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The sea, its shores, and its people: doing and undoing anthropology in/of the Mediterranean [Mediterraneanist Network (MedNet)] 
Margaret Neil (University of Oxford)
Amanda Hilton (Syracuse University)
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Margaret Neil (University of Oxford)
Amanda Hilton (Syracuse University)
Wednesday 24 July, -, -
Time zone: Europe/Madrid
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Short Abstract:

This panel welcomes research that explores how classic themes of Mediterranean Anthropology are done and undone by people living around the Mediterranean region. How is 'The Mediterranean' as a category, and how are canonical themes of Mediterranean Anthropology, put to use by our interlocutors?

Long Abstract:

Anthropologists long debated the usefulness of ‘The Mediterranean’ as a scholarly category – famously, whether it was possible to prove the ‘unity’ of the Mediterranean region (Peristiany 1966; Herzfeld 1980). Canonical themes included kinship, patronage, hospitality, and gendered ideas of honour/shame, with ‘The Mediterranean’ itself used as an analytic category (see Ben-Yehoyada 2017). While some such conversations are treated as outdated, many of these concepts are used today by people living in different political, sociocultural, and religious contexts.

This panel welcomes proposals that discuss ‘classic’ themes of Mediterranean Anthropology but privilege the situated emic perspectives of people living around the region, especially its southern and eastern shores. We often privilege our own ethnographic categories to the detriment of allowing our interlocutors to inform categories (De Martino 1973). How is ‘The Mediterranean’, and how are canonical themes of ‘Mediterranean Anthropology’, used by our interlocutors?

How are people putting the concepts to work – with what political, sociocultural, environmental, and economic agendas and outcomes? How are idealistic political notions of ‘the Mediterranean’ ¬– as a cosmopolitan crossroads of civilisations, a more-or-less harmonious intersection of multiple perspectives, a cradle of hospitality – used in a time of crises (acute and produced) along its shores? What is ‘The Mediterranean’ as a category doing: does it function as an anti-hegemonic political tool for people on the ground/in the sea, particularly along southern and eastern shores? What assumptions, practices, and structures are being undone in the taking up and rearticulating of ‘The Mediterranean’ and its themes?

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Wednesday 24 July, 2024, -
Session 2 Wednesday 24 July, 2024, -