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CODE 65123
SEMESTER 2° Semester


"All cultures are equals in dignity": this statement entails a series of serious – and sometimes bewildering – consequences on a philosophical, political, epistemological and existential level. The course will lead students to analyze these consequences through an "archaeological" exploration of our cultural foundations and an anthropological comparison with other forms of human culture.



Among western thought's dichotomies, the nature/culture dichotomy plays a key role: it is the root of beliefs such as science's universality, of discourse on (in)tolerance and of the mind/body dualism. The course analyzes the relation between ontology and knowledge (which was already questioned by philosophical and scientific thought in the 20th century) taking into account the new tendencies in anthropology; it analyzes the debate on multinaturalism/multirealism; it explores the connections between forms of life, knowledge systems, local ontologies and possibilities of democracy. 


At the end of the course students should 

1) know the terms and stakes of the debate in contemporary anthropology, and its ontological, ethic, epistemological and political implications.

2) be able to approach "other" worlds without conceit.

3) know how to critically connect observed facts, theories and data;

4) have developed one's sensitivity towards the connection between forms of life, knowledge systems, local ontologies and forms of humanity.





The course is entirely developed through lessons delivered by the teacher or, in some cases, by experts in the anthropological field. 


1) The philosophical and ethical crisis of contemporary modern world.

2) Philosophical archeology of the Western worldview.

3) The building of a human being: bio-cultural becoming in its different aspects.

4) The concept of crisis: from de Martino's “presence in the world” to “cultural apocalypses”; path for integration.

5) The multiplicity of worlds.


The program implies the study of text (a), one book chosen form the list (b), and two papers chosen from the list (c).

The textbook and books from list (b) are available in bookstores. Part of the choice papers from list (c) will be made available to students during class (nonattending students can request them via email to the lecturer).

(a) Consigliere S., 2014. Antropo-logiche. Mondi e modi dell’umano. Colibrì, Milano.

(b) One book among the following:

  • Aa.Vv., Mondi multipli. Volume 1. Oltre la Grande partizione. Kayak, Napoli 2014.
  • Aa.Vv., Mondi multipli. Volume 2. Lo splendore dei mondi. Kayak, Napoli 2014.
  • Benasayag M. 2015. Oltre le passioni tristi. Feltrinelli, Milano 2016. [existe aussi en français]
  • Bouznah S. & Lewertowski C., 2013. Quando gli spiriti incontrano i medici. Colibrì, Paderno Dugnano (MI) 2017. [existe aussi en français]
  • Consigliere S. (a cura di), 2022. Materialismo magico. DeriveApprodi, Roma 2022.
  • Danowski D. & Viveiros De Castro E., 2014. Esiste un mondo a venire? Saggio sulle paure della fine. Nottetempo, Roma 2017. [also available in English][existe aussi en français]
  • de Martino E., 1948-1973. Il mondo magico. Prolegomeni a una storia del magismo. Bollati Boringhieri, Torino 2007. [existe aussi en français]
  • De Sousa Santos B., 2014. Epistemologies of the South. Justice against Epistemicide. Routledge, London & New York
  • Descola P., 2005. Oltre natura e cultura. Raffaello Cortina, Milano 2021. [also available in English][existe aussi en français]
  • Fanon F., 1961. I dannati della terra. Einaudi, Torino 2000. [also available in English]
  • Federici S., 2003. Calibano e la strega. Le donne, il corpo e l'accumulazione originaria. Mimesis, Milano 2015. [also available in English]
  • Gordon A.F., 1997. Cose di fantasmi. L’haunting e l’immaginazione sociologica. DeriveApprodi, Roma.[also available in English]
  • Kohn E., 2013. Come pensano le foreste. Nottetempo, Roma 2021. [also available in English]
  • Lapassade G., 1976. Saggio sulla transe. Feltrinelli, Milano 1980. [existe aussi en français]
  • Löwy M. & Sayre R., 1992. Rivolta e malinconia. Neri Pozza, Vicenza 2016. [existe aussi en français]
  • Nathan T., 2001. Non siamo soli al mondo. Bollati Boringhieri, Torino 2003. [existe aussi en français]
  • Remotti F., 2011. Cultura. Dalla complessità all'impoverimento. Laterza, Roma-Bari 2011.
  • Sironi F., 2007. Violenze collettive. Saggio di psicologia geopolitica clinica. Feltrinelli, Milano 2010. [existe aussi en français]
  • Taussig M., 1980. Il diavolo e il feticismo della merce. DeriveApprodi, Roma 2017. [also available in English]
  • Viveiros de Castro E., 2012. Prospettivismo cosmologico in Amazzonia e altrove. Quodlibet, Macerata 2019.  [also available in English]

(c) Two papers among the following:

  • Bird-David N., 1999. “Animism” Revisited: Personhood, Environment, and Relational Epistemology. «Current Anthropology» 40, Supplement: Special Issue: Culture. A Second Chance? (Feb., 1999), pp. S67-S91.      
  • Butler J., 1997. Introduzione. In: id., La vita psichica del potere. Teorie della soggettivazione e dell'assoggettamento. Meltemi, Roma 2005.  [also available in English]
  • Comaroff J. & Comaroff J., 1999. Occult Economies and the Violence of Abstraction: Notes from the South African Postcolony. «American Ethnologist» 26 (2), pp. 279-303.
  • Devereux G., 1965. La schizofrenia, psicosi etnica o la schizofrenia senza lacrime. In: id., 1973. Saggi di etnopsichiatria generale. Armando Editore, Roma 2007, pp. 245-268. [existe aussi en français]
  • Ginzburg C., 1979. Spie. Radici di un paradigma indiziario. In Gargani A. (a cura di), 1979. Crisi della ragione. Einaudi, Torino 1979, pp. 57-106.
  • Graeber D., 2004. Frammenti di antropologia anarchica. Elèuthera, Milano 2011. [also available in English] [existe aussi en français]
  • Graeber D., 2012. Dead zones of the imagination. On violence, bureaucracy, and interpretive labor. «HAU: Journal of Ethnographic Theory» 2 (2), pp. 105-128.
  • Haraway D., 1988. Situated knowledges: the science question in feminism and the privilege of partial perspective. «Feminist Studies» 14 (3), pp. 575-599.
  • Latour B., 2000. Fatture/fratture: dalla nozione di rete a quella di attaccamento. «I Fogli di ORISS», n. 25 (2006), pp. 11-32.[existe aussi en français]
  • Nahoum-Grappe V., 1996. L'uso politico della crudeltà: l'epurazione etnica in ex-Iugoslavia (1991-1995). In: Héritier F. (ed), 1996. Sulla violenza. Meltemi, Roma 1997, pp. 190-227. [existe aussi en français]
  • Sahlins M., 2013. La parentela. Cos’è e cosa non è. Elèuthera, Milano 2015. [also available in English]
  • Sahlins M., 1996. The Sadness of Sweetness: The Native Anthropology of Western Cosmology. «Current Anthropology» 37 (3), pp. 395-428.
  • Sayad A., 1999. La "colpa" originale e la menzogna collettiva. In: id., 1999. La doppia assenza. Dalle illusioni dell'emigrato alle sofferenze dell'immigrato. Cortina, Milano 2002, pp. 17-42. [existe aussi en français]
  • Singleton M., 2004. L’uomo che (non) verrà. Fedrum, Udine 2012.


Exam Board






Second term, from Mondey, the 13th of February 2023.



The exam consists of an interview aimed at assessing the candidates' knowledge of the contents and the reading list of the course (see "Readings/Bibliography" section) and their abilities to critically analyze the topics addressed by the course. The content of the course is the same for attending and non-attending students.


Knowledge of the contents of the lecture notes counts for 20/30 of the final vote. The capacity to develop a critical in-depth analysis of an anthropological theme counts for 10/30 of the final vote.

Exam schedule

Data Ora Luogo Degree type Note
16/01/2023 09:00 GENOVA Orale
30/01/2023 09:00 GENOVA Orale
08/05/2023 09:00 GENOVA Orale appello riservato ai laureandi
22/05/2023 09:00 GENOVA Orale
05/06/2023 09:00 GENOVA Orale
19/06/2023 09:00 GENOVA Orale
11/09/2023 09:00 GENOVA Orale


Exams are normally held at Laboratorio Mondi Multipli of DISFOR (via Balbi 4, 4th floor) and begin at 9.00. Only in case of further global health emergencies, examinations will be made through the Teams platform. Inscriptions must be made through the apposite UniGe web service, as detailed by the University rules. Students who work or with special needs will be examined first.