Thursday 15 June 2023

Department of International Development, 3 Mansfield Road, Oxford OX1 3TB 

The all-day workshop will take place in person only, and will feature international scholars from across the humanities and social sciences. Our aim is to stimulate interdisciplinary discussion between scholars working on shared interests from a variety of perspectives. 

The full programme, including timings and paper abstracts, is available here

Scholars from all disciplines are welcome to attend all or part of the workshop. Please register your intention to attend by email to, so that we can pre-circulate papers in advance.

8:30 Registration

9:00 Keynote by Naor Ben-Yehoyada (Columbia University): 

“Italy and the Bohemian Sea”

9:50 to 11:20 Panel A: Borders (Jasmine Iozzelli, Chloe Howe Haralambous, Giorgia Mirto, Sara Traylor)

11:35 to 13:05 Panel B: Storytelling (Maggie Neil, Sean Wyer, Alice Parinello, Alessandro Corso)

14:00 to 1530 Panel C: Food and Ecology (Davide Puca, Amanda Hilton, Claudia Lombardo, Alessandro Guglielmo)

15:45 to 17:15 Panel D: Beyond the State (Mary Jane Dempsey, Lene Faust, Giulia Liberatore and Eugenio Giorgianni, and Federica Soddu)

17:20 to 18:10 Concluding remarks and discussion

(See programme for full details, including speaker bios and abstracts).

Respondents: Emma Bond (University of Oxford) and Naor Ben-Yehoyada

Organisers: Maggie Neil and Sean Wyer (

Workshop Abstract:

As a major site of arrival for contemporary Mediterranean migration, “Southern Europe, and Italy in particular, stands at the forefront of […] global transformations” (Hawthorne 2022). Italy is therefore a productive place to interrogate the meanings behind ‘the Mediterranean’ – which is both a physical place and a local, discursive category – as well as the resurgence of interest in ‘Mediterraneanism’ (Herzfeld 2004). What might we be able to learn from “examin[ing] the Mediterranean and Mediterraneanism together” (Ben-Yehoyada and Silverstein 2022), and from doing so in Italy? 

If we are to circumnavigate age-old, circular questions about the Mediterranean, then we must ask new questions. But what questions are ‘good to ask’ about the Mediterranean in Italy, and how can analyses of Mediterraneanism help us to examine the “global transformations” (Hawthorne 2022) that demand our attention?