Calls for Papers/Jun 14, 2019


Violence lead image

Violence, Fall 2019 Mediterranean Seminar Workshop, University of Toronto, October 4–5, 2019

Workshop paper proposals and round-table participants are being sought for the Mediterranean Seminar’s two-day Fall 2019 meeting on the subject of “Violence,” to be held at the University of Toronto on 4 & 5 October 2019.

The meeting is jointly sponsored by the the Malta Study Center at the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library and the Department of History, the Centre for Medieval Studies, the Centre for Jewish Studies, the Institute for Islamic Studies, the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, the Department of Religious Studies, the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and the Department of Art History at the University of Toronto.

As the principal site of contact and confrontation between Muslims, Christians, and Jews in the premodern world, the Mediterranean presents an ideal geography within which to explore various dimensions of interfaith violence: ideologies and practices of war, conquest and colonialism; conflict between confessional communities within Muslim and Christian states; piracy; slavery; the trauma resulting from such violence; and the memorialization of violence. The Mediterranean also lends itself to the comparative exploration of violence within Muslim, Christian, and Jewish communities as a culturally specific form of social discourse, as expressed, for instance, in class conflict and social rebellion, feuds and vendettas, the violence related to gendered notions of honor and shame, and punishment and execution. Since modern (mis)understandings of premodern crusades and jihads, relations between ruling majorities and religious minorities, and the role of violence in gender relations continue to contribute to prejudice and violence throughout the world, the study of violence in the premodern Mediterranean is all too relevant.

Papers and round-table participants from history, art history, religious studies, literary and cultural studies, anthropology or any relevant Humanities and Social Sciences discipline are welcome.  

Our Mediterranean is construed geographically as including southern Europe, the Near and Middle East and North Africa and into the Black Sea and Central Asia, and the Red Sea and Indian Ocean.

All North American-based scholars (or foreign scholars who will be in the US at this time) working on relevant material are encouraged to apply. Scholars from further abroad may apply but we cannot pay full travel costs. ABD PhD students, junior and non-tenure track faculty are particularly welcome to apply.

For the workshop (to be held on Friday, 4 October), we invite abstracts of in-progress (unpublished) drafts of articles or book/dissertation chapters on any aspect of interfaith or intrafaith violence in the premodern Mediterranean and on literary and artistic representations of such violence. Papers with a comparative approach are particularly welcome.

The workshop will also feature a keynote presentation, "‘Blood of God! Bowels of God!’: Violence and the Order of Malta",” by Dr. Emanuel Buttigieg (University of Malta).

The second day, Saturday, 5 October, will feature three round-table conversations, focusing on the following questions:

  1. What was the relationship between the practice of violence and its representations (textual, visual, or other)? Did the rhetoric of violence correspond to its practice?
  2. How has violence shaped Mediterranean art, or popular or material culture, and in what sense can it be seen as legitimate or illegitimate through various medium and modes of expression?
  3. How has gender in the Mediterranean defined and been defined by violence?

You may apply for both a workshop presentation and round-table discussion.