Maya Mayblin is a senior lecturer in social anthropology at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. Maya has conducted extensive fieldwork in Brazil and the UK on ritual, religion, power and sexuality and her writing explores the existential tensions and consequences of Catholic theology, political activism and devotional practice in contemporary world. She has published widely on the anthropology of religion, is the author of the monograph Gender, Catholicism, and Morality in Brazil: virtuous Husbands, powerful wives (2010, Palgrave Macmillan), and co-editer of The Anthropology of Catholicism: a reader (University of California Press, 2017). Her current book project is a major ethnographic study of the intersection of secular and religious power in Northeast Brazil. Based on fieldwork spanning 20 years, it follows the lives of a group of Catholic priests’ who left ministry to participate in democratic party politics.
Although its aim is to provide a snapshot of our research and thinking on the topic of desire, this symposium hints at aspects of ourselves as desiring subjects, as people who bring differing social and sexual identities to their work, and who inhabit religious and secular worlds in diverse ways.