The displacement, unsettling, and uprooting provoked by recent events highlight connections and separations across the Mediterranean. Through rigorous crossings of intellectual traditions, this panel explores how temporal and spatial relations comprise and dissolve regional boundaries.
Over the last century, scholarly understandings of the Mediterranean have gone through multiple transformations. Braudel saw the Sea as overlapping temporal durations (1949). Following this, anthropologists of the mid-twentieth century conceived of shared norms and practices that united peoples 'of' the Mediterranean (Pitt-Rivers 1954; Davis 1973). Their conceptions were ruptured by critique that dissolved regional unity (Herzfeld 1984). More recently, historians and anthropologists have explored how micro-regions and small-scale ecosystems conjoin to shape a Mediterranean of both 'connectivity' and 'separation' (Purcell and Horden 2000; Albera 2006; Ben-Yehoyada 2017). In conjunction with contemporary events, these debates have recently generated a new wave of interest in Mediterranean region-formation. Popular uprisings unsettle regimes, economic crises uproot families, right-wing nationalist movements call for expulsion of those rendered different, and violent wars force people to abandon homes. The processes of people, ideas and goods moving, settling, and staying provoked by these events question connections and separations between Southern Europe, North Africa, and Western Asia. What historical, legal, political and social threads weave together this Mediterranean constellation? What are the particular epistemologies, logics, materials, infrastructures, and discursive systems calibrating value and meaning across this maritime space-time? How are experiences of 'being somewhere in particular' generated by and within these 'locating regimes', which simultaneously comprise and dissolve the Mediterranean (Green 2015)? This panel intends to put into conversation intellectual traditions that have all too often been developed in isolation. We thus invite papers that explore these questions through historiography, ethnography, and rigorous crossings of these disciplinary boundaries.