Dr Emily Pierini is a social anthropologist with extensive ethnographic fieldwork experience in Brazil and Europe. Her research interests in the field of social and medical anthropology, and the anthropology of religion include: health and spirituality, notions of the body and the self, emotions and the senses, spirit mediumship and religious experience. Ph.D in Social Anthropology from the University of Bristol with a thesis on mediumistic experience in the Brazilian Spiritualist Christian Order Vale do Amanhecer (Valley of the Dawn), investigating notions of the body and the self in the process of learning mediumship, a research which was awarded the Royal Anthropological Institute Sutasoma Award. She has also conducted research on Afro-Brazilian religions in the Federal District (Brazil), on Goddess Spirituality (UK and Italy), and on the temples of the Vale do Amanhecer in Europe. She is an Honorary Research Fellow at the Religious Experience Research Centre, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, researching upon the therapeutic aspects of learning religion in both Europe and Brazil. She is also a Research Associate at the Instituto Nacional de Ciência e Tecnologia Brasil Plural, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Brazil, coordinating with Albero Groisman a research network on ‘Spirituality, Health, Embodiment, Ethnography’.
Dr Pierini has taught Research Methods and Social Anthropology courses at the University of Bristol, the University of Rome Sapienza and the University of Sarajevo, and she has given invited lectures at Brazilian Universities.
You can find out more about Dr. Pierini at http://lamp.academia.edu/EmilyPierini
Affiliations & non-teaching academic activity
- Honorary Research Fellow, Member of the Research Committee of the Religious Experience Research Centre, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, School of Theology, Religious Studies and Islamic Studies, UK.
- Research Associate, Instituto Nacional de Ciência e Tecnologia Brasil Plural, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, Brazil. Network coordinator with Alberto Groisman ‘Spirituality, Health, Embodiment and Ethnography’.
- Member of the Contemporary Religions and Faiths in Transition Research Centre (CRAFT), University of Turin, Italy.
- Member of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES).
- Member of the Editorial Board of the Journal for the Study of Religious Experience.
Academic Publications & Appearances
- 2017 Incontri Incorporati: Pratiche Medianiche e Etnografia del Sentire. In S. Botta and M. Ferrara (eds), Corpi Sciamanici: La Nozione di Persona nello Studio dello Sciamanesimo, Roma: Nuova Cultura, pp. 137-156.
- 2016 Pierini, Emily and Alberto Groisman (eds), Fieldwork in Religion: Bodily Experience and Ethnographic Knowledge, Journal for the Study of Religious Experience 2.
2016 Pierini, Emily and Alberto Groisman, Introduction. Fieldwork in Religion: Bodily Experience and Ethnographic Knowledge, Journal for the Study of Religious Experience 2: 1-6.
2016 Embodied Encounters: Ethnographic Knowledge, Emotion and Senses in the Vale do Amanhecer’s Spirit Mediumship. Journal for the Study of Religious Experience 2: 25-49.
2016 Becoming a Jaguar: Spiritual Routes in the Vale do Amanhecer. In Bettina Schmidt and Steven Engler (eds). Handbook of Contemporary Religions in Brazil. Leiden: Brill, pp 225-232.
2016 Incontri Incorporati: Pratiche Medianiche e Etnografia del Sentire. In S. Botta and M. Ferrara, Corpi Sciamanici: La Nozione di Persona nello Studio dello Sciamanesimo, Roma: Nuova Cultura (forthcoming)
2016 ‘Fieldwork and Embodied Knowledge: Researching the Experiences of Spirit Mediums in the Brazilian Vale do Amanhecer’. In Bettina Schmidt. The Study of Religious Experience: Approaches and Methodologies, London: Equinox, pp. 50-70.
2016 Becoming a Spirit Medium: Initiatory Learning and the Self in the Vale do Amanhecer. Ethnos: Journal of Anthropology 81(2): 290-314. (Published online in 2014).
2010 Aspectos Sócio-culturais dos Cultos de Matrizes Afros e Afro-brasileiras no Distrito Federal. In E. Pierini and M. Reis. Identificação dos Lugares de Matrizes Africanas e Afro-Brasileira no Distrito Federal e Entorno, Inventário Nacional de Referências Culturais/INRC Lugares de Culto de Matrizes Africanas e Afro-Brasileiras no Distrito Federal e Entorno Fase II. Brasília: Instituto do Patrimônio Histórico e Artístico Nacional, pp. 56-94.
2009 Identità Ibride: l'Esperienza Religiosa nella Vale do Amanhecer. Quaderni di Thule IX, pp. 215-220.
2008 L’Ibridismo Religioso della Vale do Amanhecer. Un’Analisi delle Interazioni tra il Globale e il Locale in Brasile. Quaderni di Thule VIII, pp. 513-518.
- 2017 The Mediumistic Body: Learning Spirit Mediumship in the Vale do Amanhecer. Skill and Scale in Transnational Mediumship Conference, University of Cologne, Germany (September 2017).
- 2017 Religions in Brazil between Categories and Experience. ‘Defining Religious Pluralism: A Research Hub for the Study of Religions’, Department of History, Cultures and Religions, Università di Roma ‘Sapienza’, Italy (May 2017).