Rethinking Europe from the Mediterranean shores; 1796-1914

Course Material 2022/23
Portolan chart of Europe by Diogo Homem

This paper attempts to write a history of modern Europe from the Mediterranean shores and, in doing so, it challenges established historiographical verdicts and intellectual hierarchies that construct the sea as a liminal European space. Focusing on the history of Italy, Portugal, Spain, Greece as well as the Empires dominating the Mediterranean in the long nineteenth century, this course will challenge the historiographical thesis depicting Euro-Mediterranean peripheries as derivative, backward or exceptional, stemming from a ‘partial’ or ‘incomplete’ cultural westernisation or modernisation. It will examine exchanges of ideas and the movement of people, such as political exiles and émigrés;  it will explore democratic procedures and communication networks, and will analyse the relationship among nation, state and empire by looking at anti-imperial and anti-colonial uprisings, nationalist revolutions and civil wars in the Euro-Mediterranean area.

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Image: Portolan chart of Europe by Diogo Homem, 1563.