Seminar meeting on «The Other Mediterranean or the Mediterranean’s Other? The Red Sea in History» by Alexis Wick

The Department of Mediterranean and Global Economic and Social History and the Centre of Maritime History of the IMS/FORTH will organise, during the present academic year 2021-2022, a second annual series of seminar meetings on the «Global Economic History and the History of the Seas», using the zoom platform. We intend to re-examine the spatial and temporal framework of our collective research, in a way that can provide an optimal operational context for the adoption and use of the analytical concepts and interpretative patterns inspired by recent developments in Global History and Thalassology. Our ultimate goal is to create an academic environment with a common understanding of research priorities, fields of study and focal points that will contribute to the renovation and enlargement of the scope of Greek economic history and fully integrated it into the current debates of the international community of global economic historians.
Researchers and collaborating faculty members of the IMS/FORTH took the initiative of organizing this series of seminars but our meetings are open to all, under the constraints imposed by modern telecommunication technology. We are planning to meet monthly, usually every Monday at 16:00 (Greek time). The conferences will be given in Greek or English, according to the composition of the audience. Updated information and any additional material for our projected meetings will be freely provided by the relevant web-page of the Department of Mediterranean and Global Economic and Social History of the IMS/FORTH.

Οn Monday Nov.22, at 16:00 (Greek time) Alexis Wick (Associate Professor of History, College of Social Sciences and Humanities, Koç University) will give a conference on «The Other Mediterranean or the Mediterranean’s Other? The Red Sea in History»
 

Abstract

My work addresses a startling gap in the literature: there is no historical account of the Red Sea even remotely comparable to Fernand Braudel’s Mediterranean. And this, despite the fact that many maritime basins have inspired spirited attempts at Braudellian projections of all kinds.
Yet the Red Sea offers itself as the ideal unitary space, in terms of geographical, climatic, religious, linguistic, social, commercial, human, even political and juridical integration of a sort Mediterraneanists could only dream about. Not only were the natural and cultural commonalities of the various shores evident, the Red Sea had been, essentially, an Ottoman lake for about four centuries. This ought to justify its treatment as a historical actor à la Braudel, especially given the current mood of the discipline in its oceanic turn.
By honing in on the presence-absence of the Red Sea from the scholarly arena, the talk speaks to a set of fundamental questions concerning historical practice in general, and maritime history in particular: How do particular subjects qualify as historical? How did the sea, its past and its present, become a subject of historical analysis in and of itself? And most importantly for whom and by whom does the becoming-historical of the sea materialize? Should there be, can there be, a universal history of the sea?

Alexis Wick: The Red Sea In Search of Lost Space (University of California Press 2016)
https://www.ucpress.edu/book/9780520285927/the-red-sea

 

You can register in advance to our seminar meetings using the following link.

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