The Mediterranean is a complex combination of ideas, feelings, imageries, cultures, ways of life, cultivated for centuries and still cultivated in this “sea (not ocean) amongst lands”; which was called mare nostrum by Romans and which could still be called in such a way if we understand nostrum in a different way: as a reference to us, human beings.
Nowadays, the Mediterranean is affected by major changes. The social role of territories has changed: not only people are able to move and travel in a less expensive and easy way, but an increasing number of people can build their identity with multiple senses of belonging. These changes paved the way for new opportunities for multipolarity and also give new opportunities to territories historically destined to marginalization.
New coexistences can be built with an approach that can effectively go beyond the classical oppositions Europe/Mediterranean, North/South; West/East, etc., and facilitate the configurations of a new dimension of social space and daily life.
Modern society, including Europe and the Mediterranean, presents strong territorial and morphological differences. The diversifications of knowledge and cultural values born in the Mediterranean Basin (South Europe, North Africa and Middle East) can be the strategic elements to overcome the current European crisis and become an incentive for the review of policies and for the growth of a true European cultural heritage, to be passed on to future generations.
Within this knowledge, certainly social sciences and humanities have an essential role. Cultures, however, should be understood in a wider sense, including ways of life and everyday life.
On the shores of the Mediterranean different ways of life coexist, but they meet a common denominator in the belonging to the basin of the mare nostrum. An example can be found in the dietary habits. Think about the Mediterranean diet and, in particular, about what Fernand Braudel called the “Mediterranean triad”: olive, vine and wheat, as well as their derivatives: oil, wine, bread. These products are not only the food basis of the citizens living in Mediterranean countries, but they also acquire a huge importance in a symbolic and cultural sense. Although used in different forms and proportions, the products of the “Mediterranean triad” are a unifying factor among the peoples of the mare nostrum.
Ways of life, moreover, do not concern only food, but also other elements: educational processes, cultural manifestations, leisure (think, for example, about tourism and travels), body and sexuality studies, etc., which undoubtedly are a part of the cultures and of the exchanges among the different shores of the Mediterranean.
In the present context, characterized by conflicts and instability, the dialogue among cultures and societies of the Mediterranean, in order to promote pluralism, diversity and freedom, is undoubtedly more necessary. Indeed, the increasing globalization and the massive migration flows ensure that the exchanges among different civilizations becomes more intense.
If Europe and Europeans want to build a better and brighter future, they must review their relations with the mare nostrum, together with the other peoples living on the Mediterranean shores.
The aim of this Conference is thus to increase awareness about the Mediterranean as a departure and arrival point for the construction of a pluralistic society, starting from a great variety of cultures, societies and ways of life. We also aim at disseminating the research results on such topics.
9th January 2017:
Abstract submissions [EXTENDED DEADLINE]
15th March 2017:
Early Registration Fee
15th July 2017: