Professor Cultural Anthropology
Cristina Grasseni specialises in economic, political and visual anthropology. She received her Bachelor degree in Philosophy, M.Phil. in History and Philosophy of Science, and Ph.D. in Social Anthropology with Visual Media from the universities of Pavia, Cambridge and Manchester respectively.
The Heritage Arena
Her latest book, The Heritage Arena (2017) studies the politics of heritage food in the Italian Alps. The monograph Beyond Alternative Food Networks (2013) analyses Italy's solidarity economy networks as models of grassroots innovation for sustainability. Her comparative ethnography of solidarity economy networks in Lombardy (Italy) and Massachusetts (USA) was funded by the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research (2013-2014) while Visiting Scholar at Harvard Anthropology Department (2012-2014). Grasseni is co-founder of CORES (the Research Group on Networks and Practices of Sustainable Economy, with Francesca Forno, University of Trento, and Silvana Signori, University of Bergamo). CORES’ key research outcome is the first systematic survey of Solidarity Purchase Groups in Lombardy (Forno, Grasseni and Signori 2013).
Grasseni is known for her ‘Skilled Visions’ approach to visual ethnography (Wiley International Encyclopedia of Anthropology, 2018). In 2011, she was appointed David and Roberta Logie Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University. As Harvard Film Study Center Fellow, she produced the film Christmas in August (with Federico de Musso). Grasseni’s resulting articles and special issue on Digital Visual Engagements, ecologies of belonging, and the making of Christmas in August are published on Anthrovision.revues.org, the journal of the Visual Anthropology Network of the European Association of Social Anthropologists.
ERC Consolidator grant ‘Food citizens?’
Grasseni’s ERC Consolidator grant Food citizens? Collective food procurement in European cities: solidarity and diversity, skills and scale (2017-2022) examines the different types, premises and consequences of collective forms of food production, distribution and consumption in three European cities.
(From left to right: Post-doc dr. Robin Smith, Prof. dr. Cristina Grasseni, PhD candidate Vincent Walstra, Research assistant Hanna Stalenhoef, Phd candidate Ola Gracjasz and Phd candidate Maria Vasile).
Other research projects
Seeds of Trust. A Comparative Analysis of Solidarity Economy Networks. Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Theory (Grant 8643 2013/14);
Real Cities/Smarter Citizens. Harvard Graduate School of Design and Bergamo University (2013/2014, co-PI);
Patrimonialization and redefinition of rurality (PATRIRUR), University of Barcelona/ Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (2012/14), PI: Xavier Roige;
The Reinvention of Food. Exploratory Seminar. Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University (2013), with Heather Paxson;
Skilled Vision. Critical Ecologies of Belonging. Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies and Film Study Center, Harvard University (2011/12).
Grasseni’s publications include seven monographs, five special issues in peer-reviewed journals, and more than one hundred items among peer-reviewed articles, book chapters and edited volumes.
Among her works: Developing Skill, Developing Vision. Practices of Locality in an Alpine Community (2009, revised and translated from Lo sguardo della mano, 2003); Skilled Visions. Between Apprenticeship and Standards (ed., 2007). In Italian, the monographs: Luoghi Comuni. (2009), La Reinvenzione del Cibo (2007), Pratiche e Cognizione (2004, with Francesco Ronzon) and the Italian translation of Tim Ingold's essays Ecologia della Cultura (2001, with Francesco Ronzon).
For publications 1998-2016, please consult the Curriculum Vitae of Cristina Grasseni. For publications from 2017, please consult the Publications tab.
- Regional Forum on Research and Innovation