Cristina Grasseni is a researcher in anthropology at Università degli studi di Bergamo, where she lectures in the PhD school in anthropology and epistemology of complexity. Her books Skilled Visions: Between Apprenticeship and Standards (Berghahn Books, 2007) and Developing Skill, Developing Vision: Practices of Locality at the Foot of the Alps (Berghahn Books, 2009) focus on visual apprenticeship as a form of relational and situated learning. Her fieldwork with dairy breeders examined how technoscientific development and the reinvention of local foods into heritage items interact with local communities of practice.
At Radcliffe, Grasseni will develop a novel project applying the skilled visions approach to collective strategies of self-representation. The goal is to develop a critical ecology of cultures of belonging, focusing on the visual apprenticeship of stereotypes as a naturalization of social classification. Cosponsored by the Harvard Film Study Center, she will combine visual archive research with ethnographic sources in a film project about looking.
Grasseni received a BA in philosophy, an MPhil in history and philosophy of science, and a PhD in social anthropology with visual media from the universities of Pavia, Cambridge, and Manchester, respectively, and her work has been supported by the Cambridge European Trust, Collegio Ghislieri, the Economic and Social Research Council (UK), and the Max-Planck-Institut für Wissenschaftsgeschichte. She has acted as scientific coordinator for responsible innovation at the Fondazione Giannino Bassetti and has been a visiting professor at the universities of Agder, Barcelona, and Tromsø through the ERASMUS Staff Mobility program.