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Department of Social Anthropology



I am a social anthropologist and a Senior College Lecturer in Social Anthropology at Murray Edwards College, Cambridge, and an affiliated lecturer in the Department of Social Anthropology, where I contribute teaching on kinship and on the anthropology of Europe. My undergraduate studies were in archaeology at the University of Sheffield, followed by a Masters and doctorate in Anthropology at Cambridge. My archaeological background feeds into my anthropological research interests, that include social memory, perceptions of the past and history, heritage, as well as landscape and materiality. I have conducted ethnographic research on these various topics in Italy and more recently in France and Belgium/Flanders, focusing on conflict and post-conflict scenarios through a focus on the First World War battlefields of the Western Front. I am also member of the Heritage Research Centre at the Department of Archaeology, Cambridge and have taught in the Heritage MPhil programme in Archaeology, as well as to undergraduate teaching on anthropology for archaeologists. At Murray Edwards, I combine an academic role as Director of Studies and supervisor with student welfare responsibilities through the role as Deputy Senior Tutor of the College.


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.


Edited volumes

2019 M.-L. Sørensen, D. Viejo-Rose and P. Filippucci (eds.) Memorials in the Aftermath of Armed Conflict: from history to heritage. Palgrave Macmillan


Book chapters

Accepted for publication (with L. Renshaw and D. Viejo-Rose) ‘From dead places to places of the dead: the memorial power of battlefields, ruins and burials in the warscapes of Spain and the Western Front.’ In T. Biers and M.K. Clary (eds) Handbook of Museums, Heritage and Death. Routledge

2021 ‘Life and death in a conflict landscape: local perspectives from the Western Front’ in N. Saunders and P. Cornish (eds.) Conflict Landscapes. Routledge, pp. 163-179

2020 ‘”These battered hills”: landscape and memory at Verdun (France).’ In Christian Horn, Gustav Wollentz, Giampiero di Maida, Annette Haug (eds.) ‘Places of Memory: spatialised practices of remembrance from prehistory to today’. Archeopress, pp. 82-96

2017 Témoins Muets/Mute Witnesses: ethnography and archaeology encounter the objects of the Great War. In M. Gellereau (éd.) Témoignages et médiations des objets de guerre en musée. Presses Universitaires du Septentrion

2015 (with Jean-Paul Amat and Edwige Savouret) “The cemetery of France”: the Ossuary at Douaumont and the Victory Monument at Verdun (France). In M.-L. Sørensen and D. Viejo-Rose (eds.) War and Cultural Heritage: biographies of place. Cambridge University Press

2012 (with Joost Fontein, John Harries and Cara Krmpotich) Encountering the past: unearthing remnants of humans in archaeology and anthropology. In D. Shankland (ed.) Archaeology and Anthropology: past, present and future. Berg, pp. 197-217 

2010 Archaeology and the anthropology of memory: takes on the recent past. In D. Garrow and T. Yarrow (eds.) Archaeology and Anthropology: understanding similarities, exploring differences, Oxbow Books, pp. 69-83

2010  Archaeology and memory on the Western Front. In D. Boric (ed.) Archaeology and Memory Oxbow Books, pp. 171-182

2010  In a Ruined Country: place and the memory of war destruction in Argonne (France). In N. Argenti and K. Schramm (eds.) Remembering Violence: Anthropological Perspectives on Intergenerational Transmission, Berghahn Books, pp. 165-189

2009 Heritage and methodology: a view from social anthropology. In M.-L. Stig Sørensen and J. Carman (eds.) Heritage Studies: methods and approaches. Routledge, pp. 319-325 

2009 Postcards from the past: landscape, place and the memory of War in Argonne (France). In P. Cornish and N. Saunders (eds.) Contested Objects: Material Memories of the Great War Routledge, pp. 220-236

2004 Memory and marginality: remembrance of World War I in Argonne, France. In D. Kaneff, F. Pine and H. Haukanes (eds.) Politics, Religion and Remembering the Past LIT-Verlag, pp. 35-57

2002 Acting local: two performances in North-East Italy. In M. Crang and S. Coleman (eds.) Tourism: Between Place and Performance  Berghan Books, pp. 75-91


Journal articles

2020 ‘”Dead for France”: things and memory in the “destroyed villages” of Verdun (France). In ‘The Surviving Thing: Personal Objects in the Aftermath of Violence.’ Special Issue (Z. Dziuban and E. Stanczik, eds.), Journal of Material Culture 25 (4): 391-407

2007/2008 (with Irene Peano) Introduction. In Boundary Crossings: a Festschrift in memory of Sue Benson, Special Issue (P. Filippucci and I. Peano, eds.), Cambridge Anthropology, Vol. 27, 2, pp. 1-9.

2004 A French place without a cheese: Problems with heritage and identity in Northeastern France. Focaal – European Journal of Anthropology 44, pp.72-86

2004 (with Perry Willson) Introduction. In Gender, Sex and the Family in Italy 1945 to the present'. Special Issue (P. Willson and P. Filippucci, eds.) Journal of Modern Italy, 9 (1), pp. 5-9

1997 Landscape, locality and nation: the case of Bassano. Paragraph, 20 (1), pp. 42-58

1992 Tradition in action. The Carnevale of Bassano, 1824-1989. Journal of Mediterranean Studies 2 (1), pp. 55-68


Online publications

2017 ‘Landscape’. In The Open Encyclopedia of Anthropology, The Open Encyclopedia of Anthropology, edited by Felix Stein. Online:

2013 ‘Témoins Muets/Mute Witnesses: ethnography and archaeology encounter the objects of the Great War’ in TEMUSE 14-45. Actes du Symposium international. 13,14 septembre 2012, found at:

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
Office hours: appointment by email
Dr Filippucci

Contact Details

Email address: 
Takes PhD students