Elina I. Hartikainen is an Academy Research Fellow at Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Helsinki (2019-2024). Her research examines the intersection of religion, politics, law, and race in Brazil through a focus on Afro-Brazilian religions. In her past and current research, she has explored this conjuncture through the analysis of the Candomblé religion’s practitioners’ activist engagements with Brazilian state projects of participatory democracy and multiculturalism in Salvador, Brazil. Her Academy of Finland funded research project “Secularism at the Intersection of Race and Religion: Afro-Brazilian Religions and the Prosecution of Religious Intolerance in 21st Century Brazil” examines how the wide-spread adoption of “multicultural legal instruments” in Brazil has influenced efforts to prosecute acts of religious intolerance against Afro-Brazilian religions in the city of Rio de Janeiro in order to develop an anthropological understanding of the intersectional construction of religion and race in secular governance and law. Theoretically and methodologically, her research draws on a combination of socio-cultural and linguistic anthropological approaches to political and legal processes. She holds a PhD in Anthropology from the University of Chicago, and MAs in Anthropology from the University of Helsinki and Social Sciences and Anthropology from the University of Chicago. Previously, she was a Core Fellow at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies (2016-2019), and Earl S. Johnson Instructor in Anthropology in the University of Chicago’s Master of Arts Program in the Social Sciences (2013-2016). She is the coordinator of the University of Helsinki Linguistic Anthropology Workshop, and a member of the board of the Finnish Anthropological Society.