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Doing and undoing liminality: crisis, marginality, and power in Mediterranean anthropology 
Nina ter Laan (University of Cologne)
Martin Zillinger (University of Cologne)
Khalid Mouna (Moulay Ismail University)
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Parvis Ghassem-Fachandi (Rutgers University)
Friday 26 July, -, -
Time zone: Europe/Madrid
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Short Abstract:

This panel explores marginality and power in the Mediterranean to understand the series of crises the region is facing today. We seek to develop "doing and undoing liminality" as a lens that invites us to "stay with the trouble" and focus on people, practices, and objects that constitute the margin.

Long Abstract:

As a meeting point and deadly border zone between continents, the Mediterranean increasingly faces a series of pressing crises. Forced migration, violent border regimes, ecological decline, and militarized conflicts, as well as polarized debates on religion, ethnicity, and race, disenfranchise and mobilize various social formations along its shores. This panel invites papers that explore dynamics of marginality and power across different settings across the Mediterranean through a re-evaluation of anthropological theories of liminality. The fragmented topographies of Mediterranean micro-regions (Horden and Purcell 2000) are influenced by both centralized and increasingly diffuse networks of power (Mann 1984). These networks control, connect and divide socialities and ecologies. We propose that these power networks thrive on sources of liminality crucial to maintain, undo, and redo (b)orders. Hegemonic powers inhabit and control situated circumstances of decline, social marginality, and exclusion to sustain themselves (Schüttpelz 2016). But these settings and experiences also produce liminal formations that shape political, social, and religious movements, and are used to reclaim agency and build resistance. We consider liminality as an operational concept, that is, as an analytical lens through which to understand the socio-cultural dynamics that traverse different settings around the Mediterranean, and as an empirical framework. In doing so, we seek to elaborate `doing and undoing liminality’ as a research lens that invites us to “stay with the trouble” (Haraway 2016) and to focus on the people, practices, and objects that constitute and operationalize the margin; through transgressions, inversions, intrusions, interferences, or ambiguities (Devisch 2002)

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Friday 26 July, 2024, -
Session 2 Friday 26 July, 2024, -