Your Professor in Florence


Zachary T. Androus, PhD 

Hello! I’m Zachary, an anthropologist from the US. I’ve lived in Florence since 2006, conducting research and teaching for various study abroad programs. After a lot of experience with different programs, as a professor and as an Academic Dean, as well as my own experience conducting long-term, in-depth research in Florence, I decided to start a special program for teaching ethnographic research methods.

Unlike most other professors who lead summer field schools, I live permanently in the field site, rather than just coming over once a year. My depth of experience and intimate familiarity with the host society means that I can give you a richer, more fulfilling encounter with the actual realities of how urban ethnographic research is done.

Because I was also trained as a goldsmith, a large part of my participant-observation in Florence has involved my working as a jeweler. Consequently, a major focus of my research has been Florence’s traditional artisans. Additionally, I am concerned with the intensification of tourism and its consequences for the city, and the persistent questions of identity that continue to dominate Italian society. Beyond Florence, my research addresses the intersection of nationalism and endangered language revitalization, sovereignty and independence movements, and political dimensions of sport locally and globally. Every now and then I post something about what I’m doing at my mostly neglected blog.

My School of Record relationship with the University of Montana is based on my long collaboration with Prof. Neyooxet Greymorning, who serves as my faculty sponsor in the Anthropology Department, which is responsible for exercising academic oversight of the Field School. Prof. Greymorning and I have worked together on research in Italy and Corsica, and we have presented our research together at international conferences hosted by universities in Kalaallit Nunaat (Greenland) and the Netherlands. You can find some of our past work published in the Island Studies Journal; currently we are working together on the organization of Raising Indigenous Voices in Academia: A Conference on the Scholarship of Indigenous Knowledge, which will be held in September 2021.