Alessandro Corso

ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow

My work examines states of absence/presence, life at the borderlands and ordinary ethics, with a focus on the island of Lampedusa and the sea crossing of refugees from North Africa to Europe.

My doctoral thesis, 'Lives at the Border: Abandonment and Survival at the Frontier of Lampedusa', offers an ethnographic description of the contemporary struggles that undocumented migrants, migration workers, and locals experience within the contemporary and ongoing phenomenon of forced migration through the Mediterranean Sea. The thesis, which I aim to turn into a published monograph during my ESRC Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Oxford Department of International Development, ultimately explores how people on the island of Lampedusa respond when faced with difficult borderland situations including via contradictory gestures of individualism and mutuality, indifference and love.

I have also written short pieces for artists and theatre performers about fear and indifference based on fieldnotes, and developed collaborative projects exploring the role that art and anthropology play in impactfully disseminating knowledge on irregular migration.

My work features in an online exhibition called 'Illustrating Anthropology' hosted by the Royal Institute of Anthropology, available at:

Remains: Exploring New Frontiers of Fear, Indifference and Love in the Mediterranean

Dr Corso is a supervisor and guest lecturer in the MSc in Migration Studies

Research Students supervised

27 July, 2021
Alessandro Corso draws on research on irregular migration to develop resource for schools
Research interests:

borderlands, irregular migration, states of exception, phenomenology, state absence, ethics, existential anthropology, Sicily, Mediterranean Sea.