First cycle
degree courses
Second cycle
degree courses
Single cycle
degree courses
School of Human and Social Sciences and Cultural Heritage
Course unit
SUP6074969, A.A. 2019/20

Information concerning the students who enrolled in A.Y. 2019/20

Information on the course unit
Degree course Second cycle degree in
IA2383, Degree course structure A.Y. 2018/19, A.Y. 2019/20
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Number of ECTS credits allocated 5.0
Type of assessment Mark
Course unit English denomination URBAN ANTHROPOLOGY
Website of the academic structure
Department of reference Department of Historical and Geographic Sciences and the Ancient World
E-Learning website
Mandatory attendance
Language of instruction French, English
Single Course unit The Course unit CANNOT be attended under the option Single Course unit attendance
Optional Course unit The Course unit is available ONLY for students enrolled in TECHNIQUES, HERITAGE, INDUSTRIAL LANDSCAPES

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 5.0

Course unit organization
Period Second semester
Year 1st Year
Teaching method frontal

Type of hours Credits Teaching
Hours of
Individual study
Lecture 5.0 35 90.0 No turn

Start of activities 02/03/2020
End of activities 12/06/2020
Show course schedule 2019/20 Reg.2018 course timetable

Examination board
Board From To Members of the board
2 Comm. 18-19 01/06/2019 30/11/2019 FAVA FERDINANDO (Presidente)
GRASSI PAOLO (Supplente)

Prerequisites: The course is open to all students who, from different disciplinary backgrounds (urban-architectural, heritage and history studies, social sciences) wants to become familiar with the anthropological approach to the city. This is an introductory course and therefore it does not require some prerequisites but the generous wish to risk a new practice and its knowledge.
Target skills and knowledge: The skill to apply anthropological categories to urban heritage issues to the social and the political processes concerning the patrimonialization of the cites
Examination methods: The writing of a "portfolio" whose instructions in order to its composition and redaction will be given at the beginning of the course
Assessment criteria: Active participation in the classroom; relevance, completeness, consistency, accuracy and originality of the course portfolio.
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 imaginary, 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 sub-field "urban anthropology" the historical debate inherent to our disciplinary identity, its paradigms and correlative methodological reflection.
We analyze the strategies and the issues related to the current patrimonialization of the city according to the practice of urban anthropological research. We will emphasize through the study of cases, the different logics of the public policy makers, architects, town planners and the residents as well as their conflicts and their contribution in shaping the contemporary urban spaces. These spaces that stage, in pictures, stories and installations the urban tangible and intangible heritage, let do come to the fore, the identification conditions to the built environment, ancient or recent, and the ways in which the semantic investment of the past (ever-changing and renewed) can raise cohesion or conflict.
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.
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.
Textbooks (and optional supplementary readings)
  • Althabe, Gérard; Selim, Monique, Démarches ethnologiques au présent. Paris: L'Harmattan, 1998. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Buchli, Victor (ed), The material culture reader. Oxford: Berg, 2002. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Arizpe, Lourdes; Amescua, Cristina (eds), Anthropological perspectives on intangible cultural heritage. Heidelberg: Springer, 2013. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Caroline de Saint Pierre (ed), Ville Patrimoine. Rennes: Presses Universitaires Rennes, 2014. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Hartog, François, Régimes d'historicité: présentisme et expériences du temps. Paris: Ed. du Seuil, 2003. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Liaroutzos, Chantal (ed), Que faire avec les ruines? Poétique et politique des vestiges. Rennes: Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2015. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Agier, Michel, La condition cosmopolite: l'anthropologie à l'épreuve du piège identitaire. Paris: La Découverte, 2013. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Jeudy, Henri-Pierre, La machinerie patrimoniale. belval: Circé, 2008. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Lowenthal, David, The Past is a Foreign Country -Revised edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Voisenat, Claudie, Paysage au pluriel. Paris: Éditions de la Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, 1995. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Sobrero, Alberto M., Antropologia della città. Roma: NIS, 1992. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Agier, Michel, Anthropologie de la ville. Paris: PUF, 2015. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Pardo, Italo; Prato, Giuliana B., Anthropology in the city: methodology and theory. London: New York, Routledge, 2016. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Jaffe, Rivke; Koning, Anouk de, Introducing urban anthropology. London: Routledge, 2016. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Nonini, Donald M. (ed.), A companion to urban anthropology. Chichester: Wiley Blackwell, 2014. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Fava, Ferdinando, Lo Zen di Palermo: Antropologia dell'esclusione. Prefazione di Marc Augé. Milano: Franco Angeli, 2008. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Fava, Ferdinando, In campo aperto.L'antropologo nei legami del mondo. Premessa di Marc Augé; Prefazione di Alberto Sobrero. Milano: Meltemi, 2017. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Grassi, Paolo, Terreur à Guatemala-ville : Conflits territoriaux, violence et gangs. Préface de Dennis Rodgers. Paris: L'Harmattan, 2018. 262 p. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Rabinow, Paul, French modern. Norms and forms of the social environment. Chicago: London, The University of Chicago Press, 1995. 454 p. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Holston, James, The Modernist City: An Anthropological Critique of Brasilia. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989. 369 p. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Rockefeller, Stuart A., Starting from Quirpini: The Travels and Places of a Bolivian People.. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2010. 306 p. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Hannerz, Ulf; Meo, Antonella, Esplorare la cittàantropologia della vita urbana. Bologna: Il mulino, 1992. Cerca nel catalogo
  • Lefebvre, Henri, La produzione dello spazio. Milano: Moizzi, 1976. Cerca nel catalogo

Innovative teaching methods: Teaching and learning strategies
  • Lecturing
  • Problem based learning
  • Case study
  • Interactive lecturing
  • Working in group
  • Questioning
  • Problem solving
  • Concept maps
  • Learning journal
  • Reflective writing
  • Portfolio

Innovative teaching methods: Software or applications used
  • Moodle (files, quizzes, workshops, ...)

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
No Poverty Quality Education Decent Work and Economic Growth Reduced Inequalities Sustainable Cities and Communities Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions