The Mediterranean remains an unexplored region in postcolonial studies for
two reasons: 1) the geopolitical emphasis on Africa, India and Southeast
Asia in postcolonial studies; 2) the emphasis, in Mediterranean Studies, on
the Mediterranean as a space of co-existence and connectivity. The
Mediterranean however, is also a region heavily colonized both by European
empires and by Mediterranean regimes like the Ottoman, the Byzantine, the
Venetian, and others; something that historian David Abulafia calls “the
cataclysm of conquest” (2003).
This seminar explores questions of postcolonial subjectivity and identity
in the Mediterranean in the 19th and 20th century. It explores the ways in
which the subject incorporates imperial and colonial pasts and the ways in
which it (re)claims its individuality in forms of artistic expression such
as literature, film, performance, installation art.
- What conditions shape Mediterranean postcolonial subjectivity?
- Could the study of postcolonial Mediterranean subjectivity
refine the existing methodology in postcolonial studies?
- What new literary and artistic examples the Mediterranean puts
on the postcolonial literary map?
- In which new ways we can think about the relationship between "self" and "other;" colonizer and colonized.
- What is the role of history in postcolonial mediterranean subjectivity?
the self and its relationship to history; autobiography; biography; the
body; layers of the historical past; ruins; archaeology; the palimpsest;
(imaginary) mapping; geography; women and homosexuals as alternative voices within the nation; stories, storytelling and their embodiment; fascism;
resistance through art; hellenism vs hebraism as the two major intellectual trends of the mediterranean; the coexistence of Islam, Christianity and Judaism; the Balkans; the Andriatic; the Black Sea; the Iberian Peninsula;
transition from Empire to democracy; corruption; identity and representation in and across the sea; self and other; political/economic relations between the North and the South.
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