Portret van Francesco Cerchiaro
Portret van Francesco Cerchiaro

Quick questions: Francesco Cerchiaro

Francesco Cerchiaro started as an assistant professor at the Radboud Social Cultural Research Institute (RSCR) within the Gender and Diversity Studies department in January 2023. Through some Quick-fire questions, we get to know him better!

Who are you, what position do you hold within the faculty, and since when? 

I am a cultural sociologist with a broad interest in the intersection of family, migration and religion. I am Italian, originally from a small town in Nord-Eastern Italy, in the Padua province. I got my PhD in Social Sciences in 2013 at the University of Padua (Italy) but since 2012, my work has brought me to the Netherlands (Erasmus University), Belgium (KU Leuven), France (Sorbonne), and then back to the Netherlands, here in Nijmegen where I started as an assistant professor at the Radboud Social Cultural Research Institute (RSCR) within the Department of Gender and Diversity Studies.

What position/work did you hold before this? 

From 2018 until 2022, I worked at KU Leuven (University of Leuven) in Belgium, where I am still living with my family, my partner Diana and my five-year-old daughter Anastasia. I arrived in Leuven in January 2018 after being granted a Marie Curie European fellowship, which represented a bit of a watershed in my life. After the Marie Curie, I applied and obtained another three-year grant from the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO).

What are you most looking forward to in your position? 

After more than ten years of research around Europe, I felt the need for stability, and thus, I started to look for a permanent position to settle down. Nijmegen popped up at the right moment in my life trajectory. Professionally, then, I am trying to integrate into the Radboud Social Cultural Research both in terms of teaching and research. My core interest is oriented towards the ways in which people attach meanings to their lives and how this meaning-making process works in late modernity. I would like to develop this aspect by inquiring about the role of emotions in society and the cultural consequences of the increasing migration and linked religious pluralism. The Radboud Social Cultural Research Institute has an interdisciplinary soul representing the ideal venue to develop my vision. 

Where can we find you? 

I am sharing the office with my colleague Prof. Els Rommes, office 2.036. You can find me there 2-3 days every week, but it is better to contact me at francesco.cerchiaro [at] ru.nl (francesco[dot]cerchiaro[at]ru[dot]nl) to plan an appointment.

Which film or book have you enjoyed the most? 

I am a passionate reader and cinema lover so the list would be too long, and my answers would vary depending on my mood while you are asking me this. You know those movies or books that speak for you and even seem to resemble you? For this kind of movie, I would say Bianca by Nanni Moretti and Blue Jay by Alexandre Lehmann, with the intense interpretation of Mark Duplass and Sarah Paulson. As for the books, I would choose two of my favourite existential books that resonate with me in different moments of my life: Il Deserto dei Tartari by Dino Buzzati, a book that shaped me when I was seventeen, and a recent book that I found more than twenty years later, Gentlemen Overboard, by Herbert Clyde Lewis, a short forgotten novel recently “rescued” and republished after its first publication in 1937. Both books are about waiting and the deep sense of existence.

What is at the top of your bucket list? 

To buy a grand piano, to travel to Mongolia, and to buy a log cabin in the middle of a vast forest where one can disappear for a while.

With which hobby can you completely forget time? 

The only thing that brings me to another dimension, literally out of time, is music, the one that I play and the one that I listen to. Music is my “shelter from the storm”. 

Contact information

Organizational unit
Faculty of Social Sciences