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Migrant Hospitalities in the Mediterranean

Encounters with Alterity in Birth and Death

Palgrave Macmillan
  • This book is open access, which means that you have free and unlimited access.

  • The first book to systematically apply the insights of the anthropology of hospitality to Mediterranean host-guest relations in the context of migration

  • Discusses case studies of pregnancy and childbirth, death and burial

  • Makes contributions to anthropology (of hospitality, migration, birth and death) and migration studies, especially in terms of the insights that a grounded, ethnographic approach can bring to migrant reception studies

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Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)

Table of contents (6 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xii
  2. Introduction: Mediterranean Migrant Hospitalities

    • Vanessa Grotti, Marc Brightman
    Pages 1-14Open Access
  3. Correction to: Migrant Hospitalities in the Mediterranean

    • Vanessa Grotti, Marc Brightman
    Pages C1-C1Open Access
  4. Back Matter

    Pages 127-132

About this book

This open access book applies insights from the anthropology of hospitality to illuminate ethnographic accounts of migrant reception in various parts of the Mediterranean. The contributors ground the idea and practice of hospitality in concrete ethnographic settings and challenge how the casual usage of Derridean or Kantian notions of hospitality can blur the boundaries between social scales and between metaphor and practice. Host-guest relations are multiplied through pregnancy and childbirth, and new forms of hospitality emerge with the need to offer mortuary practices for dead strangers, helping to illuminate the spatial and scalar dimensions of morality and politics in Mediterranean migrant reception.


  • local hospitality
  • institutional hospitality
  • migration crisis
  • refugee crisis
  • public hospitals
  • maternity care
  • mortuary practice
  • death
  • mourning
  • Mediterranean
  • Open Access
  • ethnicity, class, gender and crime


“This tour de force of transversal analysis, comparison, and reflection exposes the double bind of hospitality from the gestures of comprehension in an Athenian public hospital’s maternity ward, through mortuary practices and commemorative discourses for dead strangers and drowned kin, to the ritualistic institutionalization of minimal hospitality in Lampedusa. By leaving no assumption unexamined, Grotti, Brightman and their collaborators have made the anthropology of hospitality, the ethnography of the ongoing migration dynamics in the Mediterranean, and transregional scalar processes shine in each other’s light.”—Naor Ben-Yehoyada, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Columbia University, USA

Migrant Hospitalities in the Mediterranean hosts the reader across various locations of migrants' routes and encounters. This set of ethnographically-thick accounts of migrants' reception or rejection at Europe's southern threshold offers a fresh view on hospitality by approaching migration as a passage from 'death to a new life'. The volume invites us to rethink and rearticulate decades-long debates on migrations and hospitality, given a substantial increase in recent migrations in the region and their humanitarian consequences."

—Natasa Gregoric Bon, Assistant Professor, Institute of Anthropolgoical and Spatial studies, Research Centre SAZU, Slovenia

“This book addresses the pressing need for more research on hospitality and hospitality practices, a need that has become more pronounced now, at the end of a decade characterised by increasingly polarised debates on irregular migration and border control. Anthropology is an excellent avenue for this, and indeed this book builds on the work of other anthropologists revisiting the concept of hospitality in recent years. The book is a welcome addition, both for its conceptually sophisticated approaches to the concept of hospitality and for its empirically rich, ethnographically grounded case studies of migrant hospitalities in the Mediterranean.”

—Daniela DeBono, Associate Professor fo International Migration and Ethnic Relations, Malmö University, Sweden


Editors and Affiliations

  • Department of Cultural Heritage, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy

    Vanessa Grotti, Marc Brightman

About the editors

Vanessa Grotti is Associate Professor of Anthropology at the Department of Cultural Heritage, University of Bologna, Italy.

Marc Brightman is Professor of Anthropology at the Department of Cultural Heritage, University of Bologna, Italy.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 638259.

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: Migrant Hospitalities in the Mediterranean

  • Book Subtitle: Encounters with Alterity in Birth and Death

  • Editors: Vanessa Grotti, Marc Brightman

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Cham

  • eBook Packages: Social Sciences, Social Sciences (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2021

  • License: CC BY

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-030-56584-8Published: 23 April 2021

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-030-56585-5Published: 22 April 2021

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XII, 132

  • Number of Illustrations: 10 illustrations in colour

  • Topics: Sociocultural Anthropology, Medical Anthropology, Human Migration, Critical Criminology

Buying options

Hardcover Book USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)