PhD Course

Historical, Geographical and Anthropological Studies

Thematic area Humanities
Duration 4 years
Language Italian
PhD Programme Coordinator Giulia Albanese

The Phd Course in Historical, Geographical and Anthropological Studies is an advanced course of study and research that promotes the development of original and innovative research, enhancing an interdisciplinary perspective and building on skills and excellence developed by the departments collaborating in the Phd Programme: the Department of Historical and Geographic Sciences and the Ancient World (Dissgea) of the University of Padua, the Department of Humanities (DSU) and the Department of Comparative Linguistic and Cultural Studies (DSLCC) of the Ca' Foscari University of Venice. Since the XXXVI cycle (2020-21) this Programme covers a 4-year period. At the end of the course, Phd students discuss an original research thesis. Successful candidates are awarded the title of Doctor of Research and receive a diploma awarded jointly by the Rectors of both Universities.

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The Phd programme in Historical, Geographical and Anthropological Studies is a post-graduate four-year course of study, research training and advanced research, held at the University of Padua and Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. At the end of the Programme, each successful candidate is awarded the title of Doctor of Research, and receives a joint diploma awarded by the Rectors of both Universities.

The aim of this PhD Programme is to enhance the excellence of the historical, anthropological and geographical research of the Universities of Padua and Ca’ Foscari of Venice and to build a pole of attraction for the development and promotion of original and innovative research, enhancing inter- and trans-disciplinary approaches. In this perspective, the PhD Programme has a strong international vocationand encourages Phd students to spend time abroad to study and conduct research activities. In order to achieve this goal, the Programme developed its partnerships with other European Universities through co-tutorship agreements, PhD students’ exchanges, summer and winter schools and other opportunities of exchange with other Universities and research centres in Italy and abroad.

The Departments involved in the Convention are the Department of Historical and Geographic Sciences and The Ancient World – DISSGEA of the University of Padova, the Department of Humanities (DSU) and the Department of Linguistics and Comparative Cultural Studies (DSLCC) of Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. Professors from other Italian and international Universities are members of the Programme’s Academic Board.
The Phd programme is developed in three curricula: Historical studies, Geographical studies and Historical-religious and anthropological studies.

The Historical Studies curriculum is particularly dedicated to the History of European societies, providing the opportunity for in-depth studies and research on: identities and their construction (national, transnational, professional, religious and gender identities); the relationship between cultural development and socio-economic and political development; political and institutional cultures transformation from ancient history to contemporary history. Moreover, the curriculum focuses on intersections, hybridization, the mobility of people, objects, texts and ideas through an analytical approach that highlights global and transnational experiences, comparative approaches, without overlooking conflicts, inequalities, and power struggle. Another research field is that of digital humanities, also exploring their dialogue with the public dimension.

The Geographical studies curriculum explores natural and anthropogenic aspects of space in their essential interconnection, including facts and representations, materiality and ideas, anchors and movements. This curriculum intends to explore the world as well as the discourses by which we try to give it meaning. Through qualitative, quantitative and creative methodologies, the curriculum offers an environment of learning and scientific development of Phd students from different backgrounds (social, human, natural sciences) that are particularly interested in the dimension of space in its many facets.

The curriculum in Historical-religious and Anthropological studies proposes to develop research on complex cultural and social phenomena and transformations. The course offers the opportunity to acquire methods of ethnographic research and to develop comparative theoretical approaches and/or a theoretical and methodological thought on Eastern and Western religious traditions of the ancient world and the modern age.
Religious studies include research on religions in their founding moments as well as in mature periods, as well as internal debate, controversies and negotiations with other cultural and religious subjects, both in communities and in the interpretation of individual experiences.
As for anthropological studies, particular attention is paid to the documentation and analysis of the dynamics of encounter and conflict in cross-cultural contexts, the analysis of the continuity and discontinuity between past and present, of response and re-signification practices in colonial and postcolonial contexts.


  • Historical studies
  • Geographical studies
  • Historical-religious and anthrop