Fernão Mendes Pinto Award

CES  researchers Pedro Góis and  Odair Varela awarded with the 2012 and 2013

March 2014

The Board of Directors of the Association of Portuguese Speaking Universities (AULP) attributed the Fernão Mendes Pinto Award 2012 to Peter Góis, researcher at the Centre for Social Studies (CES), University of Coimbra, for the doctoral dissertation A Construção secular de uma identidade étnica transnacional: a cabo-verdianidade [The Secular Construction of a transnational ethnic identity: Cape Verdeanness], defended at the Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra, and the 2013 edition to Odair Varela, for the Doctoral thesis Mestiçagem Jurídica? O Estado e a Participação Local na Justiça em Cabo Verde: uma análise pós-colonial [Judicial mestization? The State and Local Participation in Justice in Cape Verde: a postcolonial analysis], carried out as part of a PhD programme at the Centre for Social Studies and the Faculty of Economics, University of Coimbra.

About the work, Pedro Góis states that «we attempted to demonstrate that the “Cape Verdean transnational ethic identity” is being built continuously over the past centuries as a social and sociological phenomenon. It exists not because there is (only) a belief that assumes its existence but because there are actions, interactions and social relations that analysed longitudinally prove their existence. We mentioned several examples of this activity in the US, Portugal, Cape Verde and Argentina. We argue that there [could never exist] a (single) General Cape Verdean ethnic identity, but, rather, we are in the presence of a multiple ethnic (re)construction and, therefore, different in each country where there are immigrant communities (and in the archipelago of Cape Verde), resulting on the one hand, from the confrontation with the “other” differentiators and, in another aspect, the contexts and situations in which there is this interaction. We conclude arguing that "ethnicity" is contextual and through the Cape Verdean example it is one of the foundations of modern forms of "transnational ethnic identity". 

For his part, Odair Varela emphasizes his work as a «post-colonial analysis of the role of the Cape Verdean State with respect to local participation in justice implied by the use of epistemological tools conferred by Postcolonial Studies, a critical socio-historical contextualization of the specificity of the modern state in that country from the Portuguese colonial intercession in order to expose the continuities or presences, ruptures, (dis)continuities or transformations of the colonial political and legal characteristics in the period after independence. In addition to the deepening of inter-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary nature of the research - which allowed an enriching navigation through disciplinary fields such as Political Science, International Relations, History, Anthropology and Literary Studies - the –in-disciplinary feature in the field of postcolonial studies provides, moreover, calling into question the very Eurocentric disciplinary and colonial setting present in Modern Science which, of course, even in this field can escape since, for example, its current epistemological paradigm does not recognize, or leaves practically outside, the potential contribution and enrichment that knowledges produced in the Global South can bring to its 'canon'.»

O Prémio Fernão Mendes Pinto, organizado pela Associação de Universidades de Língua Portuguesa (AULP) em parceria com a Comunidade dos Países de Língua Portuguesa (CPLP), destina-se a galardoar anualmente uma tese de mestrado ou doutoramento que contribua para a aproximação das comunidades de língua portuguesa, defendida durante o ano civil anterior a que se reporta o galardão.