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National and Regional Dimension of Mediterranean Studies

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Organizer: Martino Lovato

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In recent decades, the Mediterranean has emerged as a critical alternative intermediary between national, global, or similarly regional frameworks such as Europe, North Africa or the Middle East. Despite the seminal debate on post-colonialism, literary studies have been less responsive than social sciences to the call of the Mediterranean for reading practices that are at once transnational, transregional, and culturally specific. Yet, the interdisciplinary challenges of reading across long-established epistemic models, intellectual genealogies, myths of origins, literary canons, and historical traditions, are not new to comparative studies. As the current age of migration reconfigures the semantic continuities between nation, language, and religion, and latent or overt forms of hostility continue to affect the lives of peoples and individuals in the region, classic literary problems of style, transmission and periodization coexist with ethical imperatives demanding new forms of intellectual commitment across traditional disciplinary boundaries. This seminar engages with literary texts from diverse Mediterranean literary traditions, periods and genres, while being theoretically aware of their potential to challenge canonical interpretations of critical artistic, political, religious, and linguistic issues relevant to their and/or other national traditions in the region. 

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