De Abreu studied Anthropology of Media at SOAS, University of London, and received her PhD in Sociocultural Anthropology at the University of Amsterdam in 2009. Her work engages with a range of anthropological, philosophical and literary debates about religion, time, space, personhood, the human senses and their technological extensions. She is currently working on a book project on the flourishing of Byzantine imaginary in urban Sao Paolo through the practices of a media-savvy religious movement.

She has published in various journals and edited volumes and has recently been awarded a grant to support an international Wenner Gren symposium titled ‘New Media, New Publics’ (2015). She worked as a visiting scholar at Concordia University (2010) and Columbia University  (2011) and in 2013-2014 as a fellow of the Forum for Transregional Studies under the program Art Histories/ Aesthetic Practices and affiliated to the department of Art History at the Humboldt University of Berlin.

Ethnographies of Lived Impasse Among Portuguese Youth

ICI Project 2014-16

Against the contextual background of the Southern European financial crisis, this project explores the rationale that endows terms like error, errancy and indeterminacy with neoliberal specificity. Based on ethnographic research with jobless and/or semi-jobless Portuguese youth, the study traces debates, depictions and actions related to the experience of feeling horizonless within one’s own historical present. Following theoretical leads opened up by the work of Lauren Berlant (2011), it pursues an ethnography of the impasse

By impasse I do not mean necessarily a dead-end but a holding station suffused by possibility: a space of errancy as such. The project investigates how local, longstanding political-theologies rooted in Judeo-Christian conceptions of trial-and-error provide the framework and ethical scope with which subjectivity, failure, potentiality and expectation become reconfigured in the ordinary lives of young adults within Portugal’s contemporary critical moment.