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V.S. (Victor) Cova, Dr

Post Doctoral Researcher


Modern Worldviews and Culture Wars - A Transnational Conceptual History
I work on the 2023 the Dutch Research Council (NWO) funded collaborative project: 'Modern Worldviews and Culture Wars', led by Todd Weir. This project seeks to answer the question: How did “worldview” develop into a key concept in academia, policy, and public debate in the twenty-first century in the US, UK, the Netherlands and Latin America? I focus on the Latin American history of the concept cosmovisión, and particularly its prominent role in Mexican anthropology and its contemporary usage in the context of emergence of Indigenous activism.

Manioc Beer and the Word of God
My PhD project, based on 14 months of fieldwork (primarily participant observation and archival research) in an evangelical mission in Ecuadorian Amazonia, focused on the decades-long relationship between North American evangelical missionaries and Shuar people in the Ecuadorian Amazon. The first fieldwork-based ethnography to focus as much on missionaries as on indigenous people in the Amazon, it examines long-standing mutual misunderstandings and tensed collaborations between the two, with an emphasis on the role of Bible translation and Evangelical theology in this relation.


My post-dorctowhich included 7 months of fieldwork in the Ecuadorian Amazon (primarily participant observation, structured interviews using drawing, as well as photographic documentation) between 2016 and 2018. It examined the role of work and activism (indigenous and LGBT) in mediating tensed collaborations and conflicts between Shuar people and settlers. It focuses particularly on transformations brought about by the post-neoliberal “Socialism of the 21st Century” of Rafael Correa that saw the routinization of indigenous politics and LGBT activism, an expansion of state investments in infrastructure and welfare benefits, in parallel with increased authoritarianism and a continued degradation of standards of living.

Poverty Work
I participated in the Poverty Work collective research project on how people leading low-income lives respond to transformations of the welfare state, investigating specifically the effects of the shift from welfare to workfare on different groups in Aarhus, Denmark. My share of the project focused on marginalized young people, especially men “Not in Education, Employment or Training” (NEET), who participated in voluntary work and activism meant to keep them away from consuming hard drugs. I carried out fieldwork in two fieldsites, one a bike-repair workshop set up by a Christian charity (Kirkens Korshær, led by the Church of Denmark) and a communal space where people can drink cheap beer and smoke weed set up by members of the Aarhus Antifa and punk scene.I focus specifically on the integration of counter-cultural movements such as punk, anarchism and folk esotericism in urban planning under the guise of "positive gentrification" and "social sustainability".
Last modified:13 May 2024 12.10 p.m.

Contact information

Oude Boteringestraat 38
9712 GK Groningen
The Netherlands

Modern Worldviews and Culture Wars