Academic Qualifications

Aggregation in Anthropology, in 2002 – ISCTE, Lisbon, Portugal.

PhD in Anthropology, in 1995 – ISCTE, Lisbon, Portugal.

Master in Comparative Literary Studies, 1987 – Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal.

Degree in Anthropology, 1982 – Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal.

Biographical Information

Manuel João Ramos was born in 1960 in Lisbon. He is associate professor in the Department of Anthropology and researcher at the Center for International Studies at ISCTE-IUL. He is currently coordinator of the Central Library of African Studies, co-editor of the AEGIS series of Brill Publishers and one of the coordinators of the Thematic Group: Africa in the Indian Ocean of the European network AEGIS.

His main areas of current research are: African studies, studies of cognition, risk and trauma, studies of conflicts and migrations, graphic anthropology. His area of ​​regional expertise is the Horn of Africa (Ethiopia) and more recently also the Middle East. He has conducted research within multidisciplinary teams, seeking to combine anthropological knowledge with political and religious history, archeology, comparative literature and studies in international relations.

In parallel, he has developed a career in graphic art and is involved in several NGOs. He is the delegate of FEVR (European Federation of Road Traffic Victims) at the UNRSC, and one of the directors of the Global Alliance of NGOs for Road Safety. He is also the representative in Portugal of the Hakluyt Society.


Key Publications

Livros | Books


2018: Of Hairy Kings and Saintly Slaves. Canon Pyon: Kingston Publishing.

2017: (com Iain Walker e Preben Kaarsholm; eds.), Fluid Networks and Hegemonic Powers in the Western Indian Ocean. EBook’IS series. Lisboa: CEI-IUL.

2013: (com Ulf Engel; eds.), African Dynamics in a Multipolar World. AEGIS series. Leiden: Brill.

2011: (com Hervé Pennec e Isabel Boavida; eds.), History of Ethiopia by Pero Páez, 1622. London: Hakluyt Society.

2009: Memórias dos Pescadores de Sesimbra: Santiago de Sesimbra no Início dos Anos Oitenta do Século XX. Lisboa: Sociedade de Geografia de Lisboa.

2006: Essays in Christian Mythology: The metamorphosis of Prester John. Lanham: University Press of America.

2004: (com Isabel Boavida; eds.), The Indigenous and the Foreign in Christian Ethiopian Art: On Portuguese-Ethiopian contacts in the 16th-17th centuries. Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing.

2011: (ed.). Risco e Trauma Rodoviário: Perspectivas Interdisciplinares de Análise. Lisboa: ACA-M.

2010: (com Isabel Boavida e Tânia Tribe; eds.) The Emperor of Ethiopia in Lusoland: Haile Selassie’s state visit to Portugal in 1959 and the Birth of the OAU. Lisboa: Centro de Estudos Africanos – ISCTE-IUL e London: School of Oriental and African Studies – University of London.

2009: Traços de Viagem: Experiências remotas, locais invulgares. Lisboa: Bertrand.


Capítulos em livros | Chapters in books


2018: “O Olho Cronográfico”. In Tiago Cruz (ed.). Nós e os Cadernos II. Faro: CIAC, Universidade do Algarve, pp. 26-42.

2018: “As imagens e os cadernos”. In Tiago Cruz (ed.). Nós e os cadernos I. Faro: CIAC, Universidade do Algarve, pp. 49-62.

2017: “‘Sponsorshipped’: Reflections on temporary female migration from the Horn of Africa to the Gulf and Lebanon”. In Preben Kaarsholm, Manuel João Ramos e Iain Walker (eds.). Fluid Networks and Hegemonic Powers in the Western Indian Ocean. EBook’IS series. Lisbon: CEI-IUL. Pp. 82-101.

2013: “From beleaguered fortresses to belligerent cities”. In Alexandra Magnólia Dias (ed.) State and societal challenges in the Horn of Africa: conflict and processes of state formation, reconfiguration and disintegration. Ebook’IS series. Lisbon: CEI-IUL, pp. 14-31.

2009: “O Património é um Roubo intangível”. In A. Medeiros e M.J. Ramos (eds.). Memória e Artifício: Matéria do Património II. Lisboa: Sociedade de Geografia de Lisboa, pp. 275-300.

2004: “New Graphics for Old Stories: Representation of local memories though drawings”, (com Ana Isabel Afonso) in Sarah Pink, Lásló Kürti and Ana Isabel Afonso (eds.). Working Images. Visual Research and Representation in Ethnography. Londres, Routledge, pp. 72-87.

2004: “Drawing the lines: the limitations of intercultural ekphrasis”. In Sarah Pink, Lásló Kürti and Ana Isabel Afonso (eds.) Working Images: Visual Research and Representation in Ethnography. London: Routledge, pp. 147-160.

2001: “Nem mais nem menos? Literalidade e problematização em antropologia”. In María Cátedra (ed.). La Mirada Cruzada en la Península Ibérica: Perspectivas desde la antropología social en España y Portugal. Madrid: Catarata, pp. 77-105.

2000: “The Social Management of Natural Resources in Eastern Algarve: An Assessment of the Uses of Local Knowledge(s)” (com António Medeiros, Gonçalo Praça, Pedro Sena e Sofia Tomás). In Alan Bicker, Johann Pottier, John Sillitoe (eds.). Negotiating Local Knowledge: Power and identity in Development. Londres: Pluto Press, pp. 155-170.

1999: “Machiavelian Empowerment and Disempowerment: The Violent Struggle for Power in XVIIth Century Ethiopia”. In Angela Cheater (ed.). The Anthropology of Power. Empowerment and Disempowerment in Changing Structures. Londres: Routledge – ASA Monographs, pp. 191-205.

1992: “A Águia e a Serpente: o Reino do Preste João na Literatura Europeia de Viagens do Século XII ao Século XVII”. In José Carlos Gomes da Silva (ed.). Inversão Social e Assimetria. Lisboa: Instituto de Investigações Científicas Tropicais, pp.183-230.


Artigos | Articles


2019: “Ceci n’est pas un Dessin: Notes on the Production and Sharing of Fieldwork Sketches”. Cadernos de Arte e Antropologia. 8 (2), pp. 57-64.

2018: “Castle Building in Seventeenth­Century Gondär (Ethiopia)”. Aethiopica: International Journal of Ethiopian and Eritrean Studies. 7, pp. 25-42.

2018: (com Daniel Malet Calvo) “Suddenly last summer: how the tourist tsunami hit Lisbon”. Revista Andaluza de Antropología. 15, pp. 47-73.

2016: (com Aina Azevedo) “Drawing close: on visual engagements in fieldwork, drawing workshops and the anthropological imagination”. Visual Ethnography. 5 (1), 135-160.

2015: “Stop the academic world, I wanna get off in Quai Branly. Of sketchbooks, museums and anthropology”. Cadernos de Arte e Antropologia. 4 (2), pp.141-178.

2011: “Pedro Paez’s history of Ethiopia: on exploration, refutation and censorship”. The Hakluyt Society Annual Lecture 2011. Halkuyt Society, pp. 1-15.

2005: “Ambiguous Legitimacy: The Legend of the Queen of Sheba in Popular Ethiopian Painting” (com Isabel Boavida). Annales d’Ethiopie. 21, pp. 84-92.

1999: “On the Embedment of Classical Models of Dichotomy in Modern Anthropology: The Case of Literacy Studies”. Trabalhos de Arqueologia e Etnologia. 39, 3-4, p. 61-80.

1997: “A Sisígia nos Bestiários Medievais: Confronto, Combinação, Transformação”. Etnográfica. 1 (1), pp. 97-112.

1997: “Origen y evolución de una imagen Cristo-mimética: el Preste Juan en el tiempo y el espacio de las ideas cosmológicas europeas”. Politica y Sociedad – Imagenes Culturales del Tiempo y del Espacio. 25, pp. 37-43.

1996: “O Durkheimeanismo Hoje – Classificações, Hierarquias, Ambiguidades”. Trabalhos de Arqueologia e Etnologia. 36, pp. 73-89.



Filmes documentais | Documentary films


Gondari Voices

The Asphalt has arrived

The Azazo Mischief


Ramos, M.J., Aina Azevedo (2016) "Drawing close – On visual engagements in fieldwork, drawing workshops and the anthropological imagination", Visual Ethnography, 5 (1), 135-160.

Ramos, M.J., Manuel João Magalhães & Carlos Mendes (2015) Ria Formosa, Parque Natural. Fragmentos de Interoralidade Algarvia, ISBN: 978-989-732-505-2.

Ramos, M.J. (2015) "Stop the Academic World, I Wanna Get Off in the Quai de Branly. Of sketchbooks, museums and anthropology", Cadernos de Arte e Antropologia, 4 (2), 141-178 .

Ramos, M.J., Manuel João Magalhães & Carlos Jorge Branco Mendes (2014) Arrábida, Parque Natural. Esboço Localográfico, ISBN: 978-989-732-503-8.

Ramos, M.J. (2014) "Viagem a Nova Iorque (EUA) com passagem pela Índia", In Eduardo Salviza Diários de Viagem 2: Desenhadores-Viajantes, (239-245), ISBN: 978-9725892497.

Ramos, M.J., Isabel Boavida (2013) Ethiopia and the Creation of OAU: a Portuguese Interlude (1959), ISBN: 978-972-8335-18-2.

Ramos, M.J. (2012) Pedro Paez’s History of Ethiopia: On exploration, refutation and censorship, Hakluyt Society.

Ramos, M.J., Hervé Pennec & Isabel Boavida (2011) Pedro Páez’s History of Ethiopia, volume 1, ISBN: 978-1-4094-8281-9.

Ramos, M.J., Hervé Pennec & Isabel Boavida (2011) Pedro Páez’s History pof Ethiopia, Volume 2, ISBN: 978-1-4094-8281-9.

Ramos, M.J. (2011) "Amhara Oral Traditions- The Urgency of Rescuing a Cultural Heritage", In Getie Gelaye, David Evans, Alula Pankhurst Culture and Development for Amhara Region - Proceedings of the International Workshop: Launching of Amhara Region Culture and Development Research Center (ARCDRC), (50-60). Bahir Dar University Press.

Ramos, M.J. (2011) "Urban Ethnography: Largo Barão de Quintela", In Urban Sketchers Urban Sketchers in Lisbon: Drawing the City, ISBN: 978-972-589-212-1.

Ramos, M.J., Isabel Boavida (2009) Rastafari in Lusoland: on the 50 years of Haile Selassie’s official visit to Portugal (1959-2009), Lisboa: Centro de Estudos Africanos ISCTE-IUL.