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Brave New Work
Mediterranean Encounters in the City
Frameworks of Mediation Between East and West, North and South789
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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.
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"A thoughtful and timely study, in light of the current Mediterranean migration crisis. Ardizzoni and Ferme's edited book offers through its unique, provocative and transversal reading of Mediterranean port cities fresh perspectives on their historical metamorphosis into complex, contradictory and porous cultural, artistic, philosophical and economic agoras." -- Safoi Babana-Hampton, Michigan State University "An inspiring and innovative collection of essays on cultural complexities and social challenges in contemporary Mediterranean cities." -- Federica Frediani, University of Lugano
Michela Ardizzoni is assistant professor in the Department of French and Italian at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Valerio Ferme is professor of Italian at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Introduction: The Mediterranean, the City, and Cultural Encounters Valerio Ferme and Michela Ardizzoni Chapter 1: Decadent Nights: A Cocaine-Filled Reading of 1920s Post-Ottoman Istanbul G. Carole Woodall Chapter 2: Close(d) Encounters: Tangier, the Arts, and the North-South Divide Mary Vogl Chapter 3: Cityscapes as Dystopias in Moroccan Film: Hicham Lasri's L'Os de fer (2007) Valerie K. Orlando Chapter 4: New Imagined Frenchness: Med'In Marseille and the Identity Debates in France Nabil Echchaibi Chapter 5: Neapolitan Media Activism and Translocal Identities Michela Ardizzoni Chapter 6: Where is Naples? Locating Naples in John Turturro's film Passione Guillaume Bernardi Chapter 7: Lands of Approximation: The Use of Chinese Icons in Roberto Saviano's Gomorra and Ermanno Rea's La dismissione Valentina Fulginiti Chapter 8: Utopia by the Sea: The Disappearance of the City and the Myth the Mediterranean in Nuovo Cinema Paradiso, Mediterraneo, and Il Postino Valerio Ferme About the Contributors