Studies in the Mediterranean

MARE NOSTRVM: Studies in the Mediterranean

The Mediterranean is a complex site of encounters, involving the continual movement of peoples, histories, and cultures. In the past few decades the Mediterranean has been reconfigured extensively not only in political, economic and cultural terms but also in the ways in which it is viewed, experienced and conceptualized. What is special about the Mediterranean is that, because it is a contained and sheltered sea, it allows for an intense interaction among different peoples. The history of the Mediterranean is one of human co-existence, confrontation, and, sometimes, conflict in terms of trade, religion, culture, and politics. As a body of water the Mediterranean sea allows for fluidity and openness, connecting different worlds in a network that has shaped local, social, commercial, political, and cultural developments.

The Mare Nostrum Humanities Initiative offers Bowdoin faculty and students the opportunity to make meaningful connections in, around, and across the Mediterranean by approaching the nations and cultures of this region from multiple perspectives, including historical, religious, linguistic, cultural, artistic, social, and political aspects.  Our goal is to support these connections through a series of related events and activities that will enliven and enrich the world of the humanities at Bowdoin.

Faculty coordinators for this cluster are Susan Wegner and Davida Gavioli.

Current Year's Events (archived) 2015-2016

Previous Course Offerings, 2014-2015

Previous Events, 2014-2015


Sicily Trip Photo Blog

Of Gods, Dons, and Leopards: Literary Representations of Sicily between Reality and MetaphorLa Spedizione Siciliana – Professors Barbara Weiden Boyd and Davida Gavioli

This faculty-led study trip, “Sicily: Mediterranean Pasts, Presents, and Futures,” has guided students to an in-depth understanding of the historical, social, and cultural complexities of the island of Sicily, now a part of the nation of Italy but, in the course of its long history as cultural crossroads, home to several early indigenous peoples of the western Mediterranean as well as colonizing Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Spanish, French, and Arabs over the course of more than 3000 years. Because of its strategic location, long history, and a new appreciation for its cultural riches, Sicily is the perfect vantage-point from which to consider the Mediterranean world as a whole, through both historical and contemporary lenses.