Today, the word “mediterranean” almost universally conjures images of sunny beaches, small islands, and white-domed buildings. These images, in turn, naturalize the idea of “the Mediterranean” as transparent to the liquid continent it refers to. But, as with all worn-out metaphors the origins of which are lost in time, the metaphorization of the Mediterranean is far from a natural and innocent occurrence; it has itself a discursive history imbricated with coloniality, imperialism, and postcoloniality. This talk will unravel this discursive history of “the Mediterranean” and connect it to the specific role that Mediterranean imaginaries have played in the making of Italy and Italians.


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