Italy, the Mediterranean, and the South: An Interdisciplinary Workshop

15 June 2023, 8.30am-18.10pm
Department of International Development, 3 Mansfield Road, Oxford OX1 3TB

The all-day workshop (a Balliol Interdisciplinary Institute project) will take place in person only, and will feature international scholars from across the humanities and social sciences. Our aim is to stimulate interdisciplinary discussion between scholars working on shared interests from a variety of perspectives.

See the full programme here, including timings and paper abstracts.

Scholars from all disciplines are welcome to attend all or part of the workshop. Please register your intention to attend by email to italymediterraneansouth@​gmail.​com, so that we can pre-circulate papers in advance.

  • 8.30am Registration
  • 9.00am Keynote by Naor Ben-Yehoyada (Columbia University): ‘Italy and the Bohemian Sea’
  • 9.50 to 11.20am Panel A: Borders (Jasmine Iozzelli, Chloe Howe Haralambous, Giorgia Mirto, Sara Traylor)
  • 11.35am to 1.05pm Panel B: Storytelling (Maggie Neil, Sean Wyer, Alice Parinello, Alessandro Corso)
  • 2.00 to 3.30pm Panel C: Food and Ecology (Davide Puca, Amanda Hilton, Claudia Lombardo, Alessandro Guglielmo)
  • 3.45 to 5.15pm Panel D: Beyond the State (Mary Jane Dempsey, Lene Faust, Giulia Liberatore and Eugenio Giorgianni, and Federica Soddu)
  • 5.20 to 6.10pm Concluding remarks and discussion

See the programme for full details, including speaker bios and abstracts.

Respondents: Emma Bond (University of Oxford) and Naor Ben-Yehoyada.

Organisers: Maggie Neil and Sean Wyer (italymediterraneansouth@​gmail.​com).

Workshop abstract

As a major site of arrival for contemporary Mediterranean migration, ‘Southern Europe, and Italy in particular, stands at the forefront of […] global transformations’ (Hawthorne 2022). Italy is therefore a productive place to interrogate the meanings behind ‘the Mediterranean’ – which is both a physical place and a local, discursive category – as well as the resurgence of interest in ‘Mediterraneanism’ (Herzfeld 2004). What might we be able to learn from ‘examin[ing] the Mediterranean and Mediterraneanism together’ (Ben-Yehoyada and Silverstein 2022), and from doing so in Italy?

If we are to circumnavigate age-old, circular questions about the Mediterranean, then we must ask new questions. But what questions are ‘good to ask’ about the Mediterranean in Italy, and how can analyses of Mediterraneanism help us to examine the ‘global transformations’ (Hawthorne 2022) that demand our attention?