Dr Giuliana B. Prato

Honorary Professor
Dr Giuliana B. Prato


Committed to ethnographically-based analysis, Dr Giuliana B. Prato has carried out fieldwork mainly, though not exclusively, in urban areas in Italy (1981-82; 1985; 1986; 1988-1996, intermittent; 1999; 2000; 2004-06; 2008), Britain (1990; 1997; 2000) and Albania (1999; 2000; 2003; 2006; 2007). 

Over the years, Dr Prato’s research interests have included: religious practice in relation to theological debates on death, sin and expiation (Laurea thesis); political representation and change and the effects of economic policies and environmental activism (PhD thesis); hunting with hounds; governance and legal reforms in post-socialist Albania, a mainly Muslim country (postdoctoral). 

Giuliana has carried out extensive historical research on the political significance of Arbëresh (Albanian) migrations to Italy and the integration of Arbëresh communities in Italian society.

In November 2011, Professor Italo Pardo and Dr Prato launched the online peer-reviewed journal Urbanities, Journal of Urban Ethnography.​  

Research interests

More recently, Dr Prato’s research has addressed the relationship between social and cultural change and global processes, such as the politics of immigration and transnational power relations. From such a perspective, she has carried out research on the EU Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe, with particular reference to Albania and the construction of the Trans-European Network. Mid- to long-term plans include an expanded project on social organisation and economic and political change in Albania. This project links to Giuliana's broader research on legal reforms, citizenship and governance in the context of Albania's accession to, and eventually full membership of, the European Union.  


Dr Prato’s teaching, assessed as excellent by HEFCE, has reflected her research and theoretical interests. She has taught courses in Political and Economic Systems, Ethnicity and Nationalism, and Introduction to Social Anthropology. Giuliana has also taught an interdepartmental course, Understanding Other Cultures (University of Kent), and the inter-faculty course Social Anthropology, which focused on cognitive systems and cultural and ethnic aspects of illness (University of Florence). 

Dr Prato has co-operated with biophysical anthropologists, contributing to conferences and research projects, and jointly supervising research students. During non-teaching periods, she has been involved mainly in research activity. Giuliana has taught in British, Italian, Swiss and Albanian Universities:

  • Britain: (University of Kent; Goldsmiths College, University of London)
  • Italy: (University of Florence, Contract Professor; University of Naples 'Federico II')
  • Switzerland: (University of Fribourg)
  • Albania: (Tirana)  Convenor and co-director of the postgraduate School in Social Anthropology (jointly sponsored by Albania Academy of Sciences, University of Tirana and the Catholic University ZKM).

The latter School in Social Anthropology was aimed at postgraduate training, with particular reference to urban anthropological research (theoretical, methodological and ethical issues). As convenor and co-director (with Professor Italo Pardo) of the school, Dr Prato’s duties included lecturing, seminar teaching and convening, doctoral and master supervision and academic administration. 

The School also involved anthropologists from the University of the Peloponnese (Greece), the University of Messina (Italy) and the University of Kent (UK). The courses were attended by junior and senior scholars from the University of Tirana, the Albanian Academy of Sciences, the Catholic University 'Zoja e Këshillit të Mirë' (Tirana), the Municipality of Tirana, the Albanian Ministries of Labour and Transport, the University of Prishtina (Kosovo), the Kosovar Ministry of Education, the University of Graz (Austria), the University of Halle (Germany) and the Polish Academy of Sciences.


  • Dr Prato is a founding member and Secretary-Treasurer of the not-for-profit association International Urban Symposium-IUS
  • Dr Prato is co-founder and co-editor (with Professor Italo Pardo) of the Series Palgrave Studies in Urban Anthropology (since 2014)
  • Dr Prato serves as Chair of the Commission on Urban Anthropology (IUAES). As Chair of the Commission, she has initiated the establishment of the CUA’s web page, co-ordinated the work of the Commission’s Executive, expanding the Commission’s goals and network, and published the first Handbook of the Commission. In 2010, in collaboration with Professor Michael Fischer, Giuliana has reorganised the Commission’s website. As Chair of the CUA, she has encouraged the establishment of the Commission's peer-reviewed Journal Urbanities and serves on the Journal's Scientific Committee.
  • Dr Prato is co-founder and co-editor (with Professor Italo Pardo) of the Ashgate Series on Urban Anthropology (2007-2013 ), now published by Routledge
  • Dr Prato served on the Scientific Organising Committee (since 2009) of the XII IUAES World Congress (International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences) on Evolving Humanity, Emerging Worlds, held in Manchester (UK) in August 2013
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