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The Greater Mediterranean

Building and expanding on the early modern cultural structures and colonial perspectives delineated in the Early Modern Worlds, Colonialism, and Imperial Reason research cluster, faculty in our department carry out extensive research in the modern and contemporary Greater Mediterranean. Within this framework, the Mediterranean Perspective on Global History and Culture can be highlighted as an initiative established a decade ago for the interdisciplinary study of the Mediterranean that draws on expertise in the Department of Romance Languages & Literatures, the Department of Classical Studies, the Frankel Center for Judaic Studies, and the Department of History of Art.


Taking a networked approach to historical and cultural inquiry, this research area addresses the Mediterranean as a region whose interconnected histories and cultures are especially relevant for understanding global relations in the world today. RLL’s scholarship on the Greater Mediterranean then complements the scholarship delineated under the previously mentioned Early Modern Worlds, Colonialism, and Imperial Reason nomenclature. RLL faculty also publish and teach courses in the literatures, film production, literary theory, political theory, and cultures broadly defined as the modern Mediterranean (Iberian, Francophone, Italophone and Arabophone traditions). RLL scholars publish extensively on topics such as the southern European recuperations of medieval Mediterranean Islamic/Christian traditions in the formation of modern national ideologies; the cultural and political uses of ‘the Republic’; the art, history, writing, and theories of modernity in nineteenth-century France; the intersections of the modern avant-gardes with the technology and mass spectacle of the machine age; the origins, aesthetics, and politics of the Spanish civil war; Holocaust studies; Fascism, dictatorship, nationalism, and the transitions to democracy in southern Europe; urban studies; the intersections of race and religion in relation to Jews and Muslims in contemporary France; the politics of conversion to and apostasy from Islam; the radical political and cultural movements of the 1960s and 1970s; post-national Iberian regionalisms in the context of globalization; emigration and transnational approaches to class, race, and gender from southern Europe to the Portuguese-speaking Americas.


Faculty: Bharat, Binetti, Caron, García Santo-Tomás, Gutt, Hannoosh, Hoffmann, Highfill, Mallette, McCracken, Moreiras-Menor, Riccò, Squatriti, Szpiech.