HomeTravelling Matters: rereading, reshaping, reusing objects across the Mediterranean

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Published on Thursday, March 03, 2022 by Sarah Zingraff

Summary

The workshop “Travelling matters: rereading, reshaping, reusing objects across the Mediterranean” intends to tackle objects as sources and subjects of the history of cross-cultural encounters in innovative ways. We intend to discuss a most diverse array of objects flowing in all directions and to concentrate on the “second-handedness” of displaced objects: how and why moving objects acquire new functions and new meanings, and with what consequences for the relations between the communities involved? These perspectives demand a broad chronology, extending from antiquity to the present-day, and for the intersection between different time frames, from the relatively narrow scale of individual objects being displaced across the Mediterranean to the much larger one of the histories of their reinterpretation and repurposing.

Announcement

Argument

In the last two decades, objects have become increasingly relevant to historical studies as the primary focus of research discussing cross-cultural relations. Objects are produced, used, modified, preserved and destroyed according to historically specific political and cultural settings, thus providing researchers with information and insights about their original background. However, they can also throw light on a large array of cross-cultural encounters when their mobility is put to the fore. Objects can move by being bought, gifted, bartered and sold, borrowed or stolen, collected and dispersed, just as they can be modified, repaired, reshaped, repurposed and destroyed in the process. The Mediterranean, as a barrier and as a meeting place for different polities and communities, and as the setting of conflicted experiences of cultural, political, economic and social transformation, easily lends itself to this kind of historical analysis.

The workshop “Travelling matters : rereading, reshaping, reusing objects across the Mediterranean” intends to tackle objects as sources and subjects of the history of cross-cultural encounters in innovative ways.

Primarily, we intend to discuss objects flowing in all directions, thus avoiding the kind of narrowing perspectives embedded in the study of one-way routes, such as that which goes from the North to the South or from the East to the West. Moreover, the category of objects as we understand it should be as large as possible, including items such as food, drugs, books, manuscripts, maps, antiques, human remains and relics (as objects to study, ancestors to bury or to worship), clothing, minerals, plants, fossils, tools and scientific instruments, objects of use and objects in precious materials. The materiality and mobility of such items should be underscored along with the practises and knowledges with which they are intertwined.

Secondly, we wish to concentrate on the “second-handedness” of displaced objects : in other words, how and why moving objects acquire new functions and new meanings as they are displaced and with what consequences for the relations between the communities involved ? How and why displaced objects can be lost or forgotten just so that they can later re-emerge and be repurposed ? What kind of relationship can be established between such repurposing on the one side, and political or cultural change on the other ? In which ways do these processes affect and are affected by the historical shaping of individual and collective identities ? What kind of emotional investments in the objects (thoughts, feelings, and behaviours) accompany their possession, their peregrinations, their reclaims ? Were the objects used for nation-building, trying to create a national identity, or on the contrary for affirming local and regional identities in tension with the national and centralising one ?

Both these perspectives demand a broad chronology, extending from antiquity to the present-day, and for the intersection between different time frames, from the relatively narrow scale of individual objects being displaced across the Mediterranean to the much larger one of the histories of their reinterpretation and repurposing.

How to apply

We welcome proposals for 20-minute papers.

Proposals consisting of a 250-word abstract, and a short CV in English should be sent as a pdf attachment via email by 10/04/2022 to travellingmattershaifa@gmail.com.

Acceptance will be notified by 2nd May 2022.

The organisers intend to publish a peer-reviewed selection of papers from the conference ; accepted speakers will be requested to provide a 2,000-word draft by 15th July 2022.

Please find further information in the attached file.

Important Dates

  • Proposal submission deadline : 10th April 2022
  • Notification of acceptance : 2nd May 2022
  • Draft papers submission deadline : 15th July 2022
  • Conference : 8th September 2022

Organising Committee

  • Beatrice Falcucci (University of L’Aquila)
  • Emanuele Giusti (University of Florence)
  • Davide Trentacoste (University of Teramo / Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3)

International Workshop organised within the framework of the Cost Action 18140 PIMo – People in Motion : Entangled Histories of Displacement Across the Mediterranean (1492-1923) and in Partnership with the Haifa Center for Mediterranean History (HCMH)

Scientific Committee

  • Cedric Cohen-Skalli (University of Haifa)
  • Rosita D’Amora (University of Salento)
  • José Maria Pérez Fernández (University of Granada)
  • Zur Shalev (University of Haifa)
  • Giovanni Tarantino (University of Florence)

Important Information

The workshop will take place as a hybrid event (“live” in person and “virtual” online on Zoom). The Zoom link will be released together with the programme.

The working language of the workshop will be English.

No participation fee will be charged for this conference. The hosts will provide coffee and refreshments for the conference participants during breaks.

The hosts may grant conference attendance scholarships to ECR (Early Career Researchers) accepted speakers on application.

All information about the application procedure will be provided to the eligible accepted speakers upon notification of acceptance.

Places

  • Haifa, Israel

Event format

Hybrid event (on site and online)


Date(s)

  • Sunday, April 10, 2022

Keywords

  • object, Mediterranean, travel, identity, cross-cultural relation, connected history

Contact(s)

  • Emanuele Giusti
    courriel : travellingmattershaifa [at] gmail [dot] com

Reference Urls

Information source

  • Emanuele Giusti
    courriel : travellingmattershaifa [at] gmail [dot] com

To cite this announcement

« Travelling Matters: rereading, reshaping, reusing objects across the Mediterranean », Call for papers, Calenda, Published on Thursday, March 03, 2022, https://calenda.org/974576

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