Map of the Mediterranean States
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Tu 3:30PM - 6:00PM
Population movements constitute the bedrock of humankind's history and have assumed a wide range of guises: epic wanderings, pilgrimage, pastoral nomadism, transhumance, voluntary relocation, forced expatriation, trade diaspora, travel, tourism, and labor movements of many kinds, notably slavery. In taxonomies of motion, the critical elements are the relative presence or absence of force, the motivations and objectives of those favoring departure over staying put, the duration and patterns of expatriation, and whether the place of exile became over time a space of belonging. To these considerations must be added variables, such as gender, age and generation, social class, family structure, religion, and race, that determined how individuals or groups perceived their subjective situation and embraced the idea of temporary or permanent expatriation, however alluring or frightening. Of course, until (and even after) nineteenth-century abolition in Europe and the Ottoman Empire, countless people crossed the sea against their own will. These diverse manifestations of trans-Mediterranean mobilities were not necessarily distinct; yet no matter how or why they departed, the people in motion brought wide-ranging social changes to new lands or host societies as well as to those left behind.
This course grapples with a range of historical problems associated with 'people on the move'. Employing the concepts of migration and mobility as theoretical perspectives, we examine the major forces at work in the region from about 1800 until the present: imperialisms, settler colonialism, capitalism and labor markets, shifting gender norms, changing legal regimes, education, changing ecologies, and debates about cultural/religious authenticity, in short, modernities. The framing narrative is provided by the problem-centered monograph, Mediterraneans: North Africa and Europe in an Age of Migration, c. 1800-1900, although supplementary readings culled mainly from periodical literature deal with more recent periods and, for comparative purposes, other geographical regions.
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