Multiple Lives: New Trends in Ethnography and Theory

Multiple Lives: New Trends in Ethnography and Theory

This programme is taught in English.

Multiple Lives: New Trends in Ethnography and Theory is a postgraduate programme in the broad scientific field of the social sciences, with social and cultural anthropology as the main scientific discipline, and sociology, human geography and the social studies of science and technology as collaborative scientific disciplines. This postgraduation programme introduces students to recent critical developments concerning social life, particularly by relation to the dilemmas of human sustainability in today’s globalised world.

By characterizing life in terms of multiplicity/plurality, we want to show that it is a process of becoming and of assembling in contexts of relatedness.  Thus, ‘Multiple lives’ approaches sociality as life and life as sociality, critically re-conceptualizing the nature-culture divide implicit in earlier theories. In line with that, we introduce students to the practical and ethical dilemmas that face the study of contemporary society from the perspective of intensive, participatory research and archival research.

Taking a qualitative (ethnographic) approach to life and sociality, teaching will be structured by a joint approach to society, environment, and power, namely in terms of territoriality, coloniality, migration trends, ethnic and religious polarisation, human-animal relations, gender concerns, and financial imperialism. As a result, students will become better equipped to intervene in the social arena by means of qualitative research data and by being familiar with the critical trends that are changing contemporary social sciences.

The postgraduation in Mulitple Lives: New Trends in Ethnography and Theory is a one-year programme in which students must obtain a total of 60 ECTS (credits).

The approval of the curricular units implies an minimum attendance of 80 % of classes.

The programme is structured around 6 subsidiary themes:

  • Ethne - the metaphysical plurality of sociality and how that has historically evolved in social theory;
  • Terra - the territorial order and how it structures concerns around environmental destruction, indigenous studies, spatial ordering, migration, etc.;
  • Natura - the new evolutionary synthesis and how it confronts what has been called the -ceno—as in, anthropoceno, plantationoceno, capitaloceno;
  • Aqua - a theory from the ocean, where issues of technology and environmental sustainability meet the changing conditions of contemporary capitalist society;
  • Materia - objectification, moving objects, circulating substances, moving persons;
  • Persona - personhood, identification, belonging and marginality.

Courses are taught over 2 semesters:


Curricular Units ECTS
Ethne: The new anthropological synthesis 5 ECTS
Materia: The racialized lives of the plantationocene 5 ECTS
Persona: Body and moving substances 5 ECTS
Materia: On movement, stasis, and policies 5 ECTS
Episteme: Themes in contemporary social theory 5 ECTS
Episteme: Contemporary debates 5 ECTS


Curricular Units ECTS
Terra: Entanglements of life in the land 5 ECTS
Aqua: Theory from the ocean 5 ECTS
Ethne: Coloniality and Empire 5 ECTS
Persona (& Natura): Rethinking the urban landscape 5 ECTS
Natura: Multispecies studies and human-animal relationships 5 ECTS
Methodology Tutorials 5 ECTS



The programme admits holders of a bachelor's degree in any scientific field as applicants.


Applications 2023/2024

1st Call: 26th April 2023 to 26th June 2023
2nd Call: 24th July 2023 to 25th August 2023

Applications through the ICS FenixEdu platform:
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In case you already have a registration, you can recover the access at
In case you already have a student number at ICS, you should use your Campus account credentials. You may recover your access to this account at

The application fee is € 50.

Applications must be submitted with the following documents:

  • Certificate of Qualifications (master's or equivalent academic degree);
  • Academic, scientific and professional curriculum;
  • Letter of Motivation.

The validation of the application implies the payment of the respective fee.