Cultural Anthropology [Cognomi M-Z] (2009/2010)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Anna Maria Paini
Anna Maria Paini
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem. 2A, Sem. 2B

Lesson timetable

Sem. 2A
Day Time Type Place Note
Wednesday 3:40 PM - 5:20 PM lesson Lecture Hall T.2  
Thursday 3:40 PM - 5:20 PM lesson Lecture Hall 2.3  
Friday 12:20 PM - 2:00 PM lesson Lecture Hall 2.3 from Mar 24, 2010  to Apr 18, 2010
Sem. 2B
Day Time Type Place Note
Wednesday 3:40 PM - 5:20 PM lesson Lecture Hall T.2  
Thursday 3:40 PM - 5:20 PM lesson Lecture Hall T.2  
Friday 12:10 PM - 2:00 PM lesson Lecture Hall T.1  

Learning outcomes

This course, designed for undergraduate students, uses several teaching techniques and classroom activities (lectures, ethnographic interviews, encounters with experts, ethnographic films) to introduce the student to a critical knowledge of key concepts, methods, and tools of anthropology, and of debates that originate within contemporaries theoretical and ethnographic contexts.


The first part of the course will introduce students to some of the key notions of the discipline such as culture, border, belonging, relativism/universalim, empathy, knowledges, practices, looking at them from a decentered perspective which will allow for a defamilarization of the conventional gaze, a gaze too often blurred by our taken-for-granted certitudes.
In the second half of the course, through the use of ethnographic study cases from Oceania, we will analyze in greater detail the relations between ethnographic gaze and locally produced knowledge. A part of the course will be devoted to methodology focusing on the ethnographic interview.

1) Conrad Kottak, Antropologia Culturale, McGraw-Hill, Milano, 2008.
2) E. Gnecchi Ruscone e A. Paini (eds), Antropologia dell’Oceania, Milano, Raffaello Cortina, 2009.
3) Sally Morgan, Tjalaminu Mia, Blaze Kwaymullina (eds), Heartsick for Country, Fremantle Press, 2008 (students are invited to read the text in original).
4) One among those listed below:
M. Aria (ed) Cercando nel vuoto. La memoria perduta e ritrovata in Polinesia francese, Pacini, Pisa, 2007;
B. de l’Estoile, Le Goût des Autres. De l’exposition coloniale aux arts premiers, Flammarion, Paris, 2007;
A. Favole (ed), Isole nella corrente. Il Pacifico “francofono”: temi e prospettive di ricerca, In La Ricerca Folklorica n. 55, 2007;
A. Paini, Il filo e l’aquilone. I confini della differenza in una società kanak della Nuova Caledonia Le Nuove Muse, Torino, 2007;
F. Tamisari e F. Di Blasio (eds), La sfida dell’arte indigena australiana. Tradizione, innovazione e contemporaneità, Jaca Book, Milano, 2007.

Assessment methods and criteria

final oral exam