'Mediterranean Studies: Identities and Tensions' will bring together scholars working on diverse aspects of social and cultural history in order to examine the assumptions that inform the emerging academic discipline of Mediterranean Studies, and to work toward a disciplinary model that can generate solid, vital, and relevant research and pedagogy. We invite proposals for papers on the theory and practice of Mediterranean Studies from scholars whose primary discipline is literary, cultural, economic, social, or political history.
The Mediterranean is a geographic, cultural, and historical construct: a
circuit of states linked by fragments of shared social and cultural history, and fractured by cultural and political differences. In recent years, a new academic field has emerged under the designation 'Mediterranean Studies', marked by the appearance of books, conferences, and university programs. The 'Mediterranean Studies' rubric allows scholars to identify their field of research and pedagogical interests not in terms of contemporary political or disciplinary boundaries, but rather to cross those boundaries in order to produce more dynamic readings of cultural history. By focusing on a region where borderlands intersect - a littoral zone traversed by shifting geographic and political boundaries - scholars aim to enliven their work on eras and areas where imposed political or academic taxonomies collapse: for instance, the complex pattern of cultural investments evidenced in medieval al-Andalus or Sicily, or the hybrid cultures emerging as a result of new immigration patterns, new models of cultural production and consumption, and shifts in political power in southern Europe and the eastern Mediterranean states. Given Lebanonís historical role as a point of contact between populations, we are particularly interested in papers focusing on Muslim-Christian encounters in the region; but we will consider all approaches to the topic.
Structure of the conference
During morning panels, scholars will present formal papers on their own
research. Afternoon workshop sessions will allow conference participants to discuss their research, and developments and emerging trends in the field. The conference organizers hope to publish the conference proceedings in an edited volume.
Underwriting of the costs of traveling to Beirut and accommodations in Beirut will be available for some (or possibly all) conference participants.
Send one-page paper abstracts, accompanied by a brief CV, to Karla Mallette, firstname.lastname@example.org
Brian Catlos, Department of History, University of California, Santa Cruz
Mia Fuller, Department of Italian Studies, University of California, Berkeley
Karla Mallette, Civilization Sequence Program, American University of Beirut
Civilization Sequence Program
American University of Beirut Email: email@example.com
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