History of the Institute


Transcultura is twenty years old. Twenty years ago, on the occasion of the 9th centenary of the University of Bologna, we decided, with Umberto Eco and a small group of African and Chinese researchers, to form the network of the international institute for a reciprocal knowledge of civilizations. Reciprocal anthropological essay, to explore the human condition in another way, beyond the limits of gaze, and only the language games specific to our Western cultures, by putting them in perspective with those of the cultures “the more distant from ours ”. An attempt to renew the conceptual field of the human sciences and to open up, the horizons of anthropological knowledge.

At the invitation of Umberto Eco, a few years after a first experimental program of “ethnology of France by researchers from the Third World” (1983-1986) launched by Alain le Pichon and three researchers, sent by their universities, African and Chinese, looks from afar, accompanied by the songs and stories of a Fulani storyteller, had scrutinized, for two years, the oddities of Bolognese society. This network of reciprocal anthropology, crossing the seas, has now spread to the whole world: from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, to Nehru University in Delhi, via the Institute of Human Sciences. from Mali …