Curriculum Vitae

Elisa Lanari is a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Socio-Cultural Diversity. Trained as a cultural anthropologist, Elisa researches inequality, race, place, and community activism from different angles and geographies, from right-wing organizing in the suburban US South to pro-migrant activism in rural mountain Italy. Broadly speaking, her work seeks to understand how communities with histories of exclusion and/or perceived cultural homogeneity deal with social and cultural difference, particularly that which relates to immigration. At the MPI-MMG, she is carrying out an ethnographic project focusing on the everyday politics and afterlives of “welcome” in rural Alpine communities of north-east Italy.  

For her PhD (Northwestern University, 2019), Elisa carried out extensive ethnographic and archival research in suburban Atlanta, USA, exploring how migrants and BIPOC residents reshaped the social life, spaces, and politics of white-flight suburbs. Her dissertation project, focusing specifically on one community and its transformations from the post-Civil Rights to the post-Trump era, was supported by both the Wenner-Gren and US National Science Foundation.

Prior to joining the MPI, Elisa was a Visiting Researcher at the SSIIM UNESCO Chair of the IUAV University of Venice, Italy, where she collaborated with two AMIF-funded projects identifying and implementing “best practices” for the socio-spatial inclusion of migrants and asylum seekers in the Veneto region. She holds an MA in Cultural Anthropology, Ethnology, and Ethno-Linguistics (2010) and a BA in Philosophy (2007) from Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Italy.

Research projects


Peer-Reviewed Publications

Lanari, E. (2022). Latina M(other)work against racism: living with legal precarity in suburban Atlanta. Ethnic and Racial Studies. doi:10.1080/01419870.2022.2110382

Lanari, E. (2022). Speaking up, rising above: Latina lived citizenship in the metropolitan US South. Citizenship Studies, 26(1), 38 -54. doi:10.1080/13621025.2021.2011143

Lanari, E. (2019). “Envisioning a New City Center: Time, Displacement, and Atlanta’s Suburban Futures.” City & Society 31 (3): 365–91,

Lanari, E. (2017). “Excluded from ‘Everybody’s Neighborhood?’ Constructing Sandy Springs’ New City Center.” Atlanta Studies,

Book Chapters

Lanari, E. (2022). ‘Here, morality is a sense of entitlement’: Citizenship, deservingness and inequality in suburban America. In J. Tosic, & A. Streinzer (Eds.), Ethnographies of Deservingness: Unpacking Ideologies of Distribution and Inequality (pp. 222-250). New York: Berghahn. Link

Online Publications

Lanari, E. (2021). “What happened in Georgia? On suburbs and other anthropological blind spots.” Home/Field – a project of the Journal of Anthropology of North America

Garofalo, L.Lanari, E., and M. Cavicchioli (2020). “Sounds Fishy? The “Sardine” movement in Italy.” Anthropology News website, September 10, 2020. DOI: 10.14506/AN.148


Lanari, E., and L. Mafizzoli (2021). “Pensare la contemporaneità” (Thinking about the contemporary) in G. Ligi, I colori dell’Antropologia, Giunti TVP Editori, pp. 392-432.

Go to Editor View