Such flows seem to pressurize, breach and sometimes even disaggregate the places we always imagined to be distinctive and stable. This book is focussed on the interaction of two elements within this contemporary situation. The first is the very idea of a place we imagine to be distinctive and stable. This idea is explored through architecture, the institution that in the West has claimed the responsibility for imagining and producing places along these lines. The second element is a particular kind of global flow, namely the human flows of immigrants, refugees, exiles, guestworkers and other migrant groups.

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C51 Dewey Decimal Classification As an object of study, it is the product of modern geographical, political, and historical classifications.

In evocative and erudite prose, Chambers renders the Mediterranean a mutable space, profoundly marked by the linguistic, literary, culinary, musical, and intellectual dissemination of Arab, Jewish, Turkish, and Latin cultures.

He brings to light histories of Mediterranean crossings—of people, goods, melodies, thought—that are rarely part of orthodox understandings. Chambers writes in a style that reflects the fluidity of the exchanges that have formed the region; he segues between major historical events and local daily routines, backwards and forwards in time, and from one part of the Mediterranean to another. A sea of endlessly overlapping cultural and historical currents, the Mediterranean exceeds the immediate constraints of nationalism and inflexible identity.

It offers scholars an opportunity to rethink the past and present and to imagine a future beyond the confines of Western humanistic thought. With insight and empathy Chambers argues that the Mediterranean is a decentered and disjunctive topos that has the capacity, and the complexity, to become the contemporary crossroads of intercultural transmission and political transformation.

This is a stirring example of cultural studies blessed with the love of song and myth. In Mediterranean Crossings, he takes us through philosophical, fictional, filmic, musical, and popular cultural texts produced over the centuries, arguing that the Mediterranean needs to be reconceptualized as a transitory, rather than stabilized, habitation and as an ever-evolving cross-cultural space.

Reverberating with far-reaching philosophical implications, his readings combine critical insights with the charm of a storyteller who has traveled widely in texts as well as in physical worlds. He mediates between conflicting histories, cultures, interpretations, and events, elegantly moving between the past and present, large and small, individuals and peoples, in this impressionistic portrait of an unclassifiable, fluid region.


Migrancy, Culture, Identity

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Migrancy, Culture, Identity, Iain Chambers


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