Lines Between: Culture and Empire in the Eastern Mediterranean, Nicosia, June 3–6, 2015
Over the centuries, the peoples and nations of the Mediterranean have been divided but also connected by the sea. Its trade routes have facilitated traffic and ideas, artistic creativity, and architecture, as well as commerce. Cultures have evolved and empires have risen and declined through processes that have impacted the histories and cultures of countries washed by the Mediterranean. This sea has helped create what Edward Said refers to as “lines between cultures” that permit us to discern identities in a process of constant evolution while also revealing the “extent to which cultures are humanly made structures of both authority and participation.” Indeed, this interplay of geography and culture, politics and art, climate and society invites multiple modes of inquiry. How have the “humanly made structures” of the Eastern Mediterranean helped both to unite and divide the peoples of the region? As peripheral cultures, have these structures and/or peoples taken on aspects and attributes similar to those found in other peripheral but also metropolitan settings? To what extent has the region’s geopolitical frame affected lifestyle and artistic expression for those living there? How did Empire mediate in the interactions between Mediterranean colonies? How have the structures created by Greeks, Ottomans, Britons, and other imperialists in the Eastern Mediterranean altered the landscape — human, sociological, anthropological, linguistic, and cultural?
We invite proposals for papers, posters, and panels that engage with these questions as well as with any other aspects and politics of culture and empire in the Eastern Mediterranean.
We welcome papers that explore any of the issues that focus on the Eastern Mediterranean. Through these papers, we hope to explore the ways in which the arts in this “extremely small sea,” as Lawrence Durrell puts it, have helped to “make us dream that it is larger than it is.”
The organizers are looking into the possibility of a publication that will feature a selection of papers from the conference.