The Fall 2019 Mediterranean Seminar Workshop
4 & 5 October 2019
The University of Toronto



 As the principal site of contact and confrontation between Muslims, Christians, and Jews in the premodern world, the Mediterranean presents an ideal geography within which to explore various dimensions of interfaith violence:  ideologies and practices of war, conquest and colonialism; conflict between confessional communities within Muslim and Christian states; piracy; slavery; the trauma resulting from such violence; and the memorialization of violence.  The Mediterranean also lends itself to the comparative exploration of violence within Muslim, Christian, and Jewish communities as a culturally specific form of social discourse, as expressed, for instance, in class conflict and social rebellion, feuds and vendettas, the violence related to gendered notions of honor and shame, and punishment and execution.  Since modern (mis)understandings of premodern crusades and jihads, relations between ruling majorities and religious minorities, and the role of violence in gender relations continue to contribute to prejudice and violence throughout the world, the study of violence in the premodern Mediterranean is all too relevant.

Program & Papers

All sessions will take place at the Natalie Zemon Davis History Conference Room in Sidney Smith Hall, Room 2098.
All papers are copyright the author and are not to be copied, distributed or cited without express written permission by same.
Click on the title to download the paper, and on the name for the bio.

Friday 4 October 2019

9:00-9:30        Coffee and Registration

9:30-9:50        Introduction
Mark Meyerson: History/ Medieval Studies, University of Toronto
• Brian A. Catlos (Religious Studies, University of Colorado Boulder) and Sharon Kinoshita (Literature, University of California Santa Cruz), The Mediterranean Seminar

 10:00-11:15    Workshop Paper #1
“The Matter of Personae in Medieval Italy”
• Melissa Vise: History, Washington & Lee University
Response: Sergio LaPorta: Armenian Studies, Fresno State

 11:15-11:30    Coffee break

 11:30-12:45    Workshop Paper #2
“Necroviolence for Message Discipline”
• Elizabeth Spragins: Spanish, College of the Holy Cross
Response: David Wacks: Spanish, University of Oregon

 12:45-2:00      Lunch (for speakers and registered participants)

 2:00-3:15        Workshop Paper #3
“Vernaculars of Violence: Understanding the Spectacle in Byzantium”
• Vicky Hioureas: History, Princeton University
Response: Joshua White: History, University of Virginia

 3:15-3:45        Coffee break

3:45-5:00        Keynote Lecture
“‘Blood of God! Bowels of God!’: Violence and the Order of Malta”
• Emanuel Buttigieg: University of Malta

Saturday 5 October 2019 

10:00-10:30    Coffee and Registration

 10:30-12:00    Round Table 1
What was the relationship between the practice of violence and its representations (textual, visual, or other)? Did the rhetoric of violence correspond to its practice ?
Moderator: Brian A. Catlos
1. Adam Ali: Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, University of Toronto
 2. Samuel Cohen: History, Sonoma State University 
3. Lucia Dacome: Institute for the History & Philosophy of Science and Technology, University of Toronto
4. Edward Holt: History, Grambling State University
5. Hanna MacKechnie: History and Classics, Queen’s University
6. Bogdan Smarandache: Medieval Studies, University of Toronto
7. Heba Mostafa: History of Art, University of Toronto

12:00-1:15      Lunch (for speakers and registered participants)

1:15-2:00        Mediterranean Research at the Hill Museum & Manuscript Library
• Daniel Gullo, Joseph S. Micallef Curator of the Malta Study Center

 2:00-3:30        Round Table 2
What drove violence in the pre-Modern Mediterranean: ideology or opportunity?
Moderator: Sharon Kinoshita
1. Evren Altinkas: History, University of Guelph
2. Fred Astren: Jewish Studies, San Francisco State University
3. Travis Bruce: History, McGill University
4. Ana Mendez-Oliver: Hispanic Literature & Culture, Syracuse University
5.  José Osorio: Medieval Studies, University of Toronto
6  Joshua White: History, University of Virginia

3:30-4:00        Coffee break

4:00-4:30        Concluding Remarks
•  Brian A. Catlos, Sharon Kinoshita, Mark Meyerson, & audience


Speakers and respondents will be lodged at the Chelsea Hotel, at 33 Gerard St., W.

Workshop Dinner:
A buffet-style dinner will be held at 6:30pm on Friday 4 October at the Host Restaurant at 14 Prince Arthur Ave.. Speakers and respondents are invited; attendees who wish to join the dinner, please inquire at in advance, if at all possible.

Sponsors , Organization & Support:
This workshop is organized by Mark Meyerson (University of Toronto), Daniel Gullo (Hill Museum and Manuscript Library), Sharon Kinoshita (University of California Santa Cruz), and Brian A. Catlos (University of Colorado Boulder).
The Fall 2019 workshop is jointly sponsored by the Malta Study Center at the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library and the Department of History, the Centre for Medieval Studies, the Centre for Jewish Studies, the Institute for Islamic Studies, the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, the Department of Religious Studies, the Department of Spanish and Portuguese and the Department of Art History at the University of Toronto. The Mediterranean Seminar is supported by the University of Colorado Boulder.