The Tulsi and the Cross: Anthropology and the Colonial Encounter in Goa


Author: Rosa Maria Perez

9788192304601 | HB | pp. 196 | 2011 | Orient Blackswan, RCS Publishers

The Tulsi and the Cross have always intersected in Goa. Here the author offers an ethnographic approach to the understanding of the colonial encounter and of colonialism.

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The Tulsi and the Cross: Anthropology and the Colonial Encounter in Goa by Rosa Maria Perez is the outcome of  her long-term fieldwork in Goa and seeks to bridge the gaps in the anthropological research in this state of India. The existing research, essentially historical, tends to consider Goa as Catholic, Portuguese-speaking and framed by Portuguese cultural references.

The author offers an ethnographic approach to the understanding of the colonial encounter and of colonialism. Her ethnographic research shows that Goa is, and was, dominantly Hindu and the perception of Goan society as essentially fragmented is a colonial imposition. The author takes into account indigenous views, with special focus on a group of devadasis of a Hindu temple. Through them the author aims to dismantle both the stereotypes staged by Portuguese colonialism and an essentialist and Eurocentric view of the caste system in India.

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Rosa Maria Perez







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Orient Blackswan, RCS Publishers



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About the Author

The author is professor at the Department of Anthropology of the Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE -IUL), as well as visiting professor (Anthropology) at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Gandhinagar. Since 2000, she has regularly been a visiting professor (Anthropology) at the Department of Portuguese Studies of the Watson Institute of International Relations, Brown University, USA. Her main research is on Indian society and social segregation (with special focus on untouchables and women), colonialism and post-colonialism in India, fieldwork methodology, globalization and diaspora and anthropology and cinema.

She is a member of the Council of the European Association for South Asian Studies (EASAS), of the Board of Advisers of the South Asian Democratic Forum (SADF), a member of the Steering Committee, Instituto Universitario Europeo (European University Institute), Firenze, and a member of the Pool of Reviewers of Anthropology, European Science Foundation. She served as a member of the Committee for Advanced Asian Studies of the European Science Foundation, for whose executive board she was appointed, as a member of the Anthropology Expert Panel of the European Reference Index for the Humanities (ERIH), and as a member of the Pool of Experts, European Network for Contemporary Research on India (ENCARI), under the European Commission.

From 2010 to 2013 she was a counselor of the President of the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (FCT), Portugal.


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