At History’s Edge: The Mediterranean Question

19 October 2023. From 18:30 | Conference | English | IEMed
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Inaugural session of the Aula Mediterrània 2023-2024 conference series with Iain Chambers, professor of Sociology of Cultural Processes, Università di Napoli-L’Orientale. Opening remarks by Gemma Aubarell, director of the Culture, Gender and Civil Society department, IEMed.

This talk seeks to puncture prevalent European understandings of the Mediterranean. The colonizing impulse inscribed in Occidental politics, philosophy, and historiography cannot be undone simply by adding previously repressed and unacknowledged histories and lives. Instead, a re-examination of the premises and procedures that produced such exclusions leads to a change in coordinates. A predominantly ocular order of knowledge that creates subaltern objects of study to reconfirm European centrality and subjectivity is interrogated. Insisting on a politics of registration and listening, further critical incentives drawn from literature, music, and cinema are deployed to queer existing representations and release a more exposed, heterogeneous, and turbulent Mediterranean that is irreducible to the flatness of a geo-political or disciplinary map.

Iain Chambers is Professor of Sociology of Cultural Processes at the Università di Napoli-L’Orientale, where he chairs the PhD program in Cultural and Postcolonial Studies of the Anglophone World. Chambers participated as a researcher at centers such as the Getty Institute in Los Angeles and as a visiting professor at several universities in Europe and the United States. His research interests and publications focus on areas such as the phenomenon of migration and the study of identity phenomena in the Mediterranean. He is a member of the editorial board of Cultural Studies, Media & Philosophy and Postcolonial Studies. Some of his publications are “Migrancy, culture, identity” (1994), “Mediterranean Crossings: The Politics of an Interrupted Modernity” (2008), “Postcolonial Interruptions, Unauthorised Modernities” (2017), “Mediterraneo Blues. Musiche, malinconia postcoloniale, pensieri marittimi” (2020), and, with Marta Cariello, “La questione mediterranea” (2019).

Session moderated by Ricard Zapata, full professor, Department of Political and Social Sciences and director of the master’s degree, GRITIM-UPF

This conference takes place in English at the IEMed conference room, Girona, 20 – Barcelona.

It can also be followed on IEMed’s Youtube Channel.


Gemma Aubarell
Opening remarks

Gemma Aubarell

Director of the Culture, Gender, and Civil Society Department IEMed
Iain Chambers

Iain Chambers

Professor of Sociology of Cultural Processes Università di Napoli-L’Orientale
Ricard Zapata

Ricard Zapata

Lecturer, Faculty of Political Science and Sociology UPF

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