Susana de Noronha


Susana de Noronha is an anthropologist and a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Social Studies (Science, Economy and Society Research Group - NECES), with a MA and a PhD (summa cum laude) in sociology of culture, University of Coimbra, Portugal. Author of the award-winning book - A Tinta, a Mariposa e a Metástase: a arte como experiência, conhecimento e acção sobre o cancro de mama [Paint, Mariposas and Metastasis: art as experience, knowledge and action on breast cancer] published in 2009 by Afrontamento. Her second book, Objects Made of Cancer: material culture and illness on women's art stories, was published by Almedina/CES in 2015. She is developing the third part of a research trilogy (2013-2019) about the continuities that exist between art, material culture and oncological disease, her working field since 2005. Her current research project has been awarded a postdoctoral grant by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology, giving continuity to the previous MA and PhD grants. Winner ex aequo of the 2007 "CES award for young social scientists from countries having portuguese as the official language" and of the "Bernardino Machado Award 2003" for the student with the highest final ranking in Anthropology. She is also a lyricist, with work published in three albums, one EP and four compilations. (2013-2019) Conducting the third part of a research trilogy around the continuities that exist between art, material culture and oncological disease (MA: PhD; Postdoc). Gathering an international list with twenty-four art projects shaped around the feminine experience of breast cancer, the first part of this research understood art projects and objects as constitutive parts of experience itself, embedded in the way these women live, understand and take action on cancer (2005-2007). Opening this working field to the many versions of oncological disease, the second part of this investigation redefined material culture as a portion of cancer, a part of the way we experience and conceptualize disease, looking at the medical, personal and domestic objects that take form and gain relevance in one hundred and fifty artistic projects made by or with women (2008-2012). Expanding these theoretical proposals, the last part of this research gives use to three concepts; "modular-disease", "built-in objects" and the "third half of things and of knowledge" (Noronha, 2012, 2015), through a methodological (re)mixture of social science and art/imagination, exploring the indivisibility between illness and material culture in a photographed, drawn and written conversation between the researcher and a small ramified group of portuguese women during or after cancer.

Latest Publications


Noronha, Susana de (2015), Objetos Feitos de Cancro: mulheres, cultura material e doença nas estórias da arte. Coimbra: Almedina (Coleção CES-Almedina)

Capítulo em Livro

Noronha, Susana de (2015), Metástases de um texto antropológico escrito entre mulheres, arte(s) e cancros da mama, in Clara Sarmento; Carlota Moreira (org.), Semióticas da Comunicação Intercultural. Porto: Afrontamento

Artigo em Revista Científica

Noronha, Susana de (2013), "Mulheres em morte-cor: os objetos que fazem e desfazem corpos e cancros metastáticos", Saúde & Tecnologia - ESTeSL, Suplemento - Julho