Call for Papers: Symbols & Models of the Mediterranean

6th Conference of the Mediterranean Worlds – Symbols and Models of the Mediterranean University of Calabria, Department of Humanities, September 9-11, 2014

The Mediterranean Sea is a milieu in which it is possible to observe, through an interdisciplinary lens, the undertaking of elements defining an idea which conflicts with its immediate sensitive aspect; an idea that arises from life situations and the imaginary world of every man. Nevertheless, it remains a context in which is possible to observe the presence and the constant use of historical symbols, patterns and models of those people inhabiting its shores, as embedded in both the artistic and material production, as well as in the literary one.

The Mediterranean Sea could be investigated as a real geographical and historical referee, that has generated, and continues to generate symbols; but it can be also interpreted as the metaphor and allegory of the ‘encounters and clashes’ between near and distant people. There are symbols and models by which is possible to perceive and understand convergences and contacts, and disclose common identities, even when considering specific differences of the people.

The theme of this interdisciplinary conference will focus on these issues:

  1. The symbols (signs, gestures, objects, animals, persons) capable of bringing to mind meanings deeply interconnected with the development of each of Mediterranean society.
  2. The importance of tangible and intangible models serving as examples to reproduce and imitate the evidence that have marked and conditioned the life of the Mediterranean people from a political, religious, economic, and social viewpoints.

We welcome the submission of 250-word abstracts for twenty-minute papers that broadly address the above themes, and that may address, but not be limited by, the following topics:

  • Symbols and models disclosing common identities
  • Symbolical landmarks
  • Symbols of the State and Political Power as institutional models
  • Religious symbols
  • Settlements patterns and historical-economic models
  • Natural elements (living beings typical of the Mediterranean area bearing a symbolic value)
  • Literary production as often recording the centrality of the Mediterranean as a complex and contradictory allegory
  • Redefining Mediterranean boundaries as precarious and mobile limits, but also as bridges between lands and shores
  • The metaphor of the Mediterranean and the dialectic between the hegemonic power of the centers and the potential destabilizing peripheries.

Abstract Submissions:
Abstracts should be no more than 250 words and should include at least 3 descriptive keywords, the presenter’s name, email address, organization, and mailing address. The languages of the conference will be English and Italian.

Please send your abstract submissions to: ; 

Abstract must be submitted by 1 March 2014 Notification of acceptance will be communicated by 1 April 2014