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Mediterranean Encounters in the City : Frameworks of Mediation Between East and West, North and South
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This book documents and analyzes how the contemporary Mediterranean city manages and negotiates its identity as a result of recent reconfigurations in its cultural, religious, and social landscape. The events of Sept. 11, 2001 have recast difference as a central trope of identification in urban borderland settings, unleashing heated debates about cultural convergences and animating anxieties about an arguable clash of civilizations in modern cities. These emerging uncertainties have also grown stronger as the homogenizing forces of globalization unsettle essential principles of the nation-state and nationhood and render fixed perceptions of distinctive and singular people and cultures more tenuous. Recent scholarship and public discourse have accordingly framed discussions of these encounters around concerns of geo-political security and international policy. Unfortunately, framed within these terms, our understanding of how various groups within the Mediterranean metropolis deal with the intensification of difference as a lived experience has remained regrettably thin. This volume transcends this limitation and explores new, interdisciplinary research paradigms that will help us gain a comprehensive perspective on how complex macro and micro tensions, contradictions and similarities are negotiated in building urban identities in the Mediterranean basin.The contributors to this volume explore the multi-faceted nature of Mediterranean cities and engage a critical discussion of identity production and consumption in the Mediterranean basin. By spanning two centuries and examining both the Northern and Southern shores of the Mediterranean, the chapters in this book provide a broad and comprehensive investigation of the ways in which recent cultural productions have framed and re-imagined the Mediterranean city as a locus of departures, arrivals and contested belonging. By focusing on cinema, photography, new media, magazines, music and literature as different stages for the performative representation of Mediterraneity, the authors highlight the vibrancy of the intercultural discourses taking place along the shores of the mare nostrum and provide new perspectives from which to explore the relationship between North and South, East and West.