I am a psychological and psychiatric anthropologist, and specialize in psychodynamic and clinical ethnographic research. In my first fieldwork campaign (2009-2013, 2016), I investigated the psychological ramifications of norms and rules about masculinity among Pashtun men in south-east Afghanistan. Subsequently (2016-2022), I worked in Greece with Afghan migrants to explore the psychic dimensions of the migrant condition. My ongoing research project studies the construction of, and the inconsistencies between, private and national identities among men in the United Arab Emirates. The objective of my work is to couple the social and cultural research of anthropological tradition with the psychodynamic investigation in the subjectivity of individuals proper to psychoanalytic tradition. In other words, I seek to explore the inner lives of my interlocutors as they are meaningfully immersed in their socio-cultural context, and not abstracted from it. Social and cultural forces as equally legitimate players as intrapsychic ones in the intersubjective field created within the analytic relationship. In turn, as an ethnographer, I do participate in the social world of my interlocutors, bringing my own embodied knowledge into the analytic field as well.  

After receiving my PhD in anthropology from Boston University in 2015, I was a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School from 2016 until 2019, during which period I was also a faculty affiliate at Emerson College (Boston). In January 2020 I became an adjunct assistant professor of anthropology at Zayed University in Abu Dhabi, UAE, where I stayed until June 2023. From 2011 until 2013 I received training in clinical psychoanalysis at the Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis.

In addition to several academic articles and book chapters, my research took shape in a book, Crafting Masculine Selves: Culture, War and Psychodynamics in Afghanistan (Oxford U. Press, 2020), which won the 2021 Boyer Prize for contributions to psychoanalytic anthropology, from the Society for Psychological Anthropology.


  • Ph.D.: Boston University
  • MA: Georgetown University
  • BA: Universita' di Roma "La Sapienza" (Italy)

Research Interests

  • Psychodynamic ethnography
  • Psychoanalysis
  • Anthropological theory
  • Masculinity and gender studies
  • Migration and displacement
  • Afghanistan and South Asia
  • Islam and the Muslim world

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