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Silvia De Ascaniis



Silvia is a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Faculty of Communication Sciences at Università della Svizzera italiana - USI, Lugano (Switzerland). She is the coordinator of the UNESCO Chair "in ICT to develop and promote sustainable tourism in World Heritage Sites" (http://www.unescochair.usi.ch).

Her scientific activities are mainly related to the following topics:

- the role and impact of ICT in cultural tourism, in religious tourism and pilgrimage

- the use of ICT to promote Heritage preservation

- Heritage communication through ICT

In 2015-2016, she led the initiative "Faces4Heritage", launched by the U.S. Government to challange violent Extremism and awarded among the best social media campaigns worldwide: www.faces4heritage.org.

Silvia is co-lecturer for two courses at the Bachelor level at USI, and conducts several other teaching activities on online communication related topics. She is instructor of two Massive Online Open Courses (MOOC):

- "eTourism: Communication Perspectives", the first MOOC in eTourism, launched by USI in October 2015 (https://iversity.org/en/courses/etourism)

- "Tourism Management at UNESCO World Heritage Sites" (https://www.fun-mooc.fr/courses/course-v1:Paris1+16008+session01/about), produced by the UNESCO UNITWIN Network “Culture, Tourism, and Development”, and jointly led by Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne University (Paris, France) amd the UNESCO Chair at USI.

She was Executive Director of the doctoral school Cross-Field (www.cross-field.ch, February 2013 - September 2015), and the coordinator of the doctoral school Argupolis (www.argupolis.net, February 2013 - April 2015), both of them founded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF).

She got a Phd in Communication Sciences with a thesis about pragmatic and argumentative features of Online Travel Reviews (freely accessible here).

During her PhD she worked as instructional designer at eLab (the laboratory for eLearning applications of USI), in the design and development of eLearning courses, and assisted the Director of study of the Faculty of Communication Sciences at USI. She was a visiting scholar at the Department of Speech Communication, Argumentation Theory and Rhetoric, Universität van Amsterdam, Netherland, where she studied extensively argumentation theory. Thanks to a fellowship of the SNSF, she spent one year as visiting scholar at the Institute for Innovation in Business and Social Research, University of Wollongong (Australia), under the guidance of prof. Ulrike Gretzel, where she worked towards the completion of her Ph.D.

She also collaborated with the School of Church Communicatiom, Pontificia Università della Santa Croce, Rome, in the analysis of communicative strategies used by Italian family associations


- online communication

- cultural and heritage tourism

- religious tourism and pilgrimage

- argumentation in the context of online tourism

- User Generated Contents

- speech genre studies

- users requirements elicitation