First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Human and Social Sciences and Cultural Heritage
Course unit
LEN1032753, A.A. 2016/17

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2015/16

Information on the course unit
Degree course Second cycle degree in
LE0607, Degree course structure A.Y. 2013/14, A.Y. 2016/17
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 6.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY (ADVANCED)
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Historical and Geographic Sciences and the Ancient World
E-Learning website
Mandatory attendance No
Language of instruction Italian
Single Course unit The Course unit can be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit can be chosen as Optional Course unit

Teacher in charge FERDINANDO FAVA M-DEA/01

ECTS: details
Type Scientific-Disciplinary Sector Credits allocated
Educational activities in elective or integrative disciplines M-DEA/01 Population Studies, Ethnography and Anthropology 6.0

Course unit organization
Period Second semester
Year 2nd Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Lecture 6.0 42 108.0 No turn

Start of activities 27/02/2017
End of activities 09/06/2017
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2017 course timetable

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
3 Commissione 2016/17 01/12/2016 30/11/2018 FAVA FERDINANDO (Presidente)
SCHMIDT DONATELLA (Membro Effettivo)
GRASSI PAOLO (Supplente)
2 Commissione 2015/16 01/10/2015 30/11/2016 FAVA FERDINANDO (Presidente)
BETTIOLO PAOLO (Membro Effettivo)

Prerequisites: The course is aimed primarily at those who have already had before in the studies first cycle an initiation into cultural anthropology. Those interested to follow it without having had a first contact with the methods, the theories and the perspective of cultural anthropology are definitely welcome, but they shall have in charge to fill in by themselves any possible gaps.
Target skills and knowledge: 1. Knowing how to restitues the development of the theoretical interest to the city in anthropology and to critically evaluate different paradigms, ethnographic approaches and theoretical mediations in its understanding of urban problems.
2. Knowing how to apply the anthropological approach to the analysis of urban problems
3. Know how to analyze the ways in which the built environment shape and it is shaped by social, political and economic processes.
4.Knowing how to illustrate, finally, the contribution of contemporary anthropological research to the "urban issues" in the frame of urban studies
Examination methods: The exam will be a discussion of the personal portfolio. The instructions for the preparation of such a portfolio will be provided at the beginning of the course.
Who intend to prepare the course as a no-attending student must prepare 5 texts from the bibliography to be agreed with the instructor and writing six papers, 5 extended book reviews and 1 essay paper.
Assessment criteria: For students attending the classes:
- Class participation
- Relevance, completeness, accuracy, consistency, depth,
originality of the portfolio

For students no-attending the classes:
- Critical reading, synthetic skill, creative reflection of the papers
Course unit contents: Since 2007 half the world's population lives in cities and this percentage is expected to rise irresistibly: in 2050 according to the UN estimates, the 75% of the world population will be an urban population. Facing this growing movement, the urban dynamics (social, spatial, temporal one) increasingly appear therefore to be a preferred medium to understand the global processes (inherent to the political, the economy, the imaginaries, the new media ) and the local response to their shaping pressures. The main objective of the course is to indicate the relevance and the originality of the anthropological research practice:
- To connect the public critical analysis of the urban micro-social local with the broader context in which it is related
- To understand the effects that these processes have on the forms of life of individuals and groups as they are adopted, challenged, reworked and reinvented.
The course will introduce to the different and multiple anthropological questions (in historical as systematic perspective), to the theoretical approaches, to the ethnographic research to analyze the city and the urban life today, in the domestic space as in the public one. We will begin by examining the origins and the development of urban areas as their identification in social theory and particularly in the anthropological one, as places of disciplinary research and interest. We will project the disciplinary subfield "urban anthropology" the historical debate inherent to our disciplinary identity, its paradigms and correlative methodological reflection.
Then we will put attention to the study of contemporary urban marginal areas, questioning the concept of the ghetto and socio-spatial segregation. We will explore how today we learn as anthropologists the daily life and the space of these liminal locations of the city and how to recognize their connection with the historical and political processes, and economic factors that structure the city that produce them. Later we will explore how the urban built environment, represented and lived shape identities and social groups and it is in turn shaped by them. We will do this through the analysis of the urbanization and the transformation of the urban landscape. That will be an opportunity to assess the extent of the "spatial turn" in anthropological research.
Finally, if time allows us, we will analyze Padua and Venice, trying to think of their urban future as anthropologists.
Throughout all the course it will be emphasized the contribution, in an interdisciplinary context of urban studies, of the anthropological research can give today to the collective understanding of issues concerning the built environment and its design, the urban planning and the related public policies, the nature of social bonds and their care in the city.
Planned learning activities and teaching methods: Oral presentations, ethnographic documentaries, ethnographic experiences of public spaces, discussion groups, reading and personal work
Additional notes about suggested reading: Any information on study materials:
It will be posted on Moodle articles and literature information on classical and contemporary urban ethnographies that will be presented in the classroom.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Sobrero, A. M., Antropologia della città. Roma: Carocci 1993 (8a edizione), p. 248, 2013. Primo manuale italiano di antropologia urbana Cerca nel catalogo
  • De Koning, A., Rivke, J., Introducing Urban Anthropology. London: Routledge, p.196, 2015.
  • Agier M, Anthropologie de la Ville, Presses Universitaires de France, 2015, p. 256, Anthropologie de la Ville. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, p. 256, 2015.
  • Pardo,I. Prato, G., Anthropology in the City : Methodology and Theory. London: Routledge, p. 242, 2012.
  • Nonini, D. M.,, A Companion of Urban Anthropology. Chicester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell, p.532, 2014. Cerca nel catalogo