Universitat Rovira i Virgili

Emeritus professors in the Department


PhD by the University of Barcelona (1978). Postdoctoral stays at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Socials and Laboratoire d'Antropologie Social (Paris,1984) and at Goldsmiths College (London,1991). Between 1986 and 1990 he participated in the International Group on Social Transition, led by Dr. Maurice Godelier. Initial research focused on changes in the peasant family from the perspective of kinship, economic anthropology and political ecology, with fieldwork in different areas of the Pyrenees. She has applied the gender perspective and has carried out research on women, jobs and care. Between 1995 and 2006 she has been councillor of the Tarragona city council, deputy of the Parliament of Catalonia and councillor of the Audiovisual Council of Catalonia. She currently presides the Horitzons Nous Foundation. From this double academic and political perspective, she has worked on the right to care and to be cared for, violence against women, public policies and the media, applying the gender perspective and the analysis of social inequalities. She currently conducts research on older people, dependency situations and care needs, and coordinates a research from the National Plan on men's involvement in long-term care; and another one about Covid-19 impact in caregivers, with the participation of 10 Spanish Universities. 

Research lines: Work, gender and social inequality; social policies; media and representation systems; ageing, dependency and care.

Teaching: Master on Urban Anthropology, Migrations and Social Intervention; Doctoral Programme on Anthropology & Communication; Doctoral Programme on Gender Studies: cultures, societies, policies.




Distinguished Professor at the URV since 2015. PhD from the UB (1977) with a thesis on ethnolinguistics entitled Etnolingüística del Alto Aragón: etnociencia y taxonomías folk. Between 1979 and 1999 he spent several post-doctoral fellowships in the United States, Portugal, France, Mexico and Ecuador. Over the last forty years he has carried out different research projects related to (1) identity and social and economic transformations in the Pyrenees, (2) the ethnographic study of working-class neighbourhoods subjected to processes of major social transformation in the cities of Tarragona, Barcelona and Lisbon, and (3) the study of migratory processes, from a critical attitude towards culturalism and the traditional view of social anthropology, which is very much oriented towards ethnicity.

Research lines: Processes of metropolisation; mobility, living spaces and forms of organisation in large metropolitan regions; the Spanish Republican exile and the work of the anthropologist Ángel Palerm.

Teaching: Master on Urban Anthropology, Migrations and Social Intervention; Doctoral Programme on Anthropology & Communication




Josep Maria Comelles (Barcelona, ​​1949) is distinguished and emeritus professor since 2015. He holds a PhD in Anthropology (EHESS, Paris), a PhD in Medicine (UB), a degree in Psychology (UB). He has taught in Tarragona since 1977, initially with the University of Barcelona and then at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili (URV). His name is associated with the creation of the "School of Tarragona", a well-known anthropological knowledge production area located on the borders of the initial theoretical core of Spanish anthropology that chose a bottom-up construction and development for the academic discipline, often challenging conventional academic and intellectual boundaries. At the URV he founded the Master's in Medical Anthropology and International Health (2006-2014) and the PhD Programme in Medical Anthropology (1994-2000). He was also the first director of the Medical Anthropology Research Centre (2013). He has taught at the Universities of Paris X (Nanterre), Lumière Lyon2, Amsterdam, Perugia, Buenos Aires, and CIESAS (Mexico City). His fields of expertise are Medical Anthropology and the History of Science (Anthropology, Medicine and Psychiatry), with a special place reserved for the Romería del Rocío in Andalusia.

He has published over a dozen books, some of the most recent of which are: Antropología, género, salud y atención (Bellaterra: 2010, in Spanish); Enfermería y antropología: Padeceres, cuidadores y cuidados (Icaria: 2009, in Spanish) and De les iguales a la cartilla. El regiment de la cosa pública, la medicalització i el pluralisme assistencial a la Vall d'Aro (Generalitat de Catalunya: 2015, in Catalan). Lately with Josep Barceló have published L'evolució Del Dispositiu Hospitalari a Catalunya 1849-1980 (Publicacions de l'Arxiu Històric de les Ciències de la Salut, 2020)

Lines of research: Medical anthropology; public health policies.

Teaching: Master's in Medical Anthropology and Global Health




Joan Prat i Carós holds a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Barcelona (1976). He has been a professor of Social Anthropology at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili since 1990, where he has taught for over thirty years. He is a founding member of the Catalan Institute of Anthropology (ITA). In 2003 he was awarded the Narcís Monturiol prize for scientific and technological merit. He is the author of over twenty books, including: Les festes populars (Folkloric festivals), with Jesus Contreras, 1979, in Catalan; La mitologia i la seva interpretació (Mythology and its interpretation), 1984, in Catalan; El estigma del extraño. Un ensayo antropológico sobre sectas religiosas (The stigma of the stranger. An anthropological essay on religious sects), 1997, in Spanish; and Los sentidos de la vida. La construcción del sujeto, modelos del yo e identidad (The senses of life. Construction of the subject, models of self and identity), 2007, in Spanish.

His research activity has focused on ethnographic work and the biographical method, with outstanding qualitative results and professional recognition nationally. He is currently chief editor of Ethnology Topics of Catalonia, published in Catalan by the autonomous government of Catalonia. He has been an Emeritus Professor at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili since 2009.

Lines of research: Contemporary mythical imaginary; the anthropology of religions; biographical memory; oriental philosophies and new age spiritualties; holistic and alternative therapies; hermetic, esoteric and occult knowledge.

joan.prat@ urv.cat     



Oriol Romaní Alfonso holds a PhD in History (Cultural Anthropology) from the University of Barcelona (1982). He was director of the Department of Anthropology, Philosophy and Social Work from 2001 to 2004. At the URV he also coordinated the Master's in Medical Anthropology and International Health (2006-2010) and the Master's in Medical Anthropology and Global Health (2012-2016). He has been a member of the steering committee for the Master's in Youth and Society since its inception (2008/09). From 2002 to 2012 he coordinated the NGO Grup IGIA, which works on reflection and interdisciplinary participation around drug addiction. In the Spanish research arena he was a pioneer for the use of biographical methods and the study of youth groups and drug use. As well as applied research and studies on health and drugs, he has conducted outstanding works on youth culture and social exclusion. He is an adviser to public and private institutions on issues related to drug use and marginalization and is a consultant to the European Union for various programmes aimed at Latin America, such as "Training Professionals Cono Sur" (1994-96) and "Cities and Drugs URB-AL" (1997-2000).

Some recents publications are:  Jóvenes y riesgos ¿Unas relaciones ineludibles? Barcelona, Ediciones Bellaterra (Coord., 2010);  Etnografía, metodologías cualitativas e investigación en salud: un debate abierto, Publicacions URV, Col.lecció Antropologia Mèdica nº 12 (Coord., 2013); Jóvenes, desigualdades y salud. Vulnerabilidad y políticas públicas, Publicacions URV, Col.lecció Antropologia Mèdica nº 13  (Coord. with Lina Casadó, 2014); A tumba abierta. Autobiografía de un grifota. Madrid, Libros de Itaca (4ª reedición, 2015); "Medicine, religion and ayahuasca in Catalonia. Considering ayahuasca networks from a medical anthropology perspective" International Journal of Drug Policy, 39 (2017): 28-36 (with Ismael Apud).

Lines of research: Medical anthropology; urban anthropology; anthropology of youth; youth cultures; drug use, and processes of social marginalization.