Academic year
2023/2024 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title
Course code
FM0009 (AF:448619 AR:252074)
On campus classes
ECTS credits
Degree level
Master's Degree Programme (DM270)
Educational sector code
2nd Semester
Go to Moodle page
Title: “Dimensions of living. Landscapes and domestic spaces between anthropology, literature and art ".
Monographic course. The teaching is part of the fundamental teachings of the demo-ethno-anthropological disciplines.
Two years of pandemic, with long periods of lockdown in which we found ourselves closed at home and forced to live our daily domestic life in radically different ways, forced us to redefine spaces, relationships, and emotions, often bringing out tensions, inventing ways new to relate with the people we live with, but also with the same objects of the house, and with the activities that we commonly carried out at home before the pandemic. All this has made evident important aspects of the everyday life of the domestic space, which are generally invisible and which we take for granted.
Furthermore, the images of the recent war in Ukraine have made dramatically evident the suffering of thousands of people displaced from their homes: thousands of families forced to leave their familiar places, houses devastated, abandoned, looted, destroyed and with them the objects and memories of a life, the disorienting condition of a refugee forced to invent a new "house", fragile and temporary, for himself and his children, by whatever means available, on the underground platform of a subway, or in makeshift lodgings, in makeshift shelters.
The social sciences and in particular anthropology have therefore launched a new overall analysis on the meaning of living, on the essential value of the house in every form of humanity, in any cultural context. The course deals with the main authors and theories of anthropology of living in an advanced way. Through concrete examples of the analysis of domestic spaces in various parts of the world and with an interdisciplinary approach in which anthropology dialogues with literature, architecture and the arts, the course reflects on the dimensions of living: social history, feminist anthropology, post-colonial studies, critical gender theory have recently highlighted how the house with its geography of objects, internal spaces and social practices is a complex crossroads of emotions, powers, identities, conflicts, forms of sociality, politics and aesthetics.
Critical knowledge of the main authors, theories and methods of anthropology of the domestic space. Ability to concretely apply the main contemporary approaches to the ethnographic analysis of a house in any socio-cultural context.
It is essential to have a solid basic knowledge of cultural and social anthropology, and of the history of anthropology. Non-ACEL students, or students enrolled in other Master's Degree courses who have never taken any anthropological science exam, are asked to personally contact the teacher during office hours or during class.
Living, building, thinking: concepts of "home". Elements of the history of classical anthropology studies of the domestic space. The turning point of theories of practice and approaches to social production. Contemporary perspectives of anthropology of living. The concept of home weighing. Anthropology and Atmospheres. Home and home-making processes: home, sensoriality and the social construction of emotions. Domestic spaces and the social life of objects. The crisis of the bourgeois home. Anthropology of unhomeliness. Living in contexts of poverty and urban marginalization. Suburbs. Self-constructions. The right to housing. The house and the spaces of dying. The nursing home, residential communities and total social spaces. Ethnographic analysis of the traditional Saami house (Lapland): ecosystems and domestic landscapes.
Mandatory texts for all students:

1) Meloni P., "Culture domestiche. Saggi interdisciplinari", "Lares" 2014, available on Jstor at this link:

2) a book chosen from the following:

- Ligi G., "La casa saami. Antropologia dello spazio domestico in Lapponia", Il Segnalibro, 2003 (per questo testo rivolgersi al docente).
- Bourdieu P., "La casa kabyle o il mondo rovesciato", in "Per una teoria della pratica", Raffaello Cortina, 2000 (parti da concordare).
- Cieraad I., "At Home. An Anthropology of Domestic Space", Syracuse Univ. Press, 1999.
- Gorman-Murray A., "Queer interior", Routledge, 2019.
- Pink S., "Making Homes", Routledge, 2017.
- Dowling R., Blunt A., "Home", Routledge, 2022 (ultima edizione).
- Staid A., "Abitare illegale. Etnografia del vivere ai margini in Occidente", Milieu, 2017.
- Staid A., "La casa vivente. Riparare gli spazi, imparare a costruire", Add editore, 2001.
- Teti V., "Il senso dei luoghi. Memoria e storia dei paesi abbandonati", Donzelli, 2004

Particular routes:

- point 1: mandatory for all

- point 2: students of the Degree Course in Nordic Languages and Literatures can agree on a specific program also consisting of literary or historical-cultural texts in Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, on the topic of domestic space, and / or integrate with:

- Bille M., "Homely Atmospheres and lighting technologies in Denmark", Routledge, 2021.
- Ligi G., "La casa saami. Antropologia dello spazio domestico in Lapponia", Il Segnalibro, 2003.
- Ligi G., "Lapponia. Antropologia e storia di un paesaggio", Unicopli, 2016.
- Ruong I., "Samerna. I historien och nutid", Bonnier-Fakta, 1991.
- Norberg-Schultz, "Scandinavia. Architettura, gli ultimi vent'anni", Electa, 1990.
- Werne F., "Böndernas Bygge", Wiken, 1993 (parti da concordare).
- Hall T., Dunér K., "Svenska Hus. Landsbygden arkitektur från bondesamhälle till industrialism", Carlssons, 1995.
- Hellspong M., Löfgren O., "Land och Stad. Svenska samhällen och livsformer från medeltid till nutid", Gleerups, 1994.
-Analisi dello spazio domestico delle kyrkostugor, dal classico: Berling R., "Kyrkostaden i övre norrland", Uppsala, Almqvist & Wiksells, 1964.

- point 2: students of the Degree Course in History from the Middle Ages to the Contemporary Age can agree on a specific program and / or choose from the following texts:

- Ligi G., "Il senso del tempo. Percezioni e rappresentazioni del tempo in antropologia culturale", Unicopli, 2013.
- Palumbo Fossati I., "Dentro le case. Abitare a Venezia nel Cinquecento", Gambier Keller, 2013.
- Sarti R., "Vita di casa. Abitare, mangiare, vestire nell'Europa moderna", Laterza, 2000 (parti da concordare).
- Galetti P., "Uomini e case nel Medioevo fra Occidente e Oriente", Laterza, 2001.
- Perrot M., "Storia delle camere", Sellerio, 2011.
- Ariès P., Duby G., "Vita privata. L'Ottocento", Laterza, 1988 (parti da concordare).
- Ariès P., Duby G., "Vita privata. Il Novecento", Laterza, 2001 (parti da concordare).

- point 2: students of the Degree Course in Italian philology and literature can agree on a specific program and / or choose from the following texts:

- Salmi-Nikl K., "Reading Homes Cultures Through Books", Routledge, 2022.
-Bachelard G., "Poetica dello spazio", 1975.
- Perec G., "La vita istruzioni per l'uso", Feltrinelli, 1978.
- Bajani A., "Il libro delle case", Feltrinelli, 2021.
- Orlando F., "Gli oggetti desueti nelle immagini della letteratura", Einaudi, 2015.
- Allende I., "La casa degli spiriti", Feltrinelli, 1982.
- Simenon G., "La casa dei Krull", Adelphi, 2017.

Writing a written report on a course topic plus an oral interview. In the "Exam test" field of the Moodle there is a pdf with instructions for completing and presenting the written report. Registration for the Moodle is mandatory.
Lectures in Italian with the use of power points and classroom discussion.
This exam is not valid for the recovery of the 6 credits in M-DEA / 01 for admission to the ACEL anthropology master's degree.

To apply for the master's thesis in Social Anthropology SP, the following requirements are essential:

1. Having passed both the SP Ethnography and SP Social Anthropology exams, with a positive result and as an attending student.
2. Discussion of a short preliminary research project.
3. The degree thesis must be written in Italian.

The topic of the thesis must be consistent with the teacher's research fields: anthropology of domestic space and landscape; space-time categories; anthropology of risk and disasters; Saami history and ethnography (Lapland, Northern Scandinavia); history of anthropology.

N.B. Erasmus students are required to express themselves correctly in Italian. The exam for Erasmus students must be held in Italian.

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: 10/12/2023