Maddalena Gretel Cammelli (PhD Anthropology) is Associate professor in cultural anthropology at the Department Cultures, Politics and Society of the University of Turin, where she is also Principal Investigator of the ERC Starting Grant project The world behind a word. An anthropological exploration of fascist practices and meanings among European youth (F-WORD), started in May 2023.
She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Cultural Anthropology in 2006 from the University of Bologna, her Master’s degree in Social Anthropology and Ethnology in 2008 from the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales EHESS in Paris, and her PhD in Social Anthropology and Ethnology and the Anthropology and Epistemology of Complexity jointly from the EHESS in Paris and University of Bergamo in 2014. She conducted postdoctoral research at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology (Halle/Saale, Germany) in 2016, and has been a research fellow and adjunct professor at the University of Bologna since 2017. Between 2014 and 2016, she worked in the reception system for asylum seekers in Italy and participated in developing the Master’s programme Educatore nell’accoglienza e inclusione di migranti, richiedenti asilo e rifugiati (Social work in the reception and inclusion of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees) at the University of Bologna. She currently serves as a member of the scientific committee and lecturer for this degree programme.
Her research interests range from political anthropology and social movements to the anthropology of fascism, the ethnography of neo-fascism and racism, and the local impact of immigration management in a logic of ’emergency response’. She has studied the peasant movements that arose in 90s India to defend food autonomy, carrying out field research in the Himalayan region in 2007 for her Master’s thesis. She then focused on the emergence of political sentiments and cultures associated with the re-appropriation of fascist history in contemporary Italy, conducting ethnographic research among neo-fascist militants in Rome in 2010. This research culminated in the doctoral thesis Millennial Fascism: Contribution à une anthropologie du fascisme du troisième millénaire/ Millennial Fascism: contributo a un’antropologia del fascismo del terzo millennio defended in 2014. This work served as the basis of the book Fascisti del terzo millennio: per un’antropologia di CasaPound (OmbreCorte 2015) as well as an updated, French edition Fascistes du troisième millénaire. Un phénomène Italien? (Mimèsis 2017).
Finally, since 2015 she has also been investigating the local impact of Extraordinary Reception Centers for asylum seekers and the relationship between the emergency management of migration processes and the diffusion of hostility towards migrants.
Since 2018, she has been collaborating with the Italian-Belgian theater company bolognaprocess as a consultant for the show EXTREME/MALECANE about the cultural spread of neo-fascism among young people in today’s Europe. The One to One public meeting with the company’s director Paola Pisciottano at the Bellone-Maison du Spectacle in Brussels in 2018 was the prelude to a writing residency to create the show-conference EXTREME/MALECANE-Méthodes et Anticorps staged at the Theatre National de Wallonie/Bruxelles in 2019.
Since 2015, she has been invited to present at scholarly conferences, debates, and presentations about the spread of fascism in contemporary Europe held at dozens of universities, bookstores, libraries, and cultural centers of various kinds in Europe and the United States.
She speaks, reads, and writes in Italian, English, and French.