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Department of Social Anthropology









My current research centres on the former battlefields of the Western Front, and on how war is remembered and commemorated there in the 21st century. I am particularly interested in investigating the long-term social memory of the First World War among the populations who inhabit the former Western Front areas and were temporarily displaced by the conflict; and the relationship between this and the public and private remembrance of the military victims and events of the war. Another particular concern is the role of physical remains and material culture in commemoration and in social and personal memory. My ethnographic research currently focuses on the battlefield of Verdun (France) in the context of an E.U. sponsored project entitled ‘Cultural Heritage and the Reconstruction of Identities after Conflict’ (CRIC – see below). In collaboration with Prof. Jean-Paul Amat (Université de Paris IV) and Prof. Edwige Savouret (CEGUM-EA 1105, Université de Metz) I investigate the transformation of the Verdun battlefield from a site of memory in the 20th century, to a site of ‘cultural heritage’ in the 21st century. In an earlier phase of ethnographic research I concentrated on the Argonne, a forest area to the West of Verdun where I investigated local understandings of the past and the civilian memory of war. My research on conflict landscapes is also in part archaeological through my membership of No Man’s Land, a group specialising on Great War archaeology. Our main project at the moment is the Plugstreet Project (see below), consisting of the excavation of a segment of the 1914-‘18 frontline in the Wallon region of Belgium. This has recently included the retrieval, identification and reburial of the remains of an Australian soldier missing in action in 1917. In the context of this project I have also investigated ethnographically the local civilian memory of the Great War and the experiences of those involved in the excavation, DNA identification and reburial of the soldier's body, including archaeologists, families of the missing in action and others. Overarching themes in this last piece of research are the memorial role and figure of the war dead, and the relationship between anthropology and archaeology, both of which I am currently developing.


Journal articles


  • Filippucci, P., 2020. <i>Morts pour la France</i>: Things and memory in the ‘destroyed villages’ of Verdun, SAGE Publications Journal of Material Culture, v. 25 10.1177/1359183520954515
  • 2004

  • Filippucci, P., 2004. A French place without a cheese, Berghahn Books Focaal, v. 2004 10.3167/092012904782311254
  • Book chapters


  • Filippucci, P., Horn, C., Wollentz, G., Di Maida, G. and Haug, A. (eds.), 2020. ‘These Battered Hills’: Landscape and Memory at Verdun (France), Archaeopress Archaeology
  • 2012

  • Filippucci, P., Argenti, N. and Schramm, K. (eds.), 2012. In a Ruined Country: place and the memory of war destruction in Argonne (France)
  • 2010

  • Filippucci, P., Garrow, D. and Yarrow, T. (eds.), 2010. Archaeology and the anthropology of memory: takes on the recent past, Oxbow Books Ltd
  • 2009

  • Filippucci, P., Saunders, NJ. and Cornish, P. (eds.), 2009. Postcards from the past: landscape, place and the memory of War in Argonne (France), Taylor & Francis US
  • Teaching and Supervisions


    SAN1: The comparative perspective: Human Societies: Identity and Difference

    SAN2: The foundations of social life: Anthropology and Kinship

    SAN4: Ethnographic areas: Europe: Kinship and Family Identities

    M.Phil Paper 1: Production and reproduction: The Anthropology of Kinship

    Research supervision: 
    Fellow and Senior College Lecturer in Social Anthorpology, Murray Edwards College
    Dr Paola  Filippucci

    Contact Details

    Email address: 
    Takes PhD students