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Space and history: an ethnography of old Goa, India

Grant number: 17/19437-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): July 01, 2018
Effective date (End): September 30, 2021
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Anthropology
Principal researcher:João Felipe Ferreira Gonçalves
Grantee:Lucas Mestrinelli
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated scholarship(s):19/12648-1 - Goa in the south Asian context: histories and places, BE.EP.DR

Abstract

This research deals with the production of histories through space in the city of Old Goa, at the western coast of India. I´m going to do an ethnography of the ruins and monuments of the ancient capital city of Portuguese India, joining the daily visits of pilgrims and tourists to the city. I´m going to observe the most important places of archeological investigations, the way they locate colonial and pre-colonial pasts inside historical narratives. I will observe the daily life of the city, the religious activities and the historical narratives produced by both the museums of the city. With this research, I intend to contribute to the debate over the place of Goa as an integrant part of India, albeit its colonial past of more than four hundred years that shaped local landscape with signs of the Portuguese presence. Recent historical and anthropological works in Goa have shown its alleged specificity, that stem from the durability of the colonialism in Goa and from the profound alteration of local lifestyle. They highlight, then, the importance of conversion of native population and of space, designed since 16th century to replicate Lisbon in Asia. Building on the perspective that advocates the impossibility of detachment between time and space, I understand that Old Goa is a privileged place to look into the production of histories of goan past and, therefore, of the perception or questioning of its specificity in Indian context.

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