Foto del docente

Luigi Canetti

Full Professor

Department of Cultural Heritage

Academic discipline: M-STO/07 History of Christianity and of Churches

Head of Department of Cultural Heritage

Vice Dean of Vicepresidenza della Scuola di Lettere e Beni culturali — Ravenna

Curriculum vitae

Born in Parma (16.07.1966) where he completed his secondary and music education, Luigi Canetti registered for the Medieval History programme at the Faculty of Humanities of the University of Bologna in 1985. There he attended the courses of Ovidio Capitani, Antonio Carile, Lucio Gambi, Carlo Ginzburg, Alba Maria Orselli, Ezio Raimondi. On July 10th, 1990 he graduated with Honours and received the Right for Publication (advisor: Prof. Alba Maria Orselli, Full Professor of History of Christianity). The publishing house Pàtron (Bologna) released his dissertation in 1993 («Gloriosa civitas». Culto dei santi e società cittadina a Piacenza nel Medioevo ).

In January 1991 he was awarded a doctoral grant in Medieval History (History of the Ecclesiastical Institutions) at the Catholic University of the Sacro Cuore of  (Doctorate Directors: Pietro Zerbi and Giorgio Picasso). On September 16th, 1994 he defended his thesis at the Istituto Storico Italiano per il Medio Evo. His dissertation was then published by the Centro Italiano Studi sull'Alto Medioevo of Spoleto and the Società Internazionale per lo Studio del Medioevo Latino of Florence (L'invenzione della memoria. Il culto e l'immagine di Domenico nella storia dei primi frati Predicatori, «Biblioteca di Medioevo Latino», 19). In June 1997 his book was mentioned among the four finalists in the historical and literary category for the Mario Nola Award (Premio Mario Nola) of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei (board members: Tullio Gregory, Arnaldo Pizzorusso, Vittorio Mathieu).

In October 1994 he was the recipient of a post-doctoral fellowship in Medieval History for a project on "Bodies and Relics between Antiquity and the Middle Ages" at the Department of Palaeography and Medieval Studies of the University of Bologna. This research was then published as Frammenti di eternità. Corpi e reliquie tra Antichità e Medioevo, Roma, Viella, 2002 («Sacro/santo», n. s. 6).

In November 1999 he obtained the academic position of Research Associate in History of Ancient and Medieval Christianity at the Faculty of Conservation of the Cultural Heritage of the University of Bologna, seat of Ravenna.

In May 2006 he qualified as Associate Professor in History of Christianity and of the Churches (M-STO/07 Storia del cristianesimo e delle chiese) at the Faculty of Conservation of the Cultural Heritage of the University of Bologna, seat of Ravenna. From October 1st, 2006 he has filled the position of Associate Professor in History of Christianity (Storia del Cristianesimo) at the Faculty of Conservation of the Cultural Heritage of the University of Bologna, seat of Ravenna.

Since February 1, 2016 he has been appointed Full Professor in History of Christianity and of the Churches at the Departement of Cultural Heritage of the University of Bologna, Ravenna Campus.

Since 2 May 2018 he is Head of the Department of Culturale Heritage of the University of Bologna, Ravenna Campus. From 2 May 2018 he took office as Director of the Department of Cultural Heritage of the University of Bologna - Ravenna Campus; reelected in February 2021 and in office for the second term (2021-2024) from May 3, 2021.

From 3 May 2021 he took office as a member of the Academic Senate of the University of Bologna (elected representative of the Department Directors, area 5 - Humanities)

His research range from Late Antiquity to the Late Middle Age (4th to 14th centuries) and mostly concern urban history, cult of saints, hagiography, biography, cultural memory, ecclesiastical institutions, mendicant orders, the relationship between clerical and folkloric cultures, rituals and patterns of symbolic communication through images and "semiophors". Using the evidence of bodies, rituals, literary texts and images in particular, lately he has focussed on the representational modes and codes of the relationships between the visible and invisible realms. His methodology goes beyond the traditional ideological conflict between Christianity and alternative or complementary forms of rationality, and it is based on comparative analyses that centre on hypotheses of semiotic and anthropological modelling of the major historical-religious dynamics (gift and sacrifice, priesthood and royalty, rituals and belief, miracle and vision, health and salvation, illness and healing, etc.). In his last work (Il passero spennato. Riti, agiografia e memoria dal Tardoantico al Medioevo, Spoleto, Fondazione CISAM, 2007; Impronte di gloria. Effigie e ornamento nell'Europa cristiana, Roma, Carocci, 2012) he has proposed and examined several innovative approaches to the historical-semantic study of the discourses and practices revolving around the sacred as well as of the ritual staging of the ornamenta ecclesiae (relics, reliquaries, images, liturgical objects) in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages. In this groundbreaking book he has suggested the factual integration of different languages, which were traditionally autonomous and, in some cases, even extraneous one to another (archaeology, semiotics, cultural anthropology, literary history, religious history, visual history).