Filipe Calvão


Spoken languages
English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Areas of expertise
  • Corporate responsibility
  • Materiality, Labor, Capital
  • Natural resources, extractive economies, commodities
  • Postcolonial State
  • Human security
  • Armed conflicts, violence
Geographical Region of Expertise
  • Subsaharan Africa



PhD, University of Chicago

Filipe Calvão’s research focuses on the intersection between nature, culture, and capital in postcolonial Africa. Based on fieldwork in the mining region of Lunda, his dissertation examined the underlying cultural manifestations of Angola's diamond economy to detail how labor, commoditization, and sociality challenge or reinforce corporate governance, state sovereignty and security, as well as the political economy and ecology of mineral extraction. Most recently, he has published on corporate mining and the semiotic qualities of diamond trading in Angola, with previous work on medieval history, modern European colonialism and late imperialism in Africa, based on archival and ethnographic research in Portugal, Mozambique, and Angola. He has taught on resource extraction in the global economy, the anthropology of corporations, and social theory, and is currently preparing a book-length manuscript on diamond mining in Angola and a series of articles on diamond diggers and kimberlite mining, divination and corporate secrecy.




  • 2013. “The Transporter, the Agitator, and the Kamanguista: Qualia and the in/visible Materiality of Diamonds,” Anthropological Theory, vol. 13, no. 1/2.
  • 2011 “When boom goes bust: Ruins, Crisis and Security in Megaengineering Diamond Mines in Angola,” in Brunn, Stan (ed.) Engineering Earth, Springer.
  • 2006, “In the Absence of a Metaphysical Field: An Interview with Marshall Sahlins,” Exchange, Department of Anthropology, University of Chicago (with Kerry Chance).
  • 2006, "Equilibrium and Conflict", in Colonialism & Imperialism: between ideologies and practices, Diogo Ramada Curto (ed.), EUI, no. 2006/1.
  • 2002. "A Fundação de Capelas na Lisboa Quatrocentista: da morte à vida eterna”, (Death and Eternal Life in Medieval Chapel Tombs of fourteenth-century Lisbon), Lusitania Sacra, t. XIII-XIV, (UCP Press).
Filipe Calvão

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