Valerio Simoni graduated in Social Anthropology at the University of Neuchâtel (2004) and holds a PhD from Leeds Metropolitan University (2009). He has been a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre for Research in Anthropology (Postdoc FCT, Portugal 2010-2014), and a Research Fellow at the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at the Graduate Institute (Ambizione SNSF, 2014-2017). His investigations, grounded in ethnographic research in Cuba and Spain, have focused on the economic, social and cultural flows generated by international tourism and migration, with theoretical interests spanning three main areas of concern: the economy and its margins, the transformations of intimacy, and the politics of mobility. Dr Simoni has published extensively in peer-reviewed books and journals and his first monograph came out with Berghahn Books in 2016. Teaching in Portugal and Switzerland, he has delivered classes and supervised students notably in the areas of tourism and travel, gender, sexuality and morality, and the politics of culture, identity and heritage. Since 2014, he has been a co-convenor of the Anthropology and Mobility Network (ANTHROMOB) for the European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA).
In February 2018, Dr Simoni took on a new appointment as Senior Research Fellow at the Graduate Institute (ANSO and GMC), and Principal Investigator for the project "Returning to a Better Place: The (Re)assessment of the 'Good Life' in Times of Crisis" (BETLIV), sponsored by the European Research Council Starting Grants Programme (ERC STG – 759649 – BETLIV). The project focuses on how ideals of the 'good life' are articulated, (re)assessed, and related to specific places and contexts as a result of experiences of crisis and migration. A multi-sited endeavour, with three interrelated subprojects carried out in Spain (PhD Candidate), Ecuador (Postdoctoral Researcher), and Cuba (Principal Investigator), the research explores the imaginaries and experiences of the return of Ecuadorian and Cuban men and women disappointed with their migration to Spain. The project contributes to three main scholarly areas of enquiry: 1) the study of morality, ethics and what counts as a 'good life', 2) the study of the field of economic practice, its definition, value regimes, and 'crises', and 3) the study of migratory aspirations, projects, and trajectories.