Valentina Napolitano

Valentina Napolitano

Valentina Napolitano, Ph.D. (School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 1995)
Professor, St. George Campus
*ON LEAVE January 1-June 30, 2020*

(416) 978-2754
Office: AP 218

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

Research Region: Mexico and the Vatican, Italy

Research Bio

Valentina Napolitano is Professor in the Department of Anthropology. In her work Migrant Hearts and the Atlantic Return: transnationalism and the Roman Catholic Church (Fordham University Press, 2016) she examines Latin American contemporary migration to Rome in the context of  Catholic Church’s historical desires and anxieties around conversion since the period of colonization and how, against an Eurocentric notion of Catholic identity, the Americas are now reorienting Europe.  Her Migration, Mujercitas and Medicine Man: living in Urban Mexico (University of California Press, 2002) explores prisms of belonging and urbanities in transformation in contemporary Mexico. Napolitano’s new ethnographic research is on Catholic Borderlands at the Detroit/Windsor corridor and she has currently two writing projects: on Pope Francis as a Criollo Pope and on Theopolitics from the Americas.

Napolitano’s expertise focuses on Critical Catholic Studies, Anthropology of Traces, Anthropology and Theology, Affects, Migration and Borderlands and Gendered Subjectivities. She has a long-lasting interest in psychoanalysis, the work by Michel de Certeau and the importance of the Medieval Archive for Anthropology. Napolitano is author of many articles, and co-editor of volumes on Anthropology of Catholicism (with K. Norget and M. Mayblin);  Materiality, Religion and Borderlands and Economies of Sanctity. For a list of publications see here.

Professor Napolitano is the 2018-2020 recipient of the Connaught Global Challenge Award on Entangled World: Sovereignty, Sanctity and Soil (with Prof. Simon Coleman):

Major Awards and Grants

2018-2020       Connaught Scholar, Connaught Global Challenge Award
2017-2018       Fellow, Centre of Theological Inquiry, Princeton
2017-2021       Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Insight Grant
2016                Book Finalist, Geertz Prize, Society for Anthropology of Religion
2009-2013       Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada Grant

Graduate Students

Connie Gagliardi

Graduate Supervisions

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

  • Catholicism and Affects
  • Psychoanalysis, Histories and Traces
  • Anthropology and Theology
  • Theopolitics, Religion and Borderlands
  • Sex, Gender and Personhood
  • Transnational Migration