Diasporas: Transnational Religions and Identity


This seminar focuses on the relations between migrations, transnationalisms, diasporas, religions and rituals. Throughout the semester, the students will address theoretical debates as well as a diversity of ethnographic contexts. At the end of the semester, the students should acquire a complete overview of these topics possibily leading to new research projects.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

José Manuel Fraga Mapril Gonçalves


Weekly - 3

Total - 280

Teaching language





Clifford, J. (1997), “Diaspora” in Clifford, J., (ed.), Routes: Travel and Translation in the late 20th Century, Massachusetts, Harvard University press, pp. 244-278

Levitt, P. (2003), “You know, Abraham was really the first migrant: Religion and transnational migration”, International Migration Review, 37 (3), pp. 847-873

McLoughlin, S. “Migration, diasporas and transnationalism: transformations of religion and culture in a globalising age” in, Hinnels, J. (ed.) The Routledge Companion to the Study of Religion, London, Routledge, pp. 526-549

Osella, F. and Osella, C. (2003), “Migration and the commoditization of ritual: sacrifice, spectacle and contestations in Kerala, India”, Contributions to Indian Sociology, 37 (1&2): 109-139

Salih, R. (2002), “Reformulating tradition and modernity: Moroccan migrant women and the transnational division

Schiller, N. et al. (2006), “Beyond the ethnic lens: locality, globality and born again incorporation”, American Ethnologist, 33 (4): 612-633

Teaching method

The course will have a theoretical section presented by the lecturer and papers (60%) and seminars (40%) presented by the students.

Evaluation method

Final work based on the themes explored throughout the unit(50%), Oral presentation of a text chosen among the bibliography or the texts supporting the classes(40%), Students´ assiduity as well as their active participation in the classes(10%)

Subject matter

1. Transnacionalism and diasporas 2. Religions, transnacionalities and diasporas 3. Religion, ritual ”authenticity” and social change 4. The ritualization of the transnational space and the production of places 5. Transnationalisms, moral orders and subjectivities 6. Travelling spirits and african christianity in the Atlantic 7. The culturalization of citizenship and \"foreign\" religions 8. Sacralizing space and a transnational public sphere 9. Portuguese Muslims: colonial legacies and global dynamics


Programs where the course is taught: