Critically Mediterranean: An Introduction

  • yasser elhariry
  • Edwige Tamalet Talbayev
Part of the Mediterranean Perspectives book series (MEPERS)


The Introduction to Critically Mediterranean outlines what happens to the field of Mediterranean studies when the focus shifts to the modern and contemporary periods. It describes how the sea’s memorial density reveals the fundamental tensions underlying most historically bound investigations of the Mediterranean in modernity. The Mediterranean mobilized by the Introduction is posited in performative terms: the sea as a medium through which to negotiate subjects’ imagined relations to the world around them. Drawing on the work of François Hartog and Giorgio Agamben, the Introduction provides a review of philosophical considerations of time, temporality, periodicity, and contemporaneity. It outlines the bearings of the discipline of Mediterranean studies, exposes the plurality of Mediterranean times, and describes how a critical Mediterranean may be narrated. It concludes with the argument that the Mediterranean, marked by crisis in the time-space of modernity, exceeds teleological historical narrative, and generates alternative narrative and poetic modes of engagement with time from within modern and contemporary cultural production.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • yasser elhariry
    • 1
  • Edwige Tamalet Talbayev
    • 2
  1. 1.Dartmouth CollegeHanoverUSA
  2. 2.Tulane UniversityNew OrleansUSA

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