News

MedRoute Workshops

Entangled Worlds Workshop

The aim of this workshop was to shed light on daily practices in multicultural societies, in the early modern Mediterranean and Atlantic worlds. Entangled Worlds was held at College Park on 8th and 9th April 2019, as part of the events hosted at The Nathan & Jeanette Miller Center for Historical Studies, at UMD.

Focusing on foodways, multilingual practices, and sexuality the two-days encounter was intended to generate a discussion on how identities are created and re-affirmed in areas with an elevated level of cultural intermingling. It is precisely in these plural spaces:

where one is most likely to encounter a stranger or foreigner […] often originated from afar and […] distinguished by language, physical appearance, dress, beliefs or practices, characteristics covered by the slippery modern terms ‘ethnicity’ of ‘cultural identity’

Derek Keene, ‘Segregation, Zoning and Assimilation in Medieval Towns’

The workshop created a fruitful space of discussion in which MedRoute received its first feedback, starting from Professor Francesca Trivellato‘s thoughtful one. It was attended by scholars for US and Europe and it was concluded by a wonderful keynote on Maltese language of Professor Michael Cooperson. The opening reception was accompanied by the Mediterranean sounds of Trio Trela.

Download the Workshop Program here:
Talks

The Strategy of Toleration


On 16th October 2018, I presented my monograph Tolerance Re-Shaped in the Early Modern Mediterranean Borderlands: Traveller, Missionaries and Proto-Journalists, published by Routledge in April 2018. The lunch talk The Strategy of Toleration: Mobility and the Functionality of Standing the Otherness in Early Modern Mediterranean Border-Spaces (17th-18th centuries) was held at the The Nathan & Jeanette Miller Center for Historical Studies, Department of History, University of Maryland, College Park.

The book is based on my PhD thesis, defended at the University of Florence in April 2011. It is actually the basis on which the MedRoute project was built and developed. In inquires the way Italian subjects that were moving into the Mediterranean were depicting cultural otherness and how they developed a practical tolerance. This toleration was much more of a kind of capacity to standing the otherness, rather than an appreciation of cultural diversity. Nevertheless, it was a very efficient tool!

People were used to find strategies of coexistence, eventually understanding otherness itself. Sailing from Istanbul (Part 1), to Izimr (Part 2), and finally ending in Valletta (Part 3), the book is a mosaic of Mediterranean ways of understanding difference and it represent the first part of our project maritime route. That is: the beginning of our voyage.

My question was and is: how do port cities manage they cultural pluralism? Is difference a resource or a problem?

So, let’s start traveling, just from here!

Conferences

EAUH 2018

MedRoute attended the 14th Conference of the European Association for Urban History that took place in Rome from August 29th to September 1st , 2018.
The project was presented in the panel Standing Out, Getting in, Staying in. Being foreign in Cities, 13th-18th centuries with the paper “Between Frank Street and the Grand Port. Experiencing Urban Pluralism in the Port Cities of Izmir and Valletta (17th-18th centuries)”.

Through a comparative analysis of the pluralism-(s) of Izmir and Valletta, the paper explored how members of the same groups handled coexistence following different strategies in different urban spaces. Political factors, and not a “global” Mediterranean attitude, is crucial for the elaboration and development of cultural pluralism in the two environments. The new “city users” introduced new cultural elements as well as new demands into urban discourse, stimulating the responsiveness of entities entrusted with the organization of geographical and social spaces. The practice of cultural otherness enhanced spontaneous toleration as an effect of a relativistic cultural shock.

The interaction of political factors with foreign groups led to the development of different forms of early modern multiculturalism, ranging from the creation of a new universal society, as in the case of Malta, to a different degree of separation/hybridization of diversities, as in Izmir.



For the panel program here

Uncategorised

MedRoute for Mediterranean – small objects for a plastic-free sea

Metal water bottles and canvas shoppers with the MedRoute map created by Guizzo (https://www.guizzo.co.uk/) and produced by DELTAGRAF – Studio Grafico (https://www.facebook.com/deltagrafstudiografico) for helping to solve the problem of the plastic waste in the Mediterranean. This is our new initiative for a plastic-free sea. Because history is not only our past, but also our present and future and to protect environment is to protect history.

If you wish to contribute, you can buy one of our shoppers or plastic bottles. The proceeds will be donated to Legambiente (an Italian environmentalist association) that is already involved in the European ENI CBC MED project COMMON (http://www.enicbcmed.eu/projects/common) for tackling the problem of the plastic waste in the Medierranean.

With a contribution of 8 euros for a canvas shopper and 16 euros for the metal water bottle, you can support MedRoute in promoting a plastic-free sea. For more information, contact us medroute.eu@gmail.com.

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Uncategorised

The Visibility of Strangers

FINAL ONLINE WORKSHOP

With this final online workshop that will be held on the 7th and 8th of October 2020, the EU Marie Curie MedRoute project – Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 747030 – MedRoute (http://medroute.eu/) – is willing to create a space of discussion on the main themes that are its core. The MedRoute project – running from September 2017 to August 2020 – has reached its end, and we wish this workshop will represent a new start!

The final online workshop will discuss diasporas, travels accounts, methodology, and the interplay in between migration and the political power.

In order to access the four panels as auditors, those who are interested should write to Antonino Campagna (antonino.campagna@uniroma1.it) specifying the panels they are interested in (please note the keynote speech by Bernard Heyberger is included in the registration to the first panel). The time zone of the program is Rome time zone (GMT+2). Registrations are open until the 4th of October.

For the panels, check our program:

The Visibility of Strangers. Diasporas, Urban Spaces, and Material Pluralism in the Mediterranean

Final Marie Curie Online Workshop, 7th & 8th October 2020.

7th October, 10:30Welcoming & Opening Keynote: Bernard Heyberger (EHESS-Ecole des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales) – Diversity, pluralism and mobility in the Eastern Mediterranean

12:30, Panel 1The Foreigner Focus: Material practices and identity negotiation in early modern travelogues

Chair: Elena Baldassarri (Università degli Studi Roma Tre)

  1. Alexandr Osipian (Leibniz Institute for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe -GWZO) – Clothing, foodways, and identity negotiation: early modern Istanbul in Polish, Russian, and Armenian travelogues
  2. Songulen Nazlı (European University Institute) – Ottoman woman’s plural identities through the eyes of the female travellers visiting Istanbul (18th century)

Break (1 hour)

15:30, Panel 2One, Plural or What Else? How to study pluralism in the early modern period

Chair: Luca Codignola-Bo (Notre Dame University)

  1. Serena Di Nepi (Università di Roma – La Sapienza) – Questioning Otherness. Some preliminary remarks on conversions and coexistence in early modern cities
  2. Stefano Villani (University of Maryland, College Park) – Modes of conversions and acculturation strategies in early modern Italy 
  3. Giampaolo Salice (Università di Cagliari) – On methodology in the study of rural diaspora

8th October, 10:30

Panel 3The Plural City: Channeling identity in daily life

Chair: Filomena Viviana Tagliaferri (Istituto di Storia dell’Europa Mediterranea – ISEM, CNR)

  1. Carmel Cassar (University of Malta) – Fashion, Opulence and Extravagance: Clothing and sumptuary laws in early modern Malta
  2. Tamsin Prideaux (University of Edinburgh) – The role of representatives in negotiations between the authorities and immigrants in Venice, 1550-1700
  3. Filip Novosel (Croatian Institute of History – Hrvatski Institut za Povijest) – Surpassing language barriers in Dalmatian urban space – public notaries in the city of Zadar in the mid 17th century

Break (1 hour)

14:00, Panel 4 Identity and Longue Durée: Ottoman empire’s political destiny, and its reflection on foreigner identity expressions

Chair: Meropi Anastassiadou (INALCO Paris)

  1. Andreas Bouroutis (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki) – Bridging western culture and eastern traditions
  2. Angelos Dalachanis (Institut d’Histoire Moderne et Contemporaine – IHMC, CNRS) – The Visibility of Hellenism: Art collecting and diaspora life in the early 20th-century Alexandria
  3. Kostis Gkotsinas (École Française d’Athènes) – Standing out/blending in: Consumption practices and the settlement of refugees in post-1923 Greece

16:30: Closing Discussion and Greetings