Cristiana Giordano is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at UC Davis. She works on foreign migration, mental health, and cultural translation in contemporary Italy. Her research addresses the politics of migration in Europe through the lens of ethno-psychiatry and its radical critique of psychiatric, legal, and moral categories of inclusion/exclusion of foreign others. She is the author of Migrants in Translation. Caring and the Logics of Difference in Contemporary Italy (University of California Press, 2014).
Giordano’s other line of inquiry involves finding new ways of rendering ethnographic material into written texts and/or artistic forms. In line with an approach to anthropology as a form of engagement, analysis, and communication, she explores new ways in which anthropology can contribute to perfomative endeavors such as theater plays and installations. To this end, she has been collaborating with playwright and director Robert Pierotti (Tectonic Theater Project) who has conceived a devising technique that uses nontheatrical source material on current events such as interviews, archival material, and participant observation as the basis for new plays. In this vain, she is working on a play based on her new ethnographic research on the “refugees crisis” in the Mediterranean and Europe, and she collaborates with Pierotti on a theater piece on police violence and the death of Freddie Grey in Baltimore.