Project Description

Gianfranco Spitilli is graduated in Ethnology with a thesis on the feast of the ox in honor of San Zopito in Loreto Aprutino (2003) and received the title of Doctor of Philosophy in Ethnoanthropology at the University “La Sapienza” in Rome (2007), analyzing a nucleus of ceremonial feasts with bovine cattle in central Italy. In 2006 he spent a period of study in France in Social Antrhopology, Ethnography and Ethnology at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris, where he is currently a Post PhD student in Religious Sciences at the École Pratique des Hautes Études (Director: Prof. G. Charuty) with a project entitled: “A Cultural Savior. Don Nicola Jobbi, priest-ethnographer. ”

Gianfranco Spittili also conducts research in the field of religious ethnology, ethnomusicology and anthropology of memory, with particular attention to the sonic and visual dimensions, to the theme of depopulation, the relationship between man and animal, and the dynamics of cultural conflicts in central and southern Italy (especially in northern Abruzzo), Belgium and Romania.
since 2003 he has been tirelessly working in the recovery of sound, photographic and audiovisual documents in the inner area of Abruzzo, coordinating the project “Intangible Cultures” (directed by Antonello Ricci) on the archive of Don Nicola Jobbi and materials produced by anthropological and ethnomusicological researches in the Gran Sasso. In the same territory, with particular reference to the High Vomano Valley, he has been developing an intensive research in close contact with individuals and communities, in collaboration with scientific institutions and local authorities. Since 2003 he is co-organizer of the annual feast Valfino al Canto in the village of Arsita, and the coordinator of a project for a center dedicated to documentation, analysis and practice of musical and oral tradition in the area.

A part of his work is dedicated to audiovisual research: since 2002 he has produced movies for museum exhibits and video documentation, particularly on festivals and processions of central-southern Italy. Since 2003 he has released three ethnographic documentaries, “The Ox of San Zopito: The Voices of the Feast “,” Basilio D’Amico “,” Between men and saints. Rituals with cattle in central Italy” with filmmaker Marco Chiarini.

He is a member of the French Society of Ethnomusicology (SFE), the Italian Association for Ethnoanthropological Sciences (AISEA) and the Italian Society for Museology and Demoethnoanthropological Heritage (SIMBDEA), and director of the SDAE series (Studies and Documents of Anthropology and Ethnomusicology) for the Ricerche&Redazioni publisher from Teramo.

Gianfranco Spitilli is presently president of “Associazione Culturale Bambun “, on which he is responsible in the period 2012-2013 for the development of the European Union project ” Tramontana Network “.

He has published books, essays, films and audio material with research materials in Italian and other languages.

In 2009 he won the Nigra prize for anthropological research with the book “The middle village – Life stories and family photographs in Intermesoli”.