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CODE 65123
SEMESTER 1° 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 the great partitions of Western thought, the crucial role is given to "nature" and "culture". On them are based the claim of universality of science, discourses on (in)tolerance and on the separation of body and mind. The course investigates the link between ontology and knowledge, in the light of the new voices in the anthropological field in recent years. Topics such as multinaturalism/multirealism will be discussed, along with the connections between forms of life, knowledge systems, local ontologies and the 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.
  • 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]
  • Ehrenreich B. (2020), Taccuini del deserto. Istruzioni oer la fine dei tempi. Atlantide, Roma 2022.[also available in English]
  • 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]
  • Gosh A., 2021. La maledizione della noce moscata. Parabole per un pianeta in crisi. Neri Pozza, Vicenza 2022. [also available in English] [existe aussi en français]
  • Graeber D.: «Alea», Rivista indipendente di Antropologia Culturale, numero speciale B2 / 2023 (dedicato a David Graber)
  • 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.




Wednesday, the 27th of September 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.


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.

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