Cristina Moretti joins Department of Sociology and Anthropology as assistant professor

August 19, 2021

We are excited to share the news that in July of 2020, Cristina Moretti joined the Department of Sociology and Anthropology as an assistant professor.

Moretti’s history with SFU spans many years, originally completing her PhD in anthropology in the early 2000s under the supervision of Dara Culhane. She has worked as an anthropologist both in academia and as an independent scholar, and in 2011 she co-founded the Centre for Imaginative Ethnography alongside Dara Culhane, Denielle Elliott, and Magda Kazubowski- Houston. She now co-curates the centre with Culhane and Kabukowski-Houston, as well as Alexandrine Boudreault-Fournier, Simone Rapisarda, and Sarah Louise Turner.

Moretti’s interest in urban anthropology began during her childhood in Milan, Italy. She recounts her older relatives sharing stories of growing up beside a railroad track, looking through the windows of the train as countless people passed by each day. “The train tracks are gone, that building is gone – the spaces that were so important to the stories have changed,” says Moretti. “How can you tell stories if the places [in] the stories have disappeared? What happens to people’s memories when the physical spaces in which they occurred no longer exist?”

These are some of the guiding questions that have shaped Moretti’s research and brought her to write Milanese Encounters: public space and vision in contemporary urban Italy (University of Toronto Press, 2015). Moretti’s work also investigates sensory and multimodal anthropology, and the anthropology of time. She has a passion for education and seeks to explore issues relating to both education and anthropology. In addition to teaching anthropology at SFU and at other post-secondary institutions, she has worked in the public school system and in the non-profit sector - on issues relating to migration, anti-racism, the environment and community education.

Moretti believes that learning and teaching are relational and social processes. “We are learning together, rethinking what we know, challenging what we thought was true, and asking questions about how we can see things differently.” She hopes to nurture in her students the ability to make links beyond academia, and the desire to apply what they learn in anthropology to their experiences in the world.  In the fall, Moretti will be teaching Introduction to Anthropology (SA 101) and Ethnography and Qualitative Methods (SA 356W).

Welcome to the department, Cristina!