Spotlight on… Giovanna Capponi

Giovanni Capponi

Position: Postdoctoral fellow, ‘From Feed the Birds, To Do Not Feed the Animals’

Bio: Born in Italy, Giovanna obtained her first degree in Anthropology at the University of Bologna. She then moved to London to study a MA in Migration and Diaspora Studies at SOAS, and she continued her PhD in Social Anthropology at the University of Roehampton. Before rejoining Roehampton as a postdoctoral fellow, she held postdoctoral positions at the CEFRES (French Research Centre in Humanities and Social Sciences) in Prague, and at the Musée du quai Branly, in Paris.

Research interests: Some of Giovanna’s research interests are environmental humanities, human-animal studies; anthropology of ritual; material culture; and more-than-human ontologies.

During her PhD, she looked at animal sacrifice and perception of the environment in Afro-Brazilian rituals, and she carried out fieldwork in Italy and Brazil. Recently, she has been interested in how religious and scientific discourses overlap in the context of the climate crisis. You can see one of her presentations on the topic here.

Giovanna also carried out a brief project on human-wildlife conflicts and wild boars in Italy. You can watch a seminar on her research here.

Latest project: Since rejoining Roehampton, Giovanna has been working on a project about cats and cat feeding practices. She is particularly interested in the ambivalent role of cats in re-shaping notions of ferality and domesticity, and she is carrying out fieldwork among the feral cat colonies of Rome.

Other activities: Giovanna is also Secretary of the Environment and Anthropology Committee of the Royal Anthropological Institute and co-convenor of the HOLB (Humans and Other Living Beings) EASA Network.

Did you know…?

  • that Giovanna had a side career in the field of computational linguistics and as an interpreter for asylum seekers and refugees.
  • that she has a homonym who holds a PhD in Economics (which is why looking for her published work can be slightly confusing).
  • that Giovanna used to be an amateur percussionist.

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