portrait picture Giorgio Brocco

Dott. Dott. mag. Giorgio Brocco

Research Associate (PostDoc) / Lecturer
Member of Research Group Health Matters

Contact Details

Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology
NIG, 4th floor
Universitätsstraße 7
1010 Vienna

E-Mail: giorgio.brocco@univie.ac.at
Websites: Researchgate  |  Google Scholar  |  Academia.edu

Office Hours

Individual appointments via e-mail to 



Current courses: u:find

Past Courses: u:find

Research Focus Areas

  • Medical anthropology
  • Disability anthropology/Anthropology of Disability
  • Environmental anthropology
  • Environmental health and justice
  • Toxicity and pollution
  • Post- and decolonial anthropology
  • Critical disability studies
  • Embodiment and impairment

Short Biography

Since October 2021, I am a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, University of Vienna. In September 2021, I defended my Ph.D. thesis at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Freie Universität Berlin.

My doctoral research, entitled "Trajectories of Albinism Subjectivities, Experiences, and Narratives in Tanzania", has documented the life experiences and socio-economic conditions of people with albinism living in the East African country. The focus of my analysis has concerned not only the daily living experiences of persons with albinism but the multiple ways in which my research participants related to each other in their everyday experiences, talked about and imagined their bodily condition and forged various networks of relatedness and care. Furthermore, my research has also shed light on how people with albinism critically participated in the media discussions and activist endeavours carried out by humanitarian/human rights actors in relation to the wave of violence against them as well as the health issues associated with the condition.

By analyzing biomedical and environmental measures, political and economic debates, public health policy reports, and everyday practices of human and more-than-human subjects, my new postdoctoral project grapples with the multiple ways humans conceive, interact with, and imagine the lasting presence of artificial chemical molecules in the two French overseas territories and Caribbean islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe.

Selected Publications

  • 2021 “Trajectories of Albinism Subjectivities, Experiences, and Narratives in Tanzania.” Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany.
Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles
  • “Beyond the surface: Political rhetorics, discursive practices and multiple enfleshments of albinism.” (In preparation)
  • “Medicine murders, witchcraft and humanitarian mercy: Western media portrayals of albinism in Tanzania.” (In preparation)
  • 2020a “Entangled narratives: Encountering political subjectivities of people with albinism in Tanzania.” In: AM Rivista della Società Italiana di Antropologia Medica/ Journal of the Italian Society for Medical Anthropology, 50: 145 - 169.
  • 2020b “Notes of despair and consciousness: Performativity and visibility of albinism in musical practices.” In: Disability and Society, 35 (1): 67-88.
  • 2017  “Living a 'normal' life." Perceptions and practices of albinism in the wake of humanitarianism.” In Tarantino, C., Straniero, A. M. (eds.) Special Issue, “Vizio di Forma/Inherent Vice”, In: Minority Reports: Cultural Disability Studies, 5: 91-112.
  • 2016  “Albinism, stigma, subjectivity and global-local discourses in Tanzania.” In: Anthropology and Medicine, 23 (3): 229-243.
  • 2015  “Labelling albinism: Language and discourse surrounding people with albinism in Tanzania.” In: Disability and Society, 30 (8): 1143-1157.
Book Chapters
  • N.D.  “A Complex condition: Social experiences, health concerns, and political issues of people with albinism in Africa.” In: Jones, E. (ed.) Palgrave Handbook of Global Critical Health Humanities, Race and Ethnicity. London: Palgrave. (Under Revision).
  • 2021a “Sparks of otherness: Producing representations of people with albinism in Africa through three documentary films from the global North.” In Baker, C., Imafidon, E. (eds.) Cultural Representations of Albinism in Africa: Narratives of Change. Berlin: Peter Lang. (Forthcoming).
  • 2021b “Assemblages of care around albinism: Kin-based networks and (in)dependence in contemporary Tanzania.” In: Calestani, M., Montesi, L. (eds.) Managing Chronicity in Unequal States: Ethnographic Perspectives on Caring. London: UCL Press. (Forthcoming).
  • 2019  (with B. Rutert) “Role conflicts and aftermaths: Introduction.” In: Stodulka, T., Dinkelaker, S., Thajib, F. (eds.) Affective Dimensions of Fieldwork and Ethnography, Cham, Switzerland: Springer, 23-28.
Online Publications
  • 2019  “(Un)categorizing Albinism.” In: M. Friedner, Zoanni T. (eds.) Disability from the South: Toward a Lexicon, Somatosphere. (7 pages)
  • 2018  (with A. C. Mbaye) “Chi sono i migranti economici? La grande ‘pacchia’ delle aziende italiane in Africa. [Who are the economic migrants? The great ‘gravy train’ of Italian companies in Africa.]” In: Lavoro Culturale, July 11. (8 pages)
  • 2016  “Singing albinism in global Tanzania: ʻDemandingʼ inclusion through music.” In: Medizinethnologie Körper, Gesundheit und Heilung in einer globalisierten Welt. (18 pages)
  • 2015  “People with albinism and humanitarian NGOs: Identities between local and global worlds.” In: Medizinethnologie Körper, Gesundheit und Heilung in einer globalisierten Welt. (20 pages)
Other Publications
  • “Review essay: The politics of energetic pluriverse.” (Under revision)
  • (with Marcos Freire de Andrade Neves). "Radically Good: Reformulating Healing and Care Practices in Times of Crisis." (Under revision)
  • 2020  “Politiche della disabilità. Poliomielite, appartenenza di gruppo, e attivismo in Sierra Leone [Disability politics. Poliomyelitis, group belonging, and activism in Sierra Leone].” Book Review of Diana Szántó. Politicising Polio: Disability, Civil Society and Civic Agency in Sierra Leone. Singapore: Palgrave Macmillan, 2020, 313. In: AM Rivista della Società italiana di antropologia medica/ Journal of the Italian Society for Medical Anthropology, 50: 523 - 531.
  • 2017 Albinism in Africa: A Handbook. NGO report. Palermo: Tulime Onlus.
  • 2017  “Africa Orientale. Il nuovo mercato della droga: Partite stupefacenti [East Africa. The new drug market: Surprising batches].” In: Nigrizia, (April), 135 (4): 35-37.
  • 2017  “La deriva autoritaria del Bulldozer [The authoritarian drift of the Bulldozer].” In: Nigrizia, (March), 135 (3): 20-21.
  • 2016  “A tutto gas. Nuovi giacimenti nel Bacino di Ruvu, Tanzania [At full throttle. New gas fields in the Ruvu Basin, Tanzania].” In: Nigrizia, (June), 134 (6): 20-21.
  • 2016  “Note Generazionali. Il diversificato panorama musicale in Tanzania [Generational notes. The diversifying music scene in Tanzania].” Nigrizia, (July-August), 134 (7-8): 76-77.
  • 2015  “Messe nere vittime bianche. Albinismo tra discriminazione e inclusione [Black messes white victims. Albinism between discrimination and inclusion].” In: Nigrizia, (July-August), 133 (7-8): 14-15.
All Publications

Selected Conference Panels and Presentations

Panel Organizer

2017  “Practices of Belonging within Glocal Socio-Scapes of Disability” (with Susanne Kathrin Hoff and Christopher Hohl). Workshop organization within the conference: Belonging: Affective, moral and political practices in an interconnected world. Biannual Conference of the German Anthropological Association (GAA). Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany, October 4-7.

Sole Speaker

2016  “Guaritori magici in Sicilia e Iringa (Tanzania): magari, ciarmavermi e waganga wa kienyeji.” Etnografie del Contemporaneo, Museo delle Marionette - University of Palermo, Palermo, Italy, March 14.

Invited Panelist

2019  “Affective Trajectories of Social Justice and Inclusion: Albinism between Local Narratives and Normative Discursive Regimes.” Sentiments of Justice in Africa: Sensing the Normative at Shifting Scales. Berlin, Germany, September 27-28.

2018  ““Nyerere Said ‘If You Eat Human Flesh You Cannot Stop Doing It’”: Music Tunes and Embodiment of Albinism Between Life Trajectories and Media Communicability.” International Conference: Different Shades of White: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on the Albinotic Body. Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Mainz, Germany, September 06-08.

2016  “ʻEven though I am an albino, I can participate in the development of my communityʼ: Social classification and new political subjectivity of people with albinism in global Tanzania.” Political Subjectivity in Times of Transformation: Classification and Belonging in South Africa and Beyond. Point Sud Conference, Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Studies (StIAS), Stellenbosch, South Africa, September 30 – October 05.

2016  “Narrating New Identities: Albinism in the Wake of Humanitarian Reasons.” Studying Medical Globalization: Historical and Anthropological Investigations, Joint Workshop Freie Universität/Cermes3-Globhealth, Cermes3, Paris, France, February 22-23.


2017  “Glocal Understanding of Albinism as a Disability in Tanzania.” Transfigurationen: Medizin macht Gesellschaft macht Medizin. Universität Basel, Basel, Switzerland, February 17-18.

2016  Presentation accepted but participation declined - “Fighting against stigma and discrimination: Tulime Onlus and its projects on behalf of people with albinism in Tanzania (2012-2016).” Advancing the Rights of Persons with Albinism in Africa: A Call to Action. University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa, November 9-10.

2016  “Embodying differences: ideas and discourses on albinism in global Tanzania.” ASA16, Footprints and futures: the time of anthropology. Association of Social Anthropologists of the UK and Commonwealth Annual Conference, Durham University, Durham, UK, July 4-7.

2016  ““All of the people with albinism die young”: timing albinism in the wake of humanitarian reasons.” Presentation at the conference: MAYS (Medical Anthropology Young Scholars) 7th Annual Meeting, Institute of Social Sciences (ICS), University of Lisbon, Lisbon, Portugal, June 23-24.

2016  Accepted presentation but participation declined – “Embodying vulnerability: Albinism in the Wake of Humanitarian Reasons.” Futuros Disputados, VI Congresso da Associacao Portuguesa de Antropologia (APA), University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal, June 2-4.
2016  ““I am a disabled person”: The global-local flow of ideas and discourses on albinism in Tanzania.” AG Medical Anthropology, Planungsworkshop 2016, Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany, May 20-21.

2015  “Ambiguous Lives: Albinism, Uncertainty and Morality in Tanzania.” Annual Meeting of the Swiss Ethnological Society (SEG), Institute of Social Anthropology, University Bern, Bern, Switzerland, November 12-14.

2014  “ʻWe are as Normal as Other Individualsʼ: Life Experiences and Subjectivities of People with Albinism in Tanzania.” (AK) Arbeitskreis Medical Anthropology, Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany, December 12.

2014 “Zeruzeru and Diverse Shades of Difference. A Study of People with Albinism in Kilolo District, Tanzania.” Workshop der AG Medical Anthropology and Der Deutsche Gesellschaft für Völkerkunde (DVG), Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany, November 28-30.

2014  “Fictional Narrative and Auto-Ethnography. Intertwined Methodologies for Ethnographic Fieldwork on People with Albinism in Tanzania.” (S’) Explorer une Disposition Anthropologique, Université de Paris Ouest La Défense Nanterre, Paris, France, November 19-20.

2014  “Albinism in Tanzania from the Point of View of a Positioned Researcher.” 5th Annual MAYS (Medical Anthropology Young Scholars Meeting, Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin, Germany, July 4-5.