Carlo Severi (born December 9, 1952) is an Italian anthropologist who works chiefly in France. He is noted for studies of image, and social memory.
He studied philosophy at Università Statale, Milano, Italy and got his master's degree there in the year of 1976. Since then he has become very interested in anthropology (his master thesis is entitled "Analyse du Mu Ikala: structure de la thérapie et idéologie du sujet dans un exemple de thérapie primitive (Cuna de Panama)"). During his PhD. study of anthropology at Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS), he was the student of Claude Lévi-Strauss who was also one of the juries of his doctoral thesis ("Le traitement chamanique de la folie chez les Indiens Cuna de Panama") of the third cycle in social anthropology.
He is currently Director of Research, Chair in "Anthropology of the memory" at Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) in Paris and Director of Research at Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) of France. He is also a member of the Laboratoire d'anthropologie sociale of Collège de France (LAS, founded in 1960 by Claude Lévi-Strauss) since 1985, and a member of the Department of Research in Museum quai Branly in Paris.
He has published many articles and books (Cf. ). His recent book Le Principe de la chimère: Une anthropologie de la mémoire, is published by Presses de l'Ecole Normale Supérieure - Musée Branly in 2007. In 2003, he directed and was Editor-in-Chief of a special number of the famous magazine L'Homme (The Man), entitled "Image and anthropology".
He was often invited as a visiting scholar or invited professor by overseas institutes and universities, such as King's College, Cambridge University (1990), Getty Research Center for the History of Art and the Humanities, Santa Monica, California (1994–1995), University of Heidelberg, Germany (2000), Johns Hopkins University Baltimore (2006), National Museum, University of Rio de Janeiro, Brésil (1991, 1995) etc.