Mediterranean Worlds: Cultures of Interpretation


An international conference hosted by the departments of Archaeology and Art History, English Literature and Humanities, and History at the Eastern Mediterranean University, Northern Cyprus 

Famagusta, May 27 - 29, 2009 

There are and have been many Mediterraneans! The Mediterranean is variously seen as a specific geo-strategic space, generator of intellectual and social theories, an economic hub, place of “origin”, tourist destination and unstable backwater. However the region is characterized, it is a complex assemblage of identities, histories, beliefs, territories and languages. It is a space coveted by empires, revolutionaries, traders, politicians, intellectuals, indigenous peoples and tourists alike. The Mediterranean may be seen as a space of desire, confirmed by the name itself; “Middle-earth” places the inhabitants of the Mediterranean at the centre of the world, or, omphalos, less as monumental egotism than self-conscious act of interpretation. 

Eastern Mediterranean University invites participation in an interdisciplinary conference on the narratives of this remarkable region. What is of express interest to this conference is the way in which civilisational shifts, fusions, faultlines and oscillations of the Mediterranean world have given rise to extraordinary interpretations, life-world strategies and symbolic constructions. Such activity is manifested in the remarkable literature and art, philosophies, religions, archaeological readings, political theories and economic practices of the region. We seek thought-provoking papers exploring the symbolic/ideational dynamics of changing perceptions in and of the Mediterranean world.  

Please send a 250-word abstract, clear contact details, academic affiliation and title of paper. Please indicate which panel you would like to participate in. Proposals for panels gladly accepted. Deadline for submission of abstracts: November 15, 2008

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Suggested Panels:

Mapping the Mediterranean—soft centres and shifting borders

Occupation, Imperialism and Territorialisation—pilgrims, guns, genes

Discourses of power—institutions, money, words,

Trafficking—humans, drugs, antiquities

Postmodernist and modernist discourses in and on the Mediterranean

Maritime cultures—crossings, coastlines, transitional spaces

Memory and dream—writing, reading, imaging, tuning the Mediterranean

The contestation of identities—gender, sexual, ethnic, regional

Historical disjunctions and archaeological readings

Practices and discourses of space— landscape, city, sprawl

Clubbing in the Med—consumption of excess

Contact zones—the Afro-Europa-Asia dynamic

Technology—cyberspace, the public sphere, technologies of the soul