10th MedNet workshop
Crossing the divide:
Exploring Mediterranean places across
Mediterranean, European and Middle Eastern Anthropology
Time: from 26th to 28th October 2023
Place: Salle Duby, Maison Méditerranéenne des Sciences de l’Homme, Aix-en-Provence, France
Deadline for papers: 15th June 2023
Mediterranean Anthropology, European Anthropology and Middle Eastern Anthropology study overlapping areas of the Mediterranean region. Reflecting geopolitical divisions of the area, the three regional traditions have over the years developed their own theoretical concerns, ethnographic concerns, and political-ethical agendas. The 2023 MedNet workshop seeks to cross the traditional disciplinary division between the Southern, Eastern and Northern shores in order to foster productive intellectual crossings and ethnographic cross-pollination. We ask: how can we advance anthropology in and of the Mediterranean by bringing different regional traditions into closer conversation?
Following older and recent calls to expand the horizon of anthropology in the Mediterranean regions, the aim of the MedNet workshop is to consider how the exercise of anthropology in the Mediterranean has been shaped by disciplinary paths, institutional configurations, as well as by foreign policies. To facilitate our thinking across and along intellectual, geographical and imaginary boundaries, we introduce “crossings” as an analytical concept. “To cross” means to “go or extend across or to the other side of,” often in relation to a stretch of land or water. But “to cross” can also refer to an intersection of routes that does not result in a joint path. The concept’s ambiguity – a crossing can be geographical, legal, institutional, or intellectual; it can be generative, leading to a new position, or result in non-generative overlaps – invites us to trace crossings of different natures and outcomes.
Through the workshop, we hope to learn more about the geopolitics, economic conditions, social-cultural lives, and intellectual circumstances that have contributed to the formation and maintenance of the regional anthropological traditions. We want to enhance our understanding of how shared histories and predicaments – dysfunctional rule, socio-economic precarity, postcolonial cartographies and environmental degradation – have played out on the ground, been imagined and intellectually conceptualized across the shores. We are also curious about methodological crossovers – be they academic, artistic or quotidian – that either render Mediterranean spaces and routes in novel ways or seek out the perspectives of interlocutors and institutional frameworks.
To better understand these overlapping and yet diverging regional conditions and anthropological traditions, we invite scholars working on the different shores and in different regional traditions – Mediterranean, European, and Middle Eastern anthropology – to join us in Aix-en-Provence, France, for a collective exploration of geographical, theoretical, and disciplinary divides and crossovers. How is it to do research on the different shores? What can we learn from each others’ research, traditions and experiences? For example, we welcome contributions that:
• Outline and compare the different traditions. They could provide insight into different historical intellectual trajectories, past and present theoretical concerns, or geopolitical trends that have influenced the trajectories.
• Engage with thematic commonalities and diverges. They might focus on how shared histories have affected citizenship, sovereignty and popular imaginaries differently across the shores, or on how the densities of people and other living beings across the shores and waters are intertwined by the region’s disproportionate burden of environmental degradation and global warming. Another potential theme is how similar modes of statecraft have been detrimental to social welfare, equality, and legal accountability, but with different outcomes and influence on social structures such as kinship, gender structures and patrimonial networks, and state institutions, such as freedom of speech, media regulation and justice. As important are contributions that pay attention to how the regional anthropological traditions have framed and analyzed these legacies and effects.
• Zoom in on ethnographic or conceptual crossings. A focus on geographical and physical crossings (migration, trade, underwater cables and seabed mining) across the sea can shed light onto how borders are upheld and transgressed or help constitute the Mediterranean as a whole. The same is valid for metaphorical equivalents (intellectual trajectories or movement of ideas).
• Explore methodological and institutional predicaments and interventions. Here we imagine contributions that provide insights into the conditions of production of knowledge across the region, whether considering the role of scholars, artists, civil rights activists and members in political and social movements. Another welcomed avenue is the manifold meanings attached to the production of anthropological knowledge “at home” or “away”, the interactions between ‘native’ and ‘foreign’ scholars and the financial conditions attached to such categories.
Please submit your abstract (no more 250 words) together with details of affiliation by 15th of June to: email@example.com. Please get in touch with us if you have ideas when it comes to panels.
We look forward to welcoming you in Aix-en-Provence!
 The MedNet network sorts under EASA and connects anthropologists with an interest in the Mediterranean regions. In addition to EASA conferences, the network meets biannually. Network conveners: Panas Karampampas (Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences, Athens), Carlo Capello (University of Torino), and Karin Ahlberg (Stockholm University).