CFP: “Diasporic Legacies of the Mediterranean” Mediterranean Seminar Spring 2023 Workshop (University of Minnesota, Twin Cities: 27 & 28 April

Brian Catlos Announcement
United States
Subject Fields
Early Modern History and Period Studies, Jewish History / Studies, Medieval and Byzantine History / Studies, Middle East History / Studies, Modern European History / Studies

The Mediterranean Seminar ( is seeking proposals for papers to be workshopped and for round-table participants for the 2023 Mediterranean Seminar Spring Workshop, “Diasporic Legacies of the Mediterranean” to be held on the campus of the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, 27 & 28 April 2023.

Mediterranean Studies has shown that the Mediterranean has been a site of travel, trade, and the movement of peoples for millennia. Various religious, ethnic, and linguistic communities claim the Mediterranean as part of their identity—even if only a distant chapter from the past. This seminar aims to bring together scholars interested in diasporas in the Mediterranean context and their impact on and representation in history, historiography, political writing, literature, and the arts. We will explore how diaspora and diasporic communities and their cultural production can be read from the perspective of Mediterranean Studies, addressing questions such as: How does the Mediterranean past—real and imagined—shed light on contemporary concerns around immigration, citizenship, and the allocation of natural resources? How are diasporas such as those caused, for example, by the expulsion of the Jews from Castile in 1492 or of the Moriscos in 1609 remembered? What impact do they continue to have in the modern era? What other diasporas, coerced or voluntary, have roots in or implications for the Mediterranean and scholars of Mediterranean Studies? 

This workshop will bring together scholars from various disciplines, periods and areas to discuss the nature of these processes and the interaction of peoples of various ethnicities, religions, cultures and ideological perspectives in the Pre- and Early Modern Mediterranean, how these contributed to the notion of Diaspora.

For the workshop to be held on Thursday, 27 April, we invite abstracts (250 words) from scholars and graduate students for unpublished in-progress articles or book or dissertation chapters relating to the theme “Diasporic Legacies of the Mediterranean.” The deadline for workshop proposals is February 1, 2023 via this form. Successful applicants are expected to submit a 35-page (maximum) double-spaced paper-in-progress for pre-circulation by April 2, 2023. Papers from across the humanities or social sciences, including disciplines such as history, literature, cultural studies, religious studies, art history, musicology, anthropology are welcome. Scholars who work on any historical period are welcome. Our Mediterranean is construed geographically as including southern Europe, the Near East and North Africa and stretching into the Black Sea and Central Asia, and the Red Sea and the western Indian ocean: however, due to our specific topic at this workshop, scholars working on Europe, the Americas, and Africa are also encouraged to apply.

The workshop will also feature two keynote presentations. The first on Thursday April 27, by Dr. Eric Calderwood, Associate Professor of Comparative Literature and Spanish at the University of Illinois, Urbana, will be based on his forthcoming book, On Earth or in Poems: The Many Lives of al-Andalus (Harvard 2023). 

On the second day, Friday 28 April, we will have a keynote presentation by Dr. Julia Cohen, Associate Professor of History at Vanderbilt University, and three round-table conversations.

For the three round-table conversations to be held on Friday, 28 April we invite abstracts (±250 words) for position papers addressing the following topics:

  • Religion, Ethnicity, Nation & Race: How are notions about confessional, national or communal identity shaped by the diasporic experience or represented as diasporic in cultural production?
  • “African,” “European,” “Eastern,” or “Mediterranean” – How are sites (either origins or destinations) of Diaspora depicted and why?
  • To what degree were Diasporas prompted by economic or socio-political impulses, and how did dynamics of Diaspora affect or transform political and economic landscapes?

 The deadline for round-table proposals is January 15, 2023 via this form. Round-table presenters will need to submit a 3-5 page “position paper” by April 9, 2023.

Apply for a workshop paper or roundtable via this form. This is an in-person meeting only.

A separate call for non-presenting attendees will go out in late January Workshop presenters will receive a travel allowance and accommodation; round-table presenters will receive accommodation. Participants are expected to attend both days of the program.

This workshop is sponsored by the  Center for Premodern Studies, the Center for Jewish Studies and Amos S. Deinard Memorial Chair in Jewish History of the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, the CU Mediterranean Studies Group and the Mediterranean Seminar.



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The Mediterranean Seminar

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