Nicosia, Cyprus: 3-6 June 2015

Over the centuries, the peoples and nations of the Mediterranean have been divided but also connected by the sea. Its trade routes have facilitated traffic and ideas, artistic creativity, and architecture, as well as commerce. Cultures have evolved and empires have risen and declined through processes that have impacted the histories and cultures of countries washed by the Mediterranean. This sea has helped create what Edward Said refers to as “lines between cultures” that permit us to discern identities in a process of constant evolution while also revealing the “extent to which cultures are humanly made structures of both authority and participation.”   Indeed, this interplay of geography and culture, politics and art, climate and society invites multiple modes of inquiry. How have the “humanly made structures” of the Eastern Mediterranean helped both to unite and divide the peoples of the region?  As peripheral cultures, have these structures and/or peoples taken on aspects and attributes similar to those found in other peripheral but also metropolitan settings? To what extent has the region’s geopolitical frame affected lifestyle and artistic expression for those living there? How did Empire mediate in the interactions between Mediterranean colonies? How have the structures created by Greeks, Ottomans, Britons, and other imperialists in the Eastern Mediterranean altered the landscape — human, sociological, anthropological, linguistic, and cultural?