People list

Daniele Cantini

Phone: +961 (0)1 359241 | Email:

Daniele Cantini joined the Orient-Institut Beirut as research assosciate in September 2016.

He earned his PhD in Social and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Modena and Milan – Bicocca in 2006, with a thesis on the Jordanian university system and its students, studied ethnographically between 2003 and 2005. Later on he went to Cairo, Egypt, where for three years (2007-10) was associated researcher at the CEDEJ, working on different projects dealing with university education and its privatization, worries of citizenship, youth, religious minorities, and migration. In 2010, he was a researcher in the Social Science Research Council project on “Arab Universities: Autonomy and Governance”. Since 2011 he is senior research fellow at the Research Cluster “Society and Culture in Motion” at the MLU Halle-Wittenberg. Between 2013 and 2016 he was the principal investigator in a BMBF sponsored project, managed through the Orient-Institut Beirut, on doctoral studies at Egyptian universities.

He teaches at the University of Modena since 2008 and at the MLU Halle since 2012 different courses on the Anthropology of the Middle East, on Social and Political Anthropology, and on Ethnology of the Mediterranean. He is the author of Youth and Education in the Middle East: Shaping Identity and Politics in Jordan (London: I.B. Tauris, 2016). He co-edited a special issue on Subjectivity and Islam: Anthropological Perspectives (La Ricerca Folklorica, 2014), and is the editor of a volume on ethnographies of private universities (to be published by Brill in 2016). His articles appeared in Anthropology of the Middle East, REMMM, CRES, Confluences Méditerranée, other than in different edited volumes.

He is currently working at the publication of the results of his latest research project, on knowledge production at the doctoral level at Egyptian public universities.



Youth and education in the Middle East: shaping identity and politics in Jordan. Library of modern Middle East studies. Vol. 177, London (I. B. Tauris, 2016).

Edited Volumes

Rethinking private higher education: ethnographic perspectives. Leiden (Brill, Studies in critical social sciences, Vol. 101, 2016).

“Religious belonging and life-worlds. Ethnographies on subjectivity and Islam”. La Ricerca Folklorica. co-editor (with Paola Abenante), N. 69 (Venice, 2014).

Journal Articles (peer-reviewed)

"We Take Care of Our Students: Private Universities and Politics of Care in Egypt". Ethics and Social Welfare 11(3): 261-276, 2017

"The university and the formation of subjectivity and of religious belonging: a case study from Amman, Jordan." La Ricerca Folklorica 69:105-116, 2014.

(with P Abenante) "Life-worlds and religious commitment: ethnographic perspectives on subjectivity and Islam." La Ricerca Folklorica 69:3-19, 2014.

"Une université privée égyptienne dans le nouveau marché international de l’enseignement supérieur." Cahiers de la Recherce sur l'Education et les Savoirs 13:167-179, 2014

"Discourses of reforms and questions of citizenship: the university in Jordan." REMMM (Revue des Mondes Musulmans et de la Méditerranée) 131:151-166, 2012.

"Being Baha’i in contemporary Egypt: an ethnographic analysis of everyday challenges." Anthropology of the Middle East 4, (2):34-51, 2009.

"Les relations entre coptes et musulmans dans la littérature égyptienne contemporaine: une perspective anthropologique." Confluences Méditerranée 66:143-154, 2008.

Book Chapters & other journals

"Introduction: rethinking private higher education, a collection of ethnographic perspectives." In Daniele Cantini (ed.) Rethinking Private Higher Education. Leiden: Brill, pp. 1-26, 2016.

"Private Universities and the State in Egypt at a time of social and political change." In Daniele Cantini (ed.) Rethinking Private Higher Education. Leiden: Brill, pp.131-157, 2016.

"Describing religious practices among university students in the Middle East: a case study from the University of Jordan, Amman." In Ethnographies of Islam: ritual perfomances and everyday practices. Baudouin Dupret, Thomas Pierret, Paulo Pinto and Kathrine Spellman (eds.). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, pp. 115-123, 2012.

"I paradossi delle rappresentazioni dell’Europa tra i giovani giordani." LOGOS 5:39-59, 2012.

"Il rapporto tra Copti e Musulmani in Egitto." CAPYS (Journal of History and Religious Sciences) 3:27-52, 2012.

(with L Grunz)"Des nouveaux riches aux jeunes martyrs: les évolutions de la migration de travail égyptienne au prisme de ses représentations médiatiques." In Chroniques Egyptiennes 2008. Iman Farag (ed.) Cairo: Cedej, pp. 79-99, 2010.

"Livello di integrazione degli stranieri in 'zona Tempio'." I Quaderni del Ferrari 33:33-79, 2010.

"University of Jordan: situating globalisation policies regarding higher education in their context - an ethnographic perspective from Amman." DAVO (German Association of Middle Eastern Studies) Journal 30:81-84, 2009.

"Les relations entre coptes et musulmans dans la littérature égyptienne contemporaine: une perspective anthropologique." In Chrétiens d’Orient. Pierre Blanc (ed.) Paris: L’Harmattan, pp. 141-152, 2008.

"I giovani studenti giordani di fronte al lavoro. Un caso studio da Amman, Giordania." In Antropologia dei rapporti di dipendenza personale. Fabio Viti (ed.) Quaderni del Laboratorio di Etnologia. Modena: Il Fiorino, 2007.