crucial to the reconfiguration of the methods with which to pursue the multi-sited and multi-disciplinary research that questions the boundaries between local and global, centre and peripheral, individual and culture. CRIA reflects this stance.
CRIA is a dynamic network based on four universities (FCSH-Nova, ISCTE-IUL, U. Coimbra and UMinho). This network’s functioning enables each institutional division to autonomously develop its own activities while they all share the fundamental resources necessary to the management, fundraising, research dissemination, teaching and knowledge transfer. It furthermore encourages the mobility of CRIA’s researchers between the centre’s different institutional grounds.
Research in CRIA is structured in four major research groups which compose the scientific core of the centre and bring together researchers from the different institutional divisions. These groups build upon specific fields of research: (1) Circulation and Place-Making, (2) Environment, Sustainability, and Ethnography, (3) Governance, Policies and Livelihoods, and (4) Practices and Politics of Culture. Complementary, thematic lines and working groups aggregate researchers from the different research groups around particular subjects and contexts of research, such as: (1) Anthropology of Health, (2) Visual Anthropology and Arts Laboratory, (3) Studies in Arab and Islamic Contexts, (4) Anthropology of Religion, and (5) Informal Resources, State and Social Capital.
CRIA promotes a transnational network of research in anthropology that maximises resources and skills formerly scattered, resulting in a thickened scientific production at theoretical, methodological and thematic levels. Its consolidation is achieved by means of CRIA’s involvement, both as a partner and a host institution, in several projects and programmes in theoretical and applied research, nationally or internationally funded by entities like FCT, QREN, the 7th Framework Programme (Hera, Grundtvig, ERC, ESF, COST actions), or the private sector and civil society.
In conjunction with the research activities, CRIA also promotes the organisation of scientific meetings and several activities outside the academy that favour the discussion and dissemination of research results, and encourages the publishing of articles and books that facilitate the circulation of research in anthropology. Namely, CRIA’s journal Etnográfica is the main journal in anthropology published in Portugal, being listed in significant international databases (e.g. Web of Knowledge, Scopus, AIO, EBSCO, Latindex, Capes Qualis, ERIH Plus).
CRIA’s mission also comprises the tightening of the relationships between research and training programmes through the organisation of courses and activities related to teaching, in the four universities that are joined in this endeavour and beyond. In addition, CRIA hosts students of different cycles of higher education, contributing to their integration in the scientific community.
Formally constituted as a R&D association, CRIA’s management bodies are: the Executive Board, the Scientific Council, the General Assembly and the Audit Board, as defined in 2014 by the centre’s revised statute.