“Mediterranean Topographies: Comparative and Interdisciplinary Approaches in Mediterranean Studies”
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
8-9 April 2011
The deepest and broadest histories of interaction are those that have taken place across oceans, and one of the most important and well recorded of these has been the Mediterranean. In the modern period, the study of this region has tended to be fragmented, based on the national, ethnic, religious, linguistic, or continental affiliations which have divided these peoples over time. In recent years, however, scholarly attention has turned to examining how the connections, exchanges, and contacts made possible by the sea — through trade, travel, conquest, and the like — might in fact constitute a collective and diverse Mediterranean identity. Centered on a body of water which facilitates exchange and, in this way, unites, this conception of the Mediterranean represents an alternative model to the divided, and divisive, ones named above — a model that is transnational and cross-cultural.
This symposium stresses an interdisciplinary and comparative approach to the study of the Mediterranean as a region of interconnected histories and identities. We seek to bring together work in the humanities, arts, and social sciences, to reflect on the contacts and relations which have transcended geographic, linguistic, religious, ethnic, and national divisions, and created a Mediterranean “culture” with relevance for today’s — and tomorrow’s — world.
We invite abstracts ranging from 200-250 words that relate to or expand on the topics suggested below. We encourage submissions in all related disciplines such as Literature, Art History, History, Anthropology, Sociology, Architecture and Urbanism, Theatre, Gender and Women’s Studies, Queer Studies, African Studies, and Religious Studies. Along with your abstract please suggest the category or categories to which you feel your submission is best suited. Please provide your institutional affiliation and mailing address, telephone and fax numbers, and e-mail address. The abstract/proposal must indicate if a/v equipment is needed.
The symposium includes a roundtable discussion with the faculty: Andrew Shryok, Anthropology; Artemis Leontis, Modern Greek Studies; Dario Gaggio, European History; Frieda Ekotto, Comparative Literature; Kader Konuk, Comparative Literature; Karla Malette, Romance Languages and Literatures; Megan Holmes, Art History; Nadine Naber American Culture, Women Studies.
Topics include, but are not limited to:
- Comparative artistic and literary approaches to, and representations of, the Mediterranean
- Interdisciplinary theoretical frameworks: historical, anthropological, and literary studies
- Comparative thalassologies (islands, sea and oceanic studies)
- Comparative definitions of the Mediterranean
- Movement of labor, products, people, ideas
- Identity and representation in and across the sea
- Political/economic relations between the North and the South and the East and the West
Each panel will have a faculty respondent. Participants selected from outside the University of Michigan will receive a partial contribution to their travel costs.
The presentation should be in English, fifteen minutes in length (i.e., seven to eight pages double-spaced) and may address a topic from any period(s) or discipline(s). Please submit your abstract by e-mail attachment no later than Friday January 21, 2011 to the Meditopos symposium co-chairs, Amr Kamal and Maria Hadjipolycarpou at email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org