Valentina Napolitano

Valentina Napolitano

Valentina Napolitano, Ph.D. (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 1995)
Professor and Connaught Scholar, St. George Campus

(416) 978-2754
Office: AP 218

Research Keywords: Political Theology, Personhood, Theopolitics and Critical Catholic Studies, Gender and Affects, Religious Infrastructures and Architecture, Affective Histories, Transnational Migration, Anthropology of Traces.

Research Region: The Vatican, Mexico, Italy, Detroit/Windsor corridor

Research Bio

Valentina Napolitano’s work engages with anthropological, political theological and critical theory debates about personhood, migration, traces, borderlands, and the religious. Among other work, she is the author of two monographs (Migrant Hearts and the Atlantic Return: transnationalism and the Roman Catholic Church, 2016 FUP and Migration, Mujercitas and Medicine Man: living in Urban Mexico UCP, 2002) and different  edited collections and articles (for a list of publications see here).

She is working now on Theopolitics, Francis as a Criollo Pope as well as on Churches as living infrastructures at the US/Canada borderland. Valentina Napolitano is the recipient of the Connaught Global Challenge Award on Entangled Worlds: Sovereignty, Sanctities and Soil (with Prof. Simon Coleman)  and she available for public interviews and commentaries on the Catholic Church.


Major Awards and Grants

  • Fellow, Birkbeck Institute of the Humanities, Birkbeck
  • Connaught Scholar, Connaught Global Challenge Award, UofT
  • Fellow, Centre of Theological Inquiry, Princeton
  • Book Finalist, Geertz Prize, Society for Anthropology of Religion
  • Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Insight Grants


Graduate Students

Connie Gagliardi

Jacob Bessen

Jorge Isaac Vargas

Graduate Supervisions

Professor Napolitano is interested in supervising students wanting to work on:

  • Theopolitics, Political Theology and Critical Theory
  • Affects, Psychoanalysis, Transhistoricity and Traces
  • Anthropology and Theology
  • Borderlands, Architecture and the Religious
  • Sex, Gender and Personhood
  • Transnational Migration