I have been working on a research project that maps the Arabic and North African intercultural histories that are constitutive of southern Italian culture and that have been effectively effaced from dominant Italian histories. In the context of this discursively archaeological work, I am attempting to establish lines of solidarity and connection between and across transmediterranean cultures, including the Middle East, North Africa and Southern Italy. My focus has been both on past intercultural relations and exchanges and on contemporary reconfigurations in the context of the flow of refugees, asylum seekers and immigrants from the Global South to Fortress Europe.
I am hoping to convene a one-day symposium in December 2008. The symposium, “Transmediterraniu: Diasporas, Refugees and Intercultural Histories,” will bring together scholars working on these issues. Stay tuned to Khaldoun for more info on the symposium later this year.
– Joseph Pugliese