Anthropology of Crime and Criminalisation 2021/2022 – BA (L) degree in Anthropology, Religions, Oriental Civilizations (cod. 8493) – University of Bologna

Syllabus designed by Dr Davide Casciano, University of Bologna. This BA course is dedicated to the anthropological contributions to the study of crime and criminalization.

Syllabus designed by Dr Davide Casciano, University of Bologna. This BA course is dedicated to the anthropological contributions to the study of crime and criminalization. After a general introduction to the field, ethnographic case studies will help us to discuss phenomena and actors that define legal and illegal boundaries through complex, global, and multifaceted networks at the intersections of violence, crime, finance, power and subordination.

There are some texts that are available only in Italian (where possible, we have provided the English edition in this syllabus). Besides mandatory texts*, we have included a list of articles and books in English that have been discussed in class.

First week – Introduction to the anthropology of crime and criminalisation

Schneider, J., & Schneider, P. (2008). The anthropology of crime and criminalization. Annual review of anthropology37, 351-373.

Sausdal, D., & Vigh, H. (2019). Introduction: Anthropological criminology 2.0. Focaal2019(85), 1-14.

Hart, K. (1973). Informal income opportunities and urban employment in Ghana. The journal of modern African studies11(1), 61-89.

Second week – Anthropology of organised crime and mafia

*Varese, F. (2011). Mafias on the Move. Princeton University Press.

Block, A. (1974). The Mafia in a Sicilian Village, 1860-1960: A Study of Violent Peasant Entrepreneurs. Basil Blackwell.

Schneider, P. T., & Schneider, J. (2003). Reversible destiny: Mafia, Antimafia, and the Struggle for Palermo. University of California Press.

Gambetta, D. (1993). The Sicilian mafia: the business of private protection. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Arlacchi, P., & Ryle, M. H. (1986). Mafia business: the mafia ethic and the spirit of capitalism (Vol. 3, p. 4). London: Verso.

Paoli, L. (1998). Il contratto di status nelle associazioni mafiose. Quaderni di Sociologia, (18), 73-97.

Santoro, M. (2007). La voce del padrino. Mafia, Cultura, politica. Verona: Ombre Corte.

Ellis, S., & Shaw, M. (2015). Does organized crime exist in Africa?. African Affairs114(457), 505-528.

Watts, M. (2007). Petro-insurgency or criminal syndicate? Conflict & violence in the Niger Delta. Review of African Political Economy34(114), 637-660.

Hansen, T. B., & Stepputat, F. (2006). Sovereignty revisited. Annu. Rev. Anthropol.35, 295-315.

Third week: gangs and youth in Guatemala and beyond

*Quarta, L. (2016). Il limbo urbano. Conflitti territoriali, violenza e gang a Città del Guatemala. Verona: Ombre Corte.

Feixas, C. (2020). Oltre le bande. Saggi sulle culture giovanili. Roma: DeriveApprodi.

Palmas, L. Q. (2010). Atlantico latino: gang giovanili e culture transnazionali. Roma: Carocci.

Fourth and fifth weeks: Nigerian crime and sex work

*Taliani, S. (2019). Il tempo della disobbedienza. Per un’antropologia della parentela nella migrazione. Verona: Ombre corte.

Heap, S. (2010). “Their days are spent in gambling and loafing, pimping for prostitutes, and picking pockets”: male juvenile delinquents on Lagos Island, 1920s-1960s. Journal of Family History35(1), 48-70.

Fourchard, L. (2006). Lagos and the invention of juvenile delinquency in Nigeria, 1920–60. The Journal of African History47(1), 115-137.

Schulze, K. (2019). The Wild Bunch: Cowboy Clubs, Gangs, and Societies in Nigeria. Journal of West African History5(1), 115-141.

Gore, C., & Pratten, D. (2003). The politics of plunder: the rhetorics of order and disorder in southern Nigeria. African Affairs102(407), 211-240.

Ellis, S. (2016). This present darkness: A history of Nigerian organized crime. Oxford University Press, USA.

Eguavoen, I. (2008). Killer cults on campus: Secrets, security and services among Nigerian students. Sociologus, 1-25.

Marshall, R. (2009). Political spiritualities. University of Chicago Press.

Hackett, R. I. (2003). Discourses of demonization in Africa and beyond. Diogenes50(3), 61-75.

Vanderhurst, S. (2017). Governing with God: Religion, Resistance, and the State in Nigeria’s Counter‐Trafficking Programs. PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review40(2), 194-209.

Casciano, D. (2021). Between God and the state: Pentecostalism and articulated sovereignty in the Niger Delta, Nigeria. Canadian Journal of African Studies/Revue canadienne des études africaines, 1-19.

Brennan, D. (2011). Life Interrupted. Trafficking into forced labor in the United States. Durham: Duke University Press.

Ekpootu, M. U. (2017). Sexualizing the city: female prostitution in Nigeria’s urban centres in a historical perspective. In Selling Sex in the City: A Global History of Prostitution, 1600s-2000s (pp. 306-328). Brill.

Eghafona, K. The phenomenon of re-trafficking of women repatriated in Nigeria.

Sixth week: anthropology, police and private security

*Fassin, D. (2013). Enforcing order: An ethnography of urban policing. Polity.

Martin, J. T. (2018). Police and policing. Annual review of anthropology47, 133-148.

Penglase, B. (2009). States of insecurity: Everyday emergencies, public secrets, and drug trafficker power in a Brazilian favela. PoLAR: Political and Legal Anthropology Review32(1), 47-63.

Feldman, G. (2019). The gray zone: Sovereignty, human smuggling, and undercover police investigation in Europe. Stanford University Press.

Owen, O., & Garnier, A. (2012). Maintenir l’ordre au Nigeria: vers une histoire de la souveraineté de l’État. Politique africaine, (4), 25-51.

Diphoorn, T. G. (2015). Twilight policing: Private security and violence in urban South Africa. Univ of California Press.