Following a 2011 meeting of the annual Mediterranean Workshop at the University of Minnesota, Patricia Lorcin
(a co-convener) approached Todd Shepard
(one of the workshop participants that year) about editing a volume focused on the Mediterranean in the modern period. From the beginning, these two editors of French Mediterraneans: Transnational and Imperial Histories
(University of Nebraska Press, 2016) envisioned a collection that would bring together authors whose work pushes against the boundaries of French and European history (from outside of and within these regional fields). Analyzing the history of the Mediterranean as geographic, social, cultural, political, intellectual, and discursive space from the nineteenth century to the era of decolonization, the book offers a critical history of the region understood in its transnational and imperial complexity.
The volume is organized in three parts. Focused on maps and mapping, the first includes essays by Ali Yaycioglu, Ian Coller, Andrew Arsan, and Spencer Segalla. Examining frameworks of migration, the next section features essays by Edhem Eldem, Marc Aymes, Julia Clancy-Smith, and Mary Dewhurst Lewis. In the third part of the collection, authors Sarah Stein, Susan Miller, Ellen Amster, and Emma Kuby interrogate the margins of Mediterranean religious identity, medicine, and the legacies of the Holocaust. Through the analysis of a range of historical actors, events, and the mobilization of different methods and sources, the essays all think carefully through how forms of difference have shaped and divided the region over centuries: nations and borders, language, ethnicity, race, religion, class, and gender. Diverse in their objects of study and approaches, the essays in the volume share a preoccupation with the study of French Mediterraneans plural in their imaginations, populations, and politics throughout the era of modern imperialism.
Roxanne Panchasi is an Associate Professor in the Department of History at Simon Fraser University. Her current research focuses on the representation of nuclear weapons and testing in France and its empire since 1945. She lives and reads in Vancouver, Canada. If you have a recent title to suggest for the podcast, please send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
*The music that opens and closes the podcast is an instrumental version of “Creatures,” a song written by Vancouver artist/musician Casey Wei (performing as “hazy”). To hear more, please visit https://agonyklub.com/