Lynda Dematteo

Institut Interdisciplinaire d’Anthropologie du Contemporain

Craft heritage and global branding under Chinese hegemony: “Made in Italy” textiles in New York

2016-2017: Fall

Lynda Dematteo graduated from Sciences Po Lille (1996) and obtained her PhD in Social Anthropology under the supervision of Marc Abélès at the School for Advanced Studies in Social Sciences (EHESS) in Paris (2002). She undertook an anthropological study of the Northern League based on classic analyses of the rites of inversion. The synthesis of her PhD was published by the French CNRS Éditions under the title: L’idiotie en politique(2007) and by Feltrinelli, L’idiota in politica (2011). After teaching at Lille 3 University, she joined the Montreal Centre for International Studies as a postdoctoral fellow to work with Prof. Mariella Pandolfi. She was recruited by the CNRS in 2008 to carry out studies on the impact of globalization on political life in Europe, particularly by exploring strategies to promote and defend the “Made in Italy” label on a global scale. She aims to highlight the complex and paradoxical links between globalization and the rise of economic patriotism. She participated in a long-term collaborative ethnographic research project with the WTO in Geneva from 2008 to 2010 and she is currently involved in a new collaborative project, “The Political Life of Commodities,” implemented by the Norbert Elias Centre in Marseilles. This international consortium is developing an anthropology of unprecedented transformations in the interplay between economy and politics. Through her ethnography of the “Milano Unica” trade show, Lynda Dematteo reflects on how the internationalization of industrial processes threatens a specific material cultural heritage and changes the meaning that tradespeople give to national identity. In New York City, she will explore the history of relationships established between ethnic business communities to better understand the current emergence of an Italo-Chinese fashion scene.

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