Training School: Late Medieval and Early Modern Migration Routes and Identity Spaces in the Mediterranean

Sophia Abplanalp's picture
Call for Papers
June 15, 2022
Subject Fields: 
Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Early Modern History and Period Studies, Islamic History / Studies, Spanish and Portuguese History / Studies

Training School:

Late Medieval and Early Modern Migration Routes and Identity Spaces in the Mediterranean


Dates: 15th-17th June 2022.

Place: Tunis (Tunisia).

Scientific coordinators: Houssem Eddine Chachia, Gerard Wiegers, Luis Bernabé Pons, Emir O. Filipović, Borja Franco, Antonio Urquízar Herrera and Neila Saadi.

Host institution: University of Tunis (TBC).

Number of students: 15 (Students from ITC Countries are specially encouraged to apply). 

Participants: MA Students, Ph.D. Candidates and Early Stage Scholars (up to 3 years after the PhD).

This training school, organized by IS-LE COST Action (CA18129) Islamic Legacy: Narratives East, West, South, North of the Mediterranean (1350-1750), aims to bring together scholars and early career researchers who work on the perception of Islam in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe.  


Over the past decades, there has been a growing interest among scholars in analysing the early modern migration routes and identity spaces in the Mediterranean. The Sephardic and Morisco diasporas are a typical example to study the forced movement of persons, but also of ideas and expertise. The aim of this training school is to discuss those issues from different and complementary perspectives, including social, cultural history, but also heritage and architecture, and to question the integrations of those religious and cultural minorities into Early Modern North African societies: the difficulties of their social assimilation, how their identities developed in this context, their contribution to the development of host societies, etc.

Field visits and on-site discussions in Medina of Tunis and Testour will be complemented with conferences and debate sessions, focused on the students’ personal research. The overarching goal is to create a space of debate and exchange among junior and senior scholars, as well as to promote a network of scholars of early modern migration and identities that will bring new perspectives into the field. Students will be asked to prepare one small introduction to a specific monument that will be discussed on those visits, and to make a brief presentation of their own case studies, with a specific focus on problems of research and methodologies, in one of the three panels specified below.

The training school is part of the COST-Action “Islamic Legacy: East, West, North South of the Mediterranean (1350-1750)”.

Main objectives of the activity:

  1. To study the interfaith migration between Europe and North Africa during the Late Medieval and Early Modern periods;
  2. To discuss about the trade, exchange and mobility of objects and knowledge in the Mediterranean basin;
  3. To analyse how these phenomena had an effect in the creation of individual and collective identities;
  4. To develop a student network on migration and Islamic legacy in Europe and North Africa;
  5. To promote a dialogue between junior and senior scholars.


Panel 1: Migrations of Moriscos and Sephardic Jews in North Africa

Chair: Luis Bernabé, University of Alicante

In this panel we will analyse the different migratory flows that took place in a multiethnic and intercultural Mediterranean of converts from Islam and Judaism, sometimes trying to escape Christian repression and other times looking for new ways of cultural development and social positioning. These routes will be mapped in time and space, discussing different individual cases that will help us devise a methodological framework. We will analyze as well the Making of Memory inspired by these processes, both in Early Modern Age and nowadays.


Panel 2: Objects that travel

Chair: Gerard Wiegers, University of Amsterdam

This panel will study the mobility of objects and knowledge in the Mediterranean linked to the aforementioned religious minorities, especially the Moriscos, but also Sephardim and converted Christians. The routes they followed, in some cases back and forth, and how these minorities constructed their personal and collective identities through their possession of objects and knowledge will be considered. The workshop focuses especially on manuscripts (religious and non-religious) brought by the Moriscos from the Iberian Peninsula to Tunisia and circulated among the first generations of migrants and their descendants.


Panel 3: Places and Spaces of Migrants

Chair: Houssem Eddine Chachia, University of Tunis

The objective of this panel is twofold: to reconstruct the tangible and intangible heritage imprint left by the aforementioned communities in North Africa, especially in Tunisia, and to analyze the integration of these two groups, as religious and cultural minorities, in the social fabric of North African countries.


b. Visit to Islamic and Morisco sites

These activities will be supervised by the invited scholars. The coordinators of the Training School will select several Islamic and Morisco monuments in Tunis to be presented by the students. Each student will explain one of these selected monuments (5-10 minutes), trying to find connections with the methodological problems of his/her own research. The distribution of the pieces, considering the expertise of each trainee, will be organized by the coordinator/s of the event at least 1 month in advance. 


Grants for students

A call for applications will be open from 15th  March to 15th April 2022. The COST Action will offer 15 grants up to1200 € to cover travel expenses, meals, and accommodation. The amount of the grant will be adapted to the country of origin of the students.



Eligibility to receive financial support to attend the Training School as trainee is defined by Annotated Rules for COST Actions, (PDF page 59). Only trainees from COST Members countries, European RTD organizations, and NNC countries are eligible to receive financial support.


Evaluation criteria

1.- Cover letter, with a short introduction of their own research specifying the panel to which the student aims to contribute (up to 1000 words): 5 points

2.- CV: 3 points.

3.- ITC Student: up to 1 point.

4.- Gender balance: up to 1 point.


For more information, please visit:


Contact Info: 

Students interested to participate in this training school are invited to submit their cover letters and CVs to Dr. Houssem Eddine Chachia (, Dr. Elena Paulino Montero ( and Dr. Emir O. Filipović ( before 15th April 2022.

In addition to the specific standards established by COST Association regarding COVID-19 pandemic, participants in the Training School must also consider the measures adopted by local or national authorities in Tunis.