Cristina Moretti

Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Sociology & Anthropology


I am a sensory and urban anthropologist interested in how people inhabit, narrate, theorize, and co-imagine city spaces. My work in Italy analyzes the politics of public space, the multiple exclusions and debates it generates, and the relationship between, vision, local visual cultures, and city spaces. In Vancouver, I research urban changes, and how sensory anthropology can attend to different ways of knowing in place and help rethink some of the paradoxes and debates that animate city transformations. My current work focuses on redevelopment landscapes (fences, ruins, and work in progress zones), different understandings of time in city planning, construction and demolition, and community responses to redevelopment. One of my key interests in both my research in Italy and in Canada has been walking methodologies, that I use to follow and foreground my interlocutors’ insights, theories about the city, and enacted knowledge.

My other research interests are multimodal anthropology and experimental ethnography; bureaucracy and the anthropology of schools; community gardens and embodied knowledge; migration, memory and precarity; and the Anthropology of Italy. I am one of the co-founders and the co-curators of the Centre for Imaginative Ethnography.


PhD (Anthropology), Simon Fraser University
MA (Anthropology), Simon Fraser University

Select Publications


Peer-Reviewed Articles and Book Chapters

  • Moretti, Cristina (2024, in press). “After the field: writing about the unexplained” In The Creative Ethnographer's Handbook, edited by Melisa Cahnmann-Taylor and Kristina Jacobsen, Kristina. London: Routledge.
  • Moretti, Cristina (2023). “Sensing the city: multisensory participant observation and urban ethnography”. In The Routledge International Handbook of Sensory Ethnography, edited by Phillip Vannini: 108-119. London: Routledge. 
  • Guano, Emanuela, and Moretti, Cristina. (2022). “A tale of Two Ethnographers: Urban Anthropologists Read Invisible Cities.” In Urban Dreams: 50 Years of Invisible Cities. Edited by Benjamin Linder: 117-130. Cham (Switzerland): Palgrave MacMillan.
  • Moretti, Cristina (2021). Sensate memory: An introduction to the special issue. Multimodality & Society, 1(3): 245-265.
  • Moretti, Cristina (2021). Echoing memories: Migration, the senses, and the city in Metro Vancouver, Canada. Multimodality & Society, 1(3):300-321.
  • Moretti, Cristina (2021). Marche. In: Elliott D and Culhane D (eds) Réinventer l'ethnographie: pratiques imaginatives et méthodologies creatives. Les Presses de l'Université Laval, trad. Geneviève Deschamps – French translation of “Walking” (Moretti, 2016).
  • Moretti, Cristina (2016) “Walking” in A Different Kind of Ethnography: Arts, Public Engagement & the Everyday, edited by Dara Culhane and Denielle Elliott. University of Toronto Press.
  • Moretti, Cristina (2011) “The wandering ethnographer: researching and representing the city through everyday encounters”. Anthropologica. Special Theme Issue: New Directions in Experimental and Engaged Ethnography, Vol. 53(2): 245-255.
  • Moretti, Cristina (2009). “Places and stages: performing and narrating the city in Milan, Italy” Liminalities. A Journal of Performance StudiesSpecial Issue on the City (4.1): 1-46.
  • Moretti, Cristina (2008). “A walk of two women: vision, gender, and belonging in Milan, Italy.” Pp. 53-75, in Gender in an Urban World, edited by Judith DeSena. Bingley: Emerald.

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