Degree in Social and Cultural Anthropology, Contemporary German Literature and Philosophy at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich and Comparative Religious Studies at La Sapienza in Rome. My areas of interest and research are Contemporary Art, Urban studies, Cultural Creativity and Religion with a regional focus on Southern Europe – (especially Italy and Spain) and the Caribbean – (especially Cuba). At VIU I had been teaching a course on the Biennale Arte, on Migration in the Mediterranean and on the Conceptualization of Cultural Otherness from the perspective of Social Anthropology.
I had been teaching at VIU on two occasions. In 2020 I was just sitting at my desk at home in Munich and met my VIU students only via Zoom on the screen of my computer. In 2017 I was living in Venice throughout the whole semester and enjoyed the deep encounter with the city, with my international students and my colleagues. It would be impossible for me to separate those three encounters, as in the end, it is one exceptional experience. Early in the morning, taking a boat to reach a small island, which despite its remoteness is a hub of most diverse students, professors, languages, thoughts, lifestyles and also academic traditions was a unique experience.
I choose to come to VIU after a colleague told me about the opportunity to teach there. Shortly after, I went on a field trip with students to the Venice Biennale. On this occasion, I met Luca Pes who welcomed us to San Servolo with a lecture on the Biennale. I was immediately intrigued by the beauty of this exceptional place and its possibilities. Luca then encouraged me to teach here for a whole semester.
I recommended other professors to take part in this experience, well, I guess for scholars it is always exciting and challenging to experience diversity in your classroom. And last not least, experience the city form the local point of view and not with the tourist gaze in mind. Get into a daily routine, take the vaporetto to go to work, learn about the lagoon, walk the small alleys.
You will bring with you not only teaching international students, but students from different subjects and fields of study in a city like Venice opens up lots of new possibilities. You will be challenged to become creative and make everybody benefit from the variety of languages, world-views, abilities and academic styles.
During my both experiences, there were several best moments. The first that comes to mind is the mornings in the awakening city and the trip to San Servolo with the boat accompanied by seagulls.
Then the various interactions with the students. The best was certainly the joint fieldwork at the Biennale and our publicly presented seminar at the Arsenale.
Then the wonderful side-trips organized by VIU: it was an incomparable experience to stand with colleagues at night in the Cathedral of San Marco, illuminated only for us.