Roberta Bonetti

Università degli Studi di Bologna

Iconographies of memory: the geopolitics of "fantasy coffins"


Roberta Bonetti teaches History of Anthropology at University of Bologna; Faculty Arts and Humanities, 2nd Level Degree Course in Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology. She graduated from the University of Bologna with a degree in Anthropology. In 2006 she had a Ph.D. degree in "Religious Studies: Social Sciences and Historical Studies of Religions" and in "Anthropologie sociale, ethnographie et etnologie", a joint program of the University of Bologna and l'Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales of Paris. Her dissertation, entitled Oggetti funerari dell'Africa contemporanea. Modalità di produzione, uso e rappresentazione nei musei etnografici, discusses contemporary art of South Ghana and its circulation and representation in the western world.
She has extensive work experience in the field of museum anthropology, in particular that of Africa.
From 1996-2002 she conceived and curated a series of exhibitions, educational courses, and catalogues. She has conducted research in African and Italian museums, run university seminars on the topic of museum anthropology and anthropology of art.
Two related research interests have emerged and developed in her work as museum ethnographer: On the one hand, the processes involved in the construction of "traditional" and contemporary art; and on the other, the communicative strategies and cognitive processes of reception employed by exhibitions and social actors respectively. More generally, she is interested in the complex relations between the museum (and art) world and society, which are multidimensional and changing spaces. At the moment, she is involved in exhibition experiments in particular in the field of museum education, concentrating on cognitive processes involved in reading images.