Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg


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Curriculum Vitae



Abilitazione Scientifica Nazionale, II Fascia (associate professor), in Middle East Studies (10/N1, CULTURE DEL VICINO ORIENTE ANTICO, DEL MEDIO ORIENTE E DELL'AFRICA), judgement by unanimity of the commission, 09 May.


Abilitazione Scientifica Nazionale, II Fascia (associate professor) in Cultural and Social Anthropology (M-DEA/01), judgement by unanimity of the commission, 31 March.


PhD in Cultural and Social Anthropology, Department of Cultural and Language  Sciences, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, in agreement with  the University of Milano Bicocca. Defended on the 7th of April 2006  under the supervision of Prof. Setrag Manoukian (Milano-Bicocca,  currently at McGill University, Canada). Title of the thesis “youth and  knolwdge: an ethnography of university students in Amman, Jordan”.


Laurea "vecchio ordinamento" (Master degree in Cultural and Social Anthropology equivalent) in Cultural and Language Sciences,  Faculty of Literature and Philosophy, University of Modena and Reggio  Emilia, 110/110 cum laude. Title of the thesis, discussed on the 29th  October 2002, “Universalism and relativism: an historical analysis of  the anthropological debate and of some research perspectives”, under the  supervision of Prof. Gualtiero Harrison, University of Modena and  Reggio Emilia, and Prof. Cristiano Grottanelli (University of Florence).

Employment and research

Since November 2019

Senior Research Fellow and Academic Coordinator, Graduate School and Research Cluster “Society and Culture in Motion”, University of Halle/Wittenberg, Germany.

April - August 2019

Associated Researcher , Seminar für Arabistik und Islamwissenschaft, MLU Halle-Wittenberg

Februar 2018 – Januar 2019

Associated Researcher, Asien-Orient Institut, Universität Zürich, Schweiz.

September 2016 – August 2017

Associate Researcher. Orient-Institut Beirut, Max Weber Foundation

May 2013 – March 2016 (suspended 07.2013 – 06.2014)

Lead Researcher, project on “Knowledge Production in post-graduate studies at Egyptian Public Universities”, project funded by the BMBF (Federal Ministry for Education and Research, Germany) FKZ 01DH1304.

August 2012 - August 2016 (affiliated senior research fellow 04.2015 – 04.2016)

Senior  research fellow. Graduate School and Research Cluster “Society and  Culture in Motion”, University of Halle/Wittenberg, Germany. Adjunct  lecturer at the Department of Anthropology, MLU Halle/Wittenberg.  Responsible for supervision of MA theses.

April 2011- July 2012

Post-doctoral fellow, Graduate School for Society and Culture in Motion, University of Halle/Wittenberg, Germany. Research project on “the politics of higher education and the everyday life of youth in Jordan”.


Researcher, SSRC (Social Science Research Council, NY, USA); research project on “Autonomy, governance and academic freedom in the universities in the Arab world”. Follow-up phase in 2012 (April-October).

Affiliated researcher, Cedej; research project on Egyptian migration into Europe.


Lead researcher, Ethnology Laboratory, University of Modena; research project on “patterns of Muslim migrants integration in the ‘Zona Tempio’ (Modena)”.


Adjunct Professor, Department of Cultural and Language Studies, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy. Teaching courses at BA and MA level, and BA thesis supervisor.


Affiliated researcher, (Cedej, Cairo, Egypt). Participation in different research projects on higher education and citizenship, youth, migration, and religious minorities. “Worries of the citizenship” research group, headed by Iman Farag.

Member of the research group “Dependence, Labour, Rights”, University of Milan (Bicocca), Modena and Reggio Emilia, Siena and Urbino. Research on Jordanian youth and entrance into the labour market in the framework of neo-liberal reforms.


PhD full scholarship, Department of Cultural and Language Studies, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy. Affiliated PhD student, Ifpo (Institut Français du Proche Orient, Amman, Jordan), for the duration of the fieldwork (2003-5).


Project coordinator, Overseas NGO (Modena, Italy). Project on “Institution building in the Palestinian Territories”.

Conferences and seminars

Convened meetings

Living through the pandemic: anthropology in and on Africa. Co-convened panel at the EASA (European Association of Social Anthropologists) conference, 26-29 July 2022, Belfast.

Lifeworlds amidst permanent chaos and durable crises: experience, ethics and knowledge across the broader Middle East. Co-convened panel at the SeSaMO (Italian society for Middle East Studies) conference, University of Naples “L’Orientale”, 22-24 June 2022.

(co-convenor) The  Pillars of Rule:  the Writ of Dynasties and Nation-States in the Middle  East and South  Asia. International Conference. Asien-Orient Institut,  University of  Zurich 31 January – 01 February 2019.

(co-convenor) No  country for  anthropologists? Contemporary ethnographic research in the  Middle East.  University of Zurich, Institute of Social Anthropology and  Cultural  Studies (ISEK). 1-3 November 2018

Writing the  Egyptian society; analytic perspectives on the Egyptian  press and  journalists’ autobiographies. Panel convened (with Aymon  Kreil), DAVO  Congress, Frankfurt 4-6 Oct. 2018.

Postcolonial legacies,  scholarly mobility and research capacity building. International  workshop, organized (with Lama Kabbanji), co-funded by the OIB and the IRD (France). Beirut, 15-17 June 2017.

Knowledge  production at the postgraduate level at Egyptian universities:  Conditions and constrains of research at a junior level. Cairo, German  Science Center/DAAD 4-6 March 2016.

Knowledge Production at  the postgraduate level in social science and humanities at Egyptian  public universities. Flemish Institute, Cairo, 28-9 March 2015.

Modes of Students Mobility in the Arab world. 21 DAVO Congress, Cologne 25-27 September 2014.

Rethinking  politics of private higher education in the Middle East and Central  Asia. Workshop organised at the Graduate School “Society and Culture in  Motion”, MLU Halle/Wittenberg. 15 November 2013

(Member of  scientific committee), XI Meeting of SeSaMO (Italian society for Middle  East Studies). Organisation of panel: Doing citizenship. Practices of  exclusion, demands of inclusion and new subjectivities in the Middle  East and Europe, Pavia, 15–17 September 2013

(Member of the organisational committee) Bewilderment as a learning process, Graduate School SCM Halle, 4 July 2013

Perspective on citizenship in the new Egypt, African Studies Conference, Pavia University, Faculty of Political Science, 18-20 September 2012. Paper presented “the Egyptian transition and the neo-liberal reforms: a perspective from the private universities”.

Youth facing change, panel convened with Dr. Sophie Roche (ZMO, Berlin), DAVO Congress, Free University of Berlin, 6-8 October 2011.

Mondi della vita e a appartenenza religiosa; prospettive etnografiche su soggettività e Islam [Life-worlds  and religious belonging; ethnographic perspectives on subjectivity and  Islam], panel convened with Paola Abenante (University of Milano-Bicocca), SeSaMo Congress, University of Milano-Bicocca, 9-11 June 2011.

Organisation (with Paola Abenante) of the seminar on “Lebenswelten and religious belonging: ethnographic perspectives on subjectivity and Islam”, University of Milano – Bicocca, 17 December 2010.


Italian: mother tongue

English: fluent, oral and written.

Arabic: proficient, oral and written. Level VI (out of VI), Language  Centre, University of Jordan, Amman, spring 2005. Level VI (out of  VIII), Language Centre, University of Damascus, summer 2006.

French: proficient, oral, and good, written.

German: intermediary knowledge, level B2, Language Centre, University of Halle/Wittenberg (2011 and 2012)


2014-7      Cairo, Egypt, total period 14 weeks

2012         Amman, Jordan, 5 weeks

2011         Cairo, Egypt, 1 month

2010         Cairo, Egypt, 6 months

2007-9      Cairo, Egypt, total period 20 months

2006         Damascus, Syria, 2 months

2003-5      Amman, Jordan, total period 16 months

2001-3      Ramallah, Palestine, total period 3 months