The international conference “Mediterranean Mobility between Migration and Colonialism (19th-20th Centuries)” will take place on 11 and 12 November 2022 at the Department of History, Culture and Civilisation of the University of Bologna. Going beyond the dichotomous scheme colonizer/colonized, and deepening the different variations of the colonial racial hierarchy, the focus of the conference aims at studying the spaces of contact, both social and physical, between the populations involved in the Mediterranean colonial system, keeping a focus on the dynamics of class and belonging (national, religious, racial, political and gender). Studies on the history of colonialism have all too often considered empires as self-sufficient categories of analysis, thus neglecting trans-imperial connections and reaffirming, albeit unintentionally, a priority relationship of relevance between the metropolitan centre and the colonial periphery (linguistic, cultural, political, economic) stemming from the colonial past. A look at human mobility in the imperial Mediterranean could not only problematise colonial categories through a trans-imperial perspective, but also be a point of historiographic contact between migration studies and colonialism studies. Specifically, the conference is interested in the Euro-Mediterranean migratory flows and diasporas that occurred in the Afro-Mediterranean spaces between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The period of analysis includes the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, which gives the Mediterranean region a new geopolitical role in global dynamics, up to the years of independence of North African countries (around the 1960s). The conference will focus on:
– Euro-Mediterranean diasporas as trans-imperial connection points
– Processes of nationalisation, and/or politicisation of foreign collectivities in Afro-Mediterranean spaces
– Being or becoming a foreigner in Mediterranean colonial spaces.
– Hybridization, contacts and exchanges of migrant collectivities with the local context.
– Gender issues and intercommunity sexual borders.
– Perceptions and (re)positioning of immigrant communities.
– Work as a space for the production of colonial hierarchy and hybridisation.
The conference aims to involve young scholars and researchers dealing with mobility and diasporas in the Mediterranean in the late imperial and colonial period. The thematic panels will be oriented to connect specialist speakers from different countries of the Mediterranean area, with a preference for the southern Mediterranean context.
The conference will be in Italian, French and English. It is planned to publish the conference proceedings in English.
Communication proposals should include a title and a 500-word abstract, as well as a short biography (name, surname, affiliation, email address), and should be sent by 29 July 2022 to: firstname.lastname@example.org