Dr Anna Stagno

IAS Fellow at  St Aidan’s College, Durham University (January-March 2021)

Anna Maria Stagno is a post-medieval and rural archaeologist. She has done research as Senior Research Fellow at the University of Durham (2018), as Marie Curie IE Fellow at the University of the Basque Country (2014-2017) with the project ARCHIMEDE on the archaeology of commons in southern Europe, and as associate researcher at the Laboratory of History of the Alps, of the University of Italian Switzerland (2014-2016). Since September 2019, she has been nominated Italian Representative in the Committee of the Ruralia Association (Jean-Marie Pesez Conferences on Medieval Rural Archaeology). She has been awarded with the Strengthening the excellence Award, by the Università di Genova (June 2019). PhD in Historical Geography (2009), at the Università di Genova (with a dissertation on rural archaeology), she is the PI of the ERC Stg 2019 project ANTIGONE – Archaeology of sharing practices. The marginalisation of European mountains (18th–21st), which will start on November 2020 at Laboratory of Environmental Archaeology and History of the University of Genoa. There, since the a.a. 2020/2021 she will be professor in Rural and Landscape Archaeology, at the School of Humanities, Department of Antiquity, Philosophy and History at the Università di Genova.

Her research interests are the history and archaeology of European rural societies, the historical systems of environmental resources management, with particular reference to sharing practices and commons, and the contribution of research for the construction of a sustainable future for European rural areas. Her researches are focused on the on dialogue between disciplines, and her methodological approach to the study of rural societies combines archaeological and archival investigations with the aim to develop an original approach to historical archaeology and to stress the role of historical studies in the future planning of mountain areas. Her works on the archaeology of commons are focused on the jurisdictional dimension of environmental resource management practices and on the topic of ownership, tenure and access rights considering the value of practices as possession actions (and, therefore, not restricting the evidence of appropriation to the presence of enclosures). Her interest is on the potential of archaeology to detect changes in jurisdictional access rights (Stagno et al. 2018), new practices and organisation of lifestyles analysing changes in environmental resources management and its infrastructures. Her project Antigone aims to investigate the role played by changes in sharing practices in the process of marginalisation of European rural societies since the late 18th century.

She is Institute of Advanced Studies Fellow at the University of Durham for the a.y. 2020/2021. During her Fellowship, Anna Stagno will work with Chris Gerrard in the Department of Archaeology and with Henry Jones at the Department of Law. The research group shares a common theoretical (the post-colonial approach) and methodological elements (local scale of observation, high level of analysis). They will study collective land ownership and access rights to common land such as mountain pastures or woodland. The aim is to explore this topic from multiple and complementary perspectives, and in the distant past as well as in the present day, focusing, through case studies, on a common set of questions (landscapes of memory, landscape of practices, landscapes of rights, and landscape as heritage). In this way the research aims to overcome the lack of a multidisciplinary investigation of the processes of land appropriation in the past and in the present, which affects several aspects of modern society (e.g. legal recognition, new commons, sustainability of past management practices).

  1. M. Stagno, Investigating rural change. Legal access rights and changing lifestyles in rural mountain communities(Ligurian Apennines, Italy, 16th-21st centuries AD), in “Rural Archaeologies” edited by P. Van Dommelen, “World Archaeology” 51.2 (2019), pp. pp. 311-327, https://doi.org/10.1080/00438243.2019.1674066

Stagno A.M., Short- and long-distance transhumant systems and common lands in post-classical archaeology. Case studies from southern Europe, in E. Svensson, E. Costello (eds.), Historical Archaeologies of Transhumance across Europe, Abigdon: Routledge, 2018, pp. 171-186.

  1. M. Stagno, Lo spazio locale dell’archeologia rurale. Risorse ambientali e insediamenti nell’Appennino ligure tra XV e XXI secolo, All’Insegna del Giglio, Firenze, 2018.