Program designed and coordinated by Thierry Fabre between 2017 and 2022. Since September 2023, its new version is directed by Marie-Pierre Ulloa, historian and sociologist, Lecturer of French and Francophone Studies, Stanford University – The Europe Center, Director of the Mediterranean Program.

The “Mediterranean” program at Iméra, the Institute for Advanced Study (IEA) at Aix-Marseille University, is open to researchers, artists, and thinkers from all disciplines. Under the framework of the transdisciplinary field of “Mediterranean Studies,” the program is resolutely transregional, transnational, and transversal, encompassing the Mediterranean societies and networks of Anatolia, the Balkans, the Levant, North Africa, and Southern Europe (including France). It is organized around five main research axes:

* The construction of narratives on migration and mobility around the Mediterranean from antiquity to the present day, through a reflection on the relationship with otherness, citizenship, and exile, and the extraterritorial circulation of ideas, goods, and people. It pays attention to the temporalities of migratory trajectories, Mediterranean diasporas, and the diversity of Mediterranean languages.

* The complexity of the entanglement of colonial legacies that shape contemporary supranational, national, economic, social, religious, and gendered reconfigurations and identities. It explores the various ways in which individuals and entities are connected to a shared sea that is a zone of contacts, conflicts, and civilizational encounters. It is studied through its historical, cartographic, cinematographic, economic, geopolitical, and other representations.

* The Mediterranean in the Anthropocene era and the related issues of bioclimatic history, climate change, water and coastal management, insularity, and underwater environments, as well as the question of the heritage value of Mediterranean spaces.

* The question of religion in the Mediterranean, particularly through the practices of Islam in the Mediterranean in relation to other religions in the Mediterranean region.

* The question of archives documenting the ways of life in Mediterranean societies, approached through an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary perspective (architecture, gastronomy, urban and maritime cultures, musicology, private life, sports, etc.), including digital forms and the use of artificial intelligence.

The invention of the Mediterranean: the construction and problematization of the field of Mediterranean studies, historiographical debates on the categorization of the Mediterranean, such as the “Western Mediterranean,” the Levant, the “two shores,” and beyond the dominant binary narrative of the “two shores,” the concept of the “third shore” (e.g., “Mediterranean California”), the exportation of the idea of the Mediterranean, particularly through the study of diasporic voices of Mediterranean societies as relays, and raising awareness of the notion of Mediterranean cultural transfers.

Five chairs are associated with this program: the Averroes Chair, the Germaine Tillion Chair, the Albert Hirschman Chair, the Fulbright Chair, and the Mucem Chair in partnership with the “Arts & Sciences: Indisciplined Knowledge” program at Iméra.

Contact: Marie-Pierre Ulloa, Director of the “Mediterranean” program, available from September 1, 2023.

Conference cycle of the Mediterranean Programme at the IAS of Aix-Marseille University

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