Antonio Tomas

Research expertise: colonialism, race and racism, social and political theory, african urbanism and cityness, Angola, cartography and graphic representation

António Tomás, UCI associate professor of anthropology, pursues research on the interplay between war, the environment and border formation. He’s currently leading an interdisciplinary, multisite research project spanning three African countries: Angola, Namibia and South Africa. Using research tools from ethnography, architecture and cartography, he’s investigating historical repercussions of the 1975 Border War in which South Africa sent troops to the border between Angola and Namibia to disrupt Angola’s independence from Portugal. The work will inform his book in progress, tentatively called Cartographic War: Mapping Armed Struggles in Southern Africa, which will be his third published book. The others include Amílcar Cabral: The Life of a Reluctant Nationalist and In the Skin of the City: Spatial Transformation in Luanda.



Tomás earned his bachelor’s in social and cultural communication at Catholic University of Portugal, and his Ph.D. in anthropology at Columbia University. He left New York for Africa where he’s held posts at several institutions of higher education including Makerere University in Uganda, and Stellenbosch University, University of Cape Town and University of Johannesburg, all in South Africa. He’s also worked as a journalist in Angola and Portugal and has written extensively on issues related to Lusophone Africa (Portuguese-speaking African countries). Tomás is joining UCI as part of the Black Thriving Initiative and he’s looking forward to enhancing UCI’s research portfolio in both Black and African studies.

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