Academic year
2021/2022 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
LM2280 (AF:353425 AR:187169)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Master's Degree Programme (DM270)
Educational sector code
1st Semester
Course year
Go to Moodle page
The course offers a theoretical approach to the study of shamanism through the anthropological and ethnographic literature, with particular focus on Central Asian shamanism. The study aims to provide a practical experiential understanding on shamanic ritualism based on case-studies mainly documented in the Himalayas, Indian Subcontinent and Mongolia. A section dedicated to visual anthropology is included.
The course is designed to provide students with the necessary means to do scientific research in the field of shamanic studies. Therefore the students completing the semester are expected to possess almost a complete knowledge of the state of the art of this subject, particularly in the anthropological and religious-studies perspective. It is also considered necessary that they achieve mastery on methodological and critical tools to develop their own personal view on the topic and to possibly plan further research projects.
No preliminar knowledge required, it is nevertheless advisable to possess a basic knowledge of witten English.
1) Shamanism and Anthropology (with particular references to the anthropology of religions)

2) Ethnography of shamanism (study organized under the following topics):
- Cosmology and worldview
- The Call and Initiation
- The Spirit World
- Shamanic Rituals and possession
- Healing and exorcism
- Music and Entheogens
- Shamanic Art (artefacts, objects, songs, etc.)
- Shamanic Revitalization and Neoshamanism

3) during the lectures, relevant documentary films and videos will be screened
- Stefano Beggiora (a cura di), Il cosmo sciamanico. Ontologie indigene fra Asia e Americhe, Franco Angeli Editore, Milano, 2019

- Stefano Beggiora, Mostri, spettri e demoni dell'Himalaya. Un'indagine etnografica fra mito e folklore, METI Edizioni, Torino 2016 (ISBN 978-88-6484-022-2).
- Margaret Stutley, Shamanism an Introduction, Routledge 2003 - Mircea Eliade, Lo sciamanismo e le tecniche dell’estasi, Edizione Mediterranee, Roma (varie edizioni)
- Thomas A. Dubois, An Introduction to Shamanism, Cambridge University Press 2009.
- Stefano Beggiora, Sonum Spiriti della giungla Lo sciamanismo delle tribù Saora dell’Orissa, Franco Angeli Editore, Milano, 2003.
- A. Rigopoulos, R. Mastromattei (eds.), Shamanic Cosmos. From India to the North Pole Star, D. K. Printworld, New Delhi, 1999.
- Neil price, Archaeology of Shamanism, Routledge, London, 2001.
- Ugo Marazzi (a cura di) 2009, Testi dello sciamanismo siberiano e centro asiatico, UTET, Torino (I ediz. 1984).
- Shirley Nicholson, Shamanism, Quest Book, Wheaton IL, 2014.
- Joan Halifax, Shaman, the Wounded Healer, Thames and Hudson, 1997, London.
- Kakar Sudhir (1982), Shamans, Mystic and Doctors. A Psychological Inquiry into India and its Healing Traditions, Oxford University Press, 1982 (it: Sciamani, mistici, dottori, ed. Pratiche).
- Casadio Giovanni, Lo Sciamanesimo. Prima e dopo Mircea Eliade, il Calamo, Roma, 2014.
- Carlo Ginzburg, I benandanti. Stregoneria e culti agrari tra Cinquecento e Seicento, Einaudi Editore, Torino;
- Carlo Ginzburg, Storia Notturna una decifrazione del sabba, Einaudi Editore, Torino (varie ed).
- Franco Fabbro, Neuropsicologia dell'esperienza religiosa, Ubaldini, 2010.
- Vitebsky Piers, The Shaman, Duncan Baird Publishers, London, 1995.
- Marianna Ferrara (ed.) Corpi sciamanici. La nozione di persona nello studio sullo sciamanesimo, (coll. Sapienza Sciamanica), Roma, Edizioni Nuova Cultura, 2017.
- Davide Torri, Il lama e il bombo. Sciamanismo e buddhismo tra gli Hyolmo del Nepal, (coll. Sapienza Sciamanica), Roma, Edizioni Nuova Cultura, 2015.
- Gilbert Rouget, Musica e trance: i rapporti fra la musica e i fenomeni di possessione, Einaudi, Torino, 1986.
- Georges Lapassade, Dallo sciamano al raver, Urra/Apogeo (Feltrinelli) Milano, 2008.
- Claude Lecouteux, Witches, Werewolves and Fairies: Shapeshifters and Astral Doubles in the Middle Ages, 2003;
- Claude Lecouteux, Phantom Armies of the Night: The Wild Hunt and Ghostly Processions of the Undead, 2012, Inner Traditions, Rochester.
- Lia Zola, Paesaggi, luoghi e spazi sacri nello sciamanismo siberiano, Meti Edizioni, Torino, 2015.
- Ioan M. Lewis, Le religioni estatiche, Ubaldini (varie ed.).
- René de Nebesky-Wojkowitz, Oracles and Demons of Tibet: The Cult and Iconography of the Tibetan Protective Deities (The Hague: Mouton, 1956) Book Faith India, Delhi, 1996. - Vincent Bellezza, Spirit-Mediums, Sacred Mountains And Related Bon Textual Traditions In Upper Tibet: Calling Down The Gods, Brill, Leiden, 2005.
- Michael J. Harner, Hallucinogens and Shamanism, Oxford University Press, 1973.
- Åke Hultkrantz, Concezione dell’Anima tra gli Indiani del Nord America [S. Gallo ed. 'Soul and Native Americans'] Ester, Torino, 2016.

Any additional articles and selections from books will be provided by the teacher during the course
The oral exam consists in a discussion which focuses on the main topics dealt with during the course. For this purpose, apart from the information contained in the texts included in the bibliography, importance will be given to what has been said and explained during classes.
Conventional class. Discussions and insights on the different topics will be offered and encouraged each week through the forum provided by the e-learning moodle platform of the course.
Students are advised to attend classes regularly.

This subject deals with topics related to the macro-area "Natural capital and environmental quality" and contributes to the achievement of one or more goals of U. N. Agenda for Sustainable Development

Definitive programme.
Last update of the programme: 06/09/2021