Maria Vasile

  • ResearcherDepartment of Agriculture, Food and Environment, University of Pisa

Contact Info:

  • 80 Via del Borghetto, Pisa

My PhD research in anthropology was part of the ERC Consolidator Project Food Citizens? Collective food procurement in European cities: solidarity and diversity, skills and scale (Institute of Cultural Anthropology and Development Sociology, Leiden University, The Netherlands).  As part of this project, I conducted research in Turin (Italy) where I investigated the contradictions of urban renewal and welfare transformations through the ethnographic and multimodal analysis of various food networks, ranging from urban gardens to food markets and organizations redistributing food surplus.

Prior to my PhD, I worked as a Social Protection and Rural Institution consultant at the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)  of the United Nations. I also have research and work experiences in food systems and rural development in Brazil, South Africa and Zambia. My current work focuses on urban food policies and rural-urban linkages.

Key research interests

  • Right to food and right to the city
  • Urban agriculture
  • Social protection
  • Rural development

Core competences

  • Qualitative research
  • Multimodal research
  • Participatory methods

Current EU-funded and national projects

FOODCLIC: integrated urban FOOD policies – developing sustainability Co-benefits, spatial Linkages, social Inclusion and sectoral Connections to transform food systems in city-regions


See the list of all projects the group is involved in here

Some recent publications

Vasile, M. (2022). “Building networks for sustainability? Food surplus redistribution, non-profit organisations and neoliberalism in Turin, Italy”. Kritisk etnografi: Swedish Journal of Anthropology 5 (1-2), 59-76.

Vasile M. & Grasseni C. (2022). Visions of the urban green: interrogating urban renewal in Turin’s PeripheryAnthrovision 8(1).

Mari V. & Vasile M. (2020). From recipe to collective improvisation : an ethnographic vignette about food assistance in Barriera di Milano, Turinlo Squaderno 56: 43-46.

Vasile M. & Thomé da Cruz F. (2019). Identity-construction, mutual enskilment and political negotiation at the farmers’ marketRevista do Desenvolvimento Regional 24(1): 212-226.

Vasile M. & Duncan J. (2017). ‘We want to be part of the broader project’: Family Farmers and Local Food Governance in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Built Environment 43(3): 390-401.

Check my other publications here