Curriculum Vitae

Work Experience

 Università Ca’ Foscari – Venice, Venice, Italy (November 2020- onward) Postdoctoral Fellow – SPIN Project and Adjunct Professor at Dipartimento di Studi sull’Asia e sull’Africa Mediterranea (DSAAM)

 Giorgio Cini Foundation, Venice, Italy (May 2017 – onward) Director of the Centre for Comparative Studies on Civilizations and Spiritualities https://www.cini.it/en/institutes-and-centres/civilta-e-spiritualita-comparate

 Invisible Lines – a project co-funded by the Creative Europe Program  (September 2020- September 2022) Scientific Director https://invisiblelines.eu/

 IDEMEC (CNRS) Institut d’ethnologie méditerranéenne, européenne et comparative, Aix-en-Provence, France (January 2020- September 2020) Postdoctoral Fellow in the project “soufisme en France / soufisme de France”. Ministère de l’intérieur, DLPAJ, Bureau central des cultes.

 KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium (September 2017 – September 2019) Marie Skłodowska-Curie Postdoctoral Fellow, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Sociological Research (CeSO) https://soc.kuleuven.be/ceso/theory-culture/francesco-piraino

Collaborations in International Research Networks

ANR Project Cirelanmed, IDEMEC – CNRS, Aix-en-Provence, France (February 2017) Research fieldwork for “Circulations religieuses et ancrages méditerranéens. États et internationalisation des faits religieux contemporains. Europe du Sud, Maghreb, Moyen-Orient”

University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa (November – December 2016) Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Religious Studies, financed by the National Research Fund South Africa

Centre Jacques Berque CNRS, Rabat, Morocco (April – June 2016) Postdoctoral Fellow, financed by the Centre Jacques Berque (CNRS) and the ANR Cirelanmed

Teaching

 University of Ca’ Foscari, Venice (February – May 2021) Course – 30 hours – “Holy Books and Models of Social Organizations” https://www.unive.it/data/course/246847

 EHESS Paris (December 2020- March 2021) Seminaire de recherche – 32 hours UE896 – “Universalisations et patrimonialisations du soufisme” https://enseignements.ehess.fr/2020-2021/ue/896

Education and Training

 Scuola Normale Superiore in co-tutorship with École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Italy – France (November 2011 – February 2016).

PhD thesis title: « Le développement du soufisme en Europe : au-delà de l’antinomie tradition modernité ». Doctor Europaeus, Ph.D. in Sociology, graduated with highest honors; supervisors prof. Vincenzo Pace and Danièle Hervieu-Léger.

Lund University, Lund, Sweden (September – October 2012 and September – November 2015)  Visiting PhD student at the Centre for Middle Eastern Studies CMES, supervisor prof. Leif Steinberg

University of Aarhus, Aarhus, Denmark (January – February 2015) Visiting PhD student, supervisor prof. Mark Sedgwick

 University of Padua, Padua, Italy (September 2006 – October 2010) Master in Sociology, final mark: 110 cum laude/110

Ca’ Foscari University, Venice, Italy (September 2002 – July 2006) Bachelor in philosophy, final mark 105/110

Photography Training

Magnum Workshop, Paris, France (20-21 April 2018) Photographic workshop with Patrick Zachmann and Xavier Barral (Magnum)

KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium (October 2017 – January 2018) Advanced and intermediate courses of photography at KU Leuven Photographic Club with Professor Ivan Derbiesen

Arabic Language Courses

 PEASS – Programme des Études Arabes appliquées au Sciences Sociales – École de Gouvernance et Économie de Rabat(Rabat, Morocco) July 2018 full immersion course, Arabic A1/A2

 KU Leuven CLT, Leuven, Belgium (September 2017 -June 2018) Arabic A1

Prizes Awarded

 Best Article Award 2017 – ISSR/SISR International Society for the Sociology of Religion. For the article Francesco Piraino (2016) “Between Real and Virtual Communities: Sufism in Western societies and the Naqshbandi Haqqani case”, Social Compass, vol. 63(1), pp. 93-108, 900 EUR.

Merit scholarship 2016 – Giorgio Cini Foundation, 1,000 EUR

Conferences Organized

 “Islamic Esotericism in a Global Context” held on Zoom 3-5 December 2020 and “Islam and Esotericism: Societies, Politics, and Practices” to be held on Zoom 29-01 September/October 2021 in collaboration with Mark Sedgwick (Aarhus University), Liana Saif (Amsterdam University) and Michele Petrone (Milan University). http://ensie.site/2020conference.html

“Contesting in the Name of Religion in “Secularised” Societies Between Doctrine and Militancy” in collaboration with Claude Proeschel (GSRL EPHE-CNRS) David Koussens (Université de Sherbrooke) Valérie Amiraux (Université de Montréal) Frédéric Volpi (Edinburgh University), Venice 4-5 April 2019.

“Embodying Scientific Medicine and Religious Healing, A Comparative Perspective on Exorcism and Non-Voluntary Spirit Possession” in collaboration with prof. Andrea De Antoni (Ritsumeikan University – Kyoto) at Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice, 13-14-15 December 2018.

 “Common and Comparative Esotericisms” in collaboration with Mark Sedgwick (Aarhus University) and Dilek Sarmis (EHESS) at Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice, 12-13-14 June 2018.

“Political Islam in Europe” in collaboration with Mohammed Ben Salah (Mohammed VI University) and Khalid Rhazzali (Padua University) at Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice, 15-16 December 2017.

“Transnational Sufism in contemporary Societies: reconfiguring narratives, identities and boundaries” in collaboration with Mark Sedgwick (Aarhus University) at Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice, 10-11-12 November 2017.

Conferences Attended

In 2020 I was selected for the conferences of British Association for Islamic Studies (BRAIS) to be held in London and the American Academy of Religion to be held in Boston, but they were canceled due to the Covid-19 Pandemic.

ISSR – International Society for the Sociology of Religion

University of Barcelona (9-12 July 2019). Paper presented: “A Sufi Network in the Transnational Public Sphere”.

7th Biannual Conference of the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism

University of Amsterdam (2-4 July 2019). Paper presented: “Understanding Dreams: Sufism and Psychoanalysis in Milan”.

117th Conference of the American Anthropological Association

San José (San Francisco) (14-18/11/2018). Paper presented: “Sufism and Politics in North Africa: Between Powers and Societies”.

14ème Congrès national de science politique

University of Montpellier (10-12/07/2017). Paper presented: “Soufisme et politique”.

ISSR – International Society for the Sociology of Religion

University of Lausanne (4-7/07/2017). Paper presented: “Soufisme, politique et écologie”.

6th Conference of the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism ESSWE – Western Esotericism and Deviance

University of Erfurt (1-3/06/2017). Paper presented: “Negotiating Orthodoxy and Deviance Among Sufi Orders in Milan”.

Circulations religieuses et ancrages méditerranéens, Institut de Recherche sur le Maghreb Contemporain IRMC

Tunis (23-24/11/2016). Paper presented: “Au-delà des frontières du croire : le soufisme transnational”.

First Euro-Arab Meeting for Young Researchers in Social Sciences

Knowledge Transfer Project Manama, Bahrein (19-25/10/2015). Paper presented: “Le développement du soufisme en Europe: éthiques et politiques”.

International Society for Media, Religion and Culture 

University of Kent, Canterbury (4-6/08/2014). Paper presented: “Sufism in western societies, between real and virtual communities: an overview and the Naqshbandi Haqqani case”.

Developing a sense of belonging in diverse societies: Muslims in Europe and Hui-Muslims in China 

University of Leuven, Belgium (14/05/2014). Paper presented: “The fluid identities in European Sufism and its social and political role”.

Pilgrimages in European Islam

University of Bergen (03-03/10/2013). Paper presented: “Pilgrimages in European Sufism”.

Witchcraft, Magic and Popular Religion XI Gustav Vasa Seminar 

University of Jyväskylä (11-12/06/2013). Paper presented: “Mamma Schiavona and Santa Rosalia: between identity and spirituality”.

La religione popolare nella società post secolare 

University of Padua (19-20/10/2012). Paper presented: “Santa Rosalia e Mamma Schiavona: tra religiosità e identità”.

Seminars and Lectures

De la fabrique des autorités religieuses CHERPA – IREMAM – IDEMEC, invited by Katia Boissevain, Marie-Laure Boursin, Norig Neveu, Sabrina Mervin and Franck Fregosi, “Des parcours, formation et présentation de soi des maîtres soufis” (CNRS-Science Po Aix-en-Provence, 29/11/2018).

IDEMEC – CNRS, “Le soufisme méditerranéen dans la sphère publique : entre diplomatie et realpolitik” (Aix-en-Provence, 12/10/2018).

CISMOC – Louvain-la-Neuve, invited by Brigitte Maréchal, “Les politiques du soufisme entre l’Europe et le Maghreb” (Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, 30/05/2018).

KU Leuven, invited by Dick Houtman, “Sufism and Islam” (KU Leuven, Belgium, 24/04/2018).

Une Méditerranée connectée. Anthropologie des religions et introduction aux humanitées numériques. Institut de Recherche sur le Maghreb Contemporain IRMC, (Tunis, Tunisia, 26-30/11/2016).

Université Moulay Ismaïl de Meknès, invited by Khalid Mouna and Mohammed Fadil

« Conversion à l’Islam pour une sociologie des conversions » (Meknès, Morocco, 16/05/2016).

Université International de Rabat – Science Po Rabat, invited by Sophie Bava and Farid El Asri « Soufisme contemporain : éthiques et politiques entre le Maghreb et l’Europe » (Rabat, Morocco, 20/04/2016).

Centre Jacques Berque de Rabat – CNRS, invited by Sabrina Mervin

« Soufisme et politique entre Europe et Maghreb » (Rabat, Morocco, 19/04/2016).

Centre for Middle Eastern Studies, Lund University, invited by Leif Stenberg

“European Sufism: Ethics and Politics” (Lund, Sweden, 13/11/2015).

Research Group CIRELANMED – Circulation religieuses et ancrages méditerranéens. États et internationalisation des faits religieux contemporains. Europe du Sud, Maghreb, Moyen-Orient

“Les pèlerinages dans le soufisme européen” (Padua, Italy, 6-7/11/2015).

University of Padua, “Master Islam d’Europa”, invited by Enzo Pace and Khalid Rhazzali

“Introduzione al Sufismo, Sufismo europeo”, (Padua, Italy, 18/04/2013).

Aarhus University, invited by Henrik Reintoft Christensen

“Sociology of religion, sociology of conversion” (Aarhus, Denmark, 24/02/2015).

Aarhus University, invited by Mark Sedgwick

“Pathways of religious conversion in European Sufism” (Aarhus, Denmark, 12/02/2015).

University of Southern Denmark, invited by Dietrich Jun and Mark Sedgwick

“Modern Muslim Subjectivities” (Odense, Denmark, 20/01/2015).

University of Padua, “Master Islam d’Europa”, invited by Enzo Pace and Khalid Rhazzali

“I pellegrinaggi nel Sufismo europeo” (Padua, Italy, 23/10/2013).

École Pratique des Hautes Études, invited by Jean Pierre Brach

“René Guénon et son héritage dans le Soufisme du XXIème siècle” (Paris, France, 02/06/2013).

American University of Paris, invited by Waddick Doyle

“Religious Conversions and construction of self-identity: between theory and fieldwork” (Paris, France, 19/04/2013).

Centre for Middle Eastern Studies, Lund University, invited by Leif Stenberg

“Sufism among European converts” (Lund, Sweden, 31/10/2013).

Funding Awarded

Total funding awarded: 639,000 EUR

SPIN Project Ca’ Foscari, 104,000 EUR.

Invisible Lines Project – Creative Europe 200,000 EUR.

Ministère de l’intérieur, DLPAJ, Bureau central des cultes, 80,000 EUR.

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship, 200,000 EUR.

ESSWE, Travel Grant, May 2017, (Germany), 300 EUR.

Cirelanmed CNRS – Aix-en Provence, Research Grant, January-February 2017, (France), 2,000 EUR.

Cape Town University, Research Grant, November 2016 (South Africa), 19,520 ZAR.

Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Merit Scholarship, July 2016 (Italy), 1,000 EUR.

Cirelanmed CNRS – Aix-en Provence, Research Grant, April-June 2016, (France), 3,400 EUR.

Centre Jacques Berque CNRS – Rabat, Research Grant, April 2016, (France-Morocco), 800 EUR.

Padua University, Travel Grant, November 2015 (Italy), 600 EUR.

Lerici Foundation, Research Grant, September-November 2015, (Sweden), 20,000 SEK.

AUFF Guest Aarhus University, Researcher Grant, January-February 2015 (Denmark), 20,000 DKK.

Erasmus traineeship, January-February 2015, (European Union), 900 EUR.

Scuola Normale Superiore, PhD Scholarship 2011-2014, (Italy), 40,950 EUR.

Collaborations

Member of the AAA (2018 – onward)

American Anthropological Association (www.americananthro.org)

Founding Member of ENSIE (2016 – onward)

European Network for the Study of Islam and Esotericism (ENSIE), a thematic network of the European Society for the Study of Western Esotericism (ESSWE, www.esswe.org).

Founding Member of the ICSOR (2016 – onward)

International Centre for Sociology of Religion, http://www.icsor.it/statuto/.

Member of the AFSP (2017 – onward)

Association Française de Science Politique, http://www.afsp.info/.

Member of the ISSR (2017 – onward)

International Society for the Sociology of Religion, https://www.sisr-issr.org/fr/.

Photographic Exhibition

Sufis: A Look at the Mystics of Contemporary Islam, Kif Kif, Anterp, Belgium October 2019- Febrary 2020https://kifkif.be/sufism-exhibition

Other information

Language Skills:

Italian: native speaker.

English: fluent (C1)

French: fluent (C1)

Arabic: (A2), but I am improving.

IT Skills:

Excellent knowledge of Mac and Windows operating systems.

Excellent knowledge of Office packages (Word, Excel, Power Point).

Good Knowledge of SPSS – statistical data analysis.

Good Knowledge of Photoshop – Photography post-production.