UCL Anthropology


Guilherme O Heurich

Guilherme Heurich

Email: g.heurich@ucl.ac.uk

British Academy Newton International Fellow

PhD in Social Anthropology (Museu Nacional, Rio de Janeiro)
MA in Social Anthropology (Museu Nacional, Rio de Janeiro)

Research Interests

My research focuses on how Amerindian groups conceptualize, use and play with language in their songs and in everyday life. My doctoral research was conducted among the Araweté, a small Amerindian society in Eastern Amazonia, Brazil. Entitled "Music, death and forgetting in Araweté Verbal Art", the thesis comprises the transcription and translation of songs from every Araweté musical genre and argues that active forgetting is both a central aspect of these songs and a way to understand how they conceptualize their relations with Others, such as deceased kin, gods, and spirits. From language to mourning, from art to the materiality of commodities and radios, the thesis combines detailed linguistic analysis with native concepts on language and musicality to argue that active forgetting, in theoretical terms, is an important concept to understand Amazonian societies.

During my postdoctoral fellowship at the Anthropology Department at UCL, I am developing a comparison between Amerindian conceptualizations of language in verbal art and western language forms such as pronouns which will allow me to offer an alternative way of describing the relationship between words and referents. I am looking at specific linguistic features of the Araweté songs, such as reported speech and the use of pronouns in their relationship with local concepts of personhood, the body, and recent transformations in shamanic practice such as the introduction of commodities. 

Selected Publications

(with Eduardo Viveiros de Castro & Camila de Caux). Araweté: povo tupi da Amazônia. São Paulo: Edições SESC, 2017.

(with Jan David Hauck). "Language in the Amerindian Imagination". Language & Communication. (2017; issue to be assigned).

"Outras alegrias: cachaça e cauim na embriaguez mbyá-guarani". Mana: estudos em antropologia social. v. 21, p. 527-552, 2015.

"Corpo, conhecimento e perspectiva: fenomenologia de Merleau- Ponty e perspectivismo ameríndio". Espaço Ameríndio (UFRGS), v. 1, p. 102-115, 2007.

"Quoting worlds and catching spirits in Araweté verbal art". PILLEN, Alexandra & BRETEQUE, Estelle Amy de La (Eds.). The tone of others. (In press, 2017).

"The Shaman in the Flash Drive". InDigital: Latin America. Indigenous Engagement with Electronic and Digital Media. (In press, 2017).

"A barragem e a canoa de Jawitĩ". Povos Indígenas no Brasil 2011-2016. Instituto Socio Ambiental: São Paulo, 2017.

"Imagining memories". (Review of Carlo Severi's The Chimera Principle). Current Anthropology. v. 57, p. 123-124, 2016.

"Comment on Alexandra Pillen's paper 'A space that will never be filled'". Current Anthropology. (2017; issue to be assigned).

Popular Science

"Palavras quebradas na poética Araweté". Revista Cult. 29/12/2016.