I am Assistant Professor of Cultural anthropology at the University of Padova since 2009.
My teaching experience includes Anthropology of Religion (2009-2013), Cultural anthropology and Anthropology of colonial processes in first cycle and master degrees.
In 2000 I graduated in Ethnology at the University of Rome La Sapienza, where in 2007 I obtained my PhD in Ethno-anthropology with Luigi M. Lombardi Satriani, who inherited Ernesto de Martino’s perspective of “etnologia meridionalista” and his line of studies on cultural patterns of death and mourning practices in Southern Italy. I undertook intensive fieldwork in small towns in Southern Italy – Crosia in Calabria in the 1990s and Oliveto Citra in Campania (2004-2007) – on the institution of new cults related to post-Medjugorje apparitions of the Virgin Mary. Though my focus was on the symbolic production of the locality and the political conflicts inside the communities, the relationship between the living and the dead has been the background of both the Marian apparitional events.
In 2011 I began an ethnographic research on the demand of repatriation of the skull of an eighteen century “brigand” to the Cesare Lombroso Musem (Torino) from his origin village in Calabria. The specificity of the research object required a multi-sited ethnography which also included the digital network of the mobilization against the museum on social media. I then engaged in topics ranging from history of racial anthropology, scientific racism, to repatriation politics, collections and treatment of human remains. In this line Lombroso e il brigante. Storia di un cranio conteso (2014), The Great Laboratory of Humanity. Collections, Patrimony and the Repatriation of Human Remains (2020), the proceeding of the international and interdisciplinary Conference held in Padova (2016) under my scientific coordination. I participated to the project on “public uses of human remains and relics” coordinated by Silvia Cavicchioli (Università di Torino). The essay Simulacra of Eternal Life: Ostensions, Exhibitions and the Concealment of Human Remains was published in Public Uses of Human Remains and Relics in History (Cavicchioli, Provero eds., 2020).