15th Annual Mediterranean Studies Association Congress



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15th Annual Mediterranean Studies Association Congress

Pula, Croatia

Sveučilište Jurja Dobrile u Puli, Hrvatska

May 30 – June 2, 2012

The Congress is sponsored by:



  • Mediterranean Studies Association

  • Juraj Dobrila University of Pula, Croatia

  • University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

  • University of Kansas

  • Utah State University

  • Institute for Mediterranean Studies, Busan University of Foreign Studies, Korea


Thrusday, May 31
1A. Comparative Studies: East and West

Chair: John W. Head, University of Kansas


John W. Head, “Justinian’s Corpus Juris Civilis (529-534 AD) in Comparative Perspective” 

Justinian’s Corpus Juris Civilis (532 CE) differs from, but also resembles in some respects, the great Chinese dynastic codes -- particularly the Tang Code issued only about a century later.  A survey of the aims, audience, structure, and success of those two codes informs us about both of their "home cultures", and perhaps even the contemporary cultures to which each of those codes contributed.


Daniel T. Reff, Ohio State University, “Sixteenth-Century Reflection on Customs, Culture, and the State”

Europe’s discovery of whole new worlds and peoples at the turn of the sixteenth century ushered in a century of reflection on human diversity, both real and imagined.  Toward the end of the sixteenth century (1585), a Portuguese Jesuit missionary in Japan, Luis Frois, drafted what is perhaps the earliest systematic comparative study of European and non-European “customs.”  Frois’ text, which is titled “Striking Contrasts in the Customs of Europe and Japan,” consists of over 600 distichs comparing everything from gender roles, clothing, and eating habits to architecture, gift giving, and picking your nose!  Although Frois and other Europeans (e.g. Montagne)  spoke explicitly about “customs,” one can perceive in Frois’ text and other works of the sixteenth century an implicit anticipation of the concept of culture (an integrated set of customs), which did not  emerge fully until the late nineteenth century.  The implicit notion of culture from the sixteenth century paralleled more explicit discussions of “the state,” which also bespoke a human collective.  This paper explores the cultural-historical context of European reflection on customs, culture, and the state and how the European colonial imperative to convert and exploit “others” engendered reflection on notions of collective identity.


Antonio Pelaez Rovira, Escuela de Estudios Árabes de Granada (CSIC), “Legal Perspective and Socioeconomic Practice in Medieval Islam: A New Approach to Hunting in Islamic

Granada (13th-15th Centuries)”

This paper contributes to know the legal experience about hunting in al-Andalus during the Nasrid period and focus on the debate around the legal limits of the socioeconomic practice.


This topic is relevant because of the importance of hunting and fishing (the same word for both practices in Arabic, sayid) in Medieval Islam, which is attested in the abundance of written and iconographic references that reveal its widely use in politics, socioeconomic activities and medicine. The use of these hunted animals by Muslim population also caused several legal questions about consumption, trade with Christian people, purity and so on. It is known that Muslims hunted in the Nasrid Kingdom of Granada as well as fished. People used these animals for clothing, eating and trading, as political power did it for pleasure. Next to this social reality, there is a legal perspective focusing on people’s attention on the limits of his socioeconomic practices. This work studies this legal experience by written sources to see how it conditioned the socioeconomic practice of the hunting in Nasrid Granada.

1B. How Influential Is Europe? Critical Approaches to the European “Impact”on Turkish Politics and Economics

Chair: John A. Jamil Brownson, United Arab Emirates University


Başak Alpan, Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi (Middle East Technical University, Turkey), “Discourses in Turkey after 1999: Discursive Encounters with Europe and the Significance

of the Domestic”

It is not a prophecy to say that one of the most common concepts that those working on ‘Europe’ would encounter at various points in different capacities would be ‘Europeanisation’. This buzzword has also been crucial in understanding and explaining for Turkey’s European orientation path, which acquired a new dimension and has been carried to a more substantive and institutional level with the Helsinki European Council in December 1999 when Turkey was granted formal candidacy status in its application to join the EU.  This paper aims to focus on the significance of the domestic discourses to understand the process of Europeanisation with a particular focus on the Turkish political landscape. For this aim, firstly, I focus on the discourses on ‘Europe’ in Turkish politics after 1999 and introduce the notion of ‘Europe-as-hegemony’. The overall argument is that the hegemony of ‘Europe’ does not originate from the automaticity of the relationship between the European and domestic level as stipulated by the Europeanisation literature, but rather from the power of discourses on ‘Europe’at the doemstic level and their ability to hegemonise the political realm. In this respect, this paper offers a novel approach to the Europeanisation literature where the political is not only given and constructed but is also reflexive and open to contestation and negotiation.  


Işıl Erol, Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi (Middle East Technical University, Turkey), “Housing Finance System in Turkey and the European Union Harmonization Process”

Turkey is one of the largest housing finance markets among the emerging economies. Inadequate urban planning, illegal urbanization, and long-lasting shortage of inner-city residential units are the basic drawbacks in the Turkish housing market. Political stability coupled with considerably lower inflation rate and interest rates have recently created a better macroeconomic environment for initiating long-term residential mortgages. Most recently, the government’s domestic debt requirement has diminished and investors have started to seek alternative investment tools with reasonable risk class, including mortgage-backed securities. Culturally, home ownership is the most embraced means of investment and socially, the Turkish households tend to be homeowners rather than being tenants. In spite of the continuing attempts to join the European Union (EU), housing finance system in Turkey has been evolving through its unique dynamics.  To date, it is hard to identify clearly direct effects of the EU harmonization process on the housing finance system. Unlike the European counterparts, mortgage lenders in Turkey are mainly commercial banks not investment banks, and finance mortgage loans through their savings deposit base. Although the target market for mortgage lending is assumed to be middle-income households, families with some amount of wealth accumulated for downpayment can be eligible for taking mortgage loans towards homeownership. Since lenders have to bear high risks caused by mortgage-savings duration mismatch, they target families with lower risk and high-income profiles. Thus, a wide segment of the families are left underserved. Predominantly, middle-income households are either tenants, live in a family-financed dwelling or in unauthorized dwellings (gecekondu).  Alternatively, middle-to-lower income households are targeted by governmental agencies to a very limited extent. This paper presents the latest developments in the Turkish housing finance system and discusses the underlying forces of the mortgage market in line with Turkey’s efforts to join the EU.


Bengi Demirci, Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi (Middle East Technical University, Turkey), “To What Extent Is the EU Shaping Health Care Reforms in Turkey?”

Health care reform has been on the agenda of Turkish governments for so long- particularly since late 1980s. The last and the most radical attempt to transform the Turkish health care system has been launched by the Health Transformation Programme (HTP) in 2003, which is still an on-going process.   EU Accession Process has often been referred to as an important driving force behind constitutional amendments and public sector reforms in Turkey. This has been the case with the HTP that the Programme highly refers to Turkey’s accession to the EU and in this context to harmonization of Turkish Health Care System and related legislations with that of the EU.  Nevertheless, although the EU and the accession process are highly referred to in health care reforms in Turkey, it is evident that compared to other international actors such as the World Bank, OECD and the IMF, EU has not been that influential in the formulation and implementation of the HTP.  This paper argues that despite the dominant discourse, rather than the EU and the accession process, it is mainly the global dynamics of the neo-liberal transformation process (together with its actors and their directions and prescriptions) which in articulation with the national dynamics have paved the way for the formulation and implementation of the HTP.


Çınla Akdere, Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi (Middle East Technical University, Turkey), “Adam Smith and John Stuart Mill on Turkey”

The social and the economic transformations of the Britain in the eighteenth and nineteenth century have been taken as the subject matter of the works of classical economics. Nevertheless, it could be inappropriate to defend the idea that classical economists analyzed only the British society before proposing the economic laws and policies. The economic thought and policy on the problems of less developed Europe are also presents, even in a limited way, in the work of some classical economists. While Adam Smith (1776) puts the emphasis on the violence of the feudal government of Turkey (Smith, 1776: p. 301), John Stuart Mill integrate Turkey into the less civilized and industrious parts of Europe with Russia, Spain, and Ireland. For him, the spirit of industry and the effective desire of accumulation apply less to these counties (Mill, 1848, Book 1, Chapter 13). The object of this paper is to identify the economic characters attributed to the Turkish society by Adam Smith and John Stuart Mill in the 19th century.


1C. Croatian Studies I

Chair: Gorana Stepanić, Sveučilište Jurja Dobrile u Puli (University of Pula)


Lahorka Plejić Poje, Sveučilište u Zagrebu (University of Zagreb), “Vituperatio urbis: Dubrovnik and the Others” 

While in the early Renaissance there were lots of Latin texts belonging to the corpus of Croatian early modern literature which might be classified into laudatio urbis genre, later there could be found their pendant in the Croatian vernacular which might be called vituperatio urbis. Since laudatio is written in order to celebrate its own city, vituperatio is colloquial, often trivial mockery aimed at the other, neighbouring town.  These satires were originated in Dubrovnik, directed against Venice and their vassal cities such as Kotor, Perast and Korčula and written by Šiško Menčetić, Mavro Vetranović and Pasko Primović. This paper will scrutinize historical context of their origin together with motives which instigated emergence of these satires. Besides, it will be examined whether they were expressions of individual or collective hostility towards the others. Although older Croatian literary history categorizes these satires as patriotic poems, it can be stated that they are founded upon stereotypes that are present in the other types of discourses as well and that they are rather expressions of fear, aggression or distinction towards the foreign than of love for the own. Finally, the question whether these poems point at permanent instability of the collective identity will be answered


Dubravka Mlinarić, Ivana Brković, Sveučilište u Zagrebu (University of Zagreb), “Representation of Ragusa/Dubrovnik in 17th-Century Literature and Cartography” 

Situated at the Adriatic Sea, a small aristocratic state of the Republic of Ragusa/Dubrovnik has been usually historiographically presented as an area of contacts as well as of separation of the political powers such as the Ottoman Empire, the Venetian Republic, the Spanish Kingdom or the Hapsburg Monarchy. Besides dividing political and strategic interests, this particular area has also been represented as the Mediterranean crossroad in religious (Christians vs. Muslims, Catholics vs. Orthodox) and cultural sense (East vs. West, belonging to the tradition of Slovins vs. non-belonging to this tradition) as well as in communication, trading and diplomacy.  


Within the theoretical framework of the contemporary paradigm of spatial turn and supposing that the early modern construct of Dubrovnik as a dynamic borderland, was created by various media (sources), this paper aims at analyzing different representations of the Republic of Ragusa in the 17th century cartography and literature. By transmedial analysis of maps made by V. M. Coronelli, P. Du Val, M. Merian and J. Bleau as well as by literary works of I. Gundulić, J. Palmotić and J. Palmotić-Dionorić we hope to enlighten two different perspectives of the construction of space. The first one is the perspective of insiders, oriented to Dubrovnik itself, used by the local literary authors. The other one is from the outsider point of view, mostly used by foreign (Western European) cartographers either of Venetian, French, Netherlands, or German provenances.  Furthermore, the construct of Ragusan space was generated through different types of discourses, characteristic both for Western Europe and the Dubrovnik cultural surroundings of the 17th century, implying multiple meanings: historical, political, religious, cultural and ideological.
Gorana Stepanić, “Building Identity on Ancient Ruins: A 19th-Century Latin Poem on Diocletian's Palace in Split”

This paper analyzes the phenomenon of the 19th century Neo-Latin poetry in Dalmatia as an expression of various types of identity. The main text we analyze is Dioclias, a Latin polymetric epic poem in three books by Giuseppe Ciobarnich (Makarska, 1790 – 1852), an account of the last days of the Roman emperor Diocletian and the martyrdom of local saints. The second book of the poem is a description of Diocletian’s Palace presented in a conversation of two Christian characters. Ciobarnich’s fictional description of the Palace is compared to the Renaissance description by the famous humanist Marko Marulić (Split, 1450 – 1524) in his Commentary on Inscriptions of the Ancients. The main ideological tension in both texts is the tension between a Christian believer and a professional antiquarian (Ciobarnich was a priest and a director of the Archeological Museum in Split). Whereas Marulić’s description of the Palace is part of the mainstream of humanist interests and Latin was a natural language choice, a 19th century poet demonstrates far more: writing an ambitious poem in Latin in the age of Romanticism, formation of national states and experimental sciences is itself an ideological statement. This paper reveals his identities (local, religious, cultural, national) contextualizing them in the contemporary social and literary scene.


1D. Animals and Plants in the Mediterranean World: History, Archaeology, and Their Representations in Art

Chair: María Marcos Cobaleda, Universidad de Granada, Spain & École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris


Ieva Reklaityte, Universidad de Zaragoza, “Some Notes on the Domestic Animals in the Medieval Muslim Spain According to the Archaeological and Historical Data ”

Due to Islamic dietary laws, dogs were considered unclean, although not so much as pigs. Other animals, such as cats, were favored by the Prophet and therefore forbidden as food. The Quran favored kindness toward them, especially cats. Within this paper a presence of domestic animals in the towns of Muslim Medieval Spain will be discussed. Historical and archaeological data show how cats and dogs inhabited Muslim Medieval towns although most probably their status was somewhat different. Historical sources mention vagabond dogs that were able to transmit illnesses and were considered dangerous. The medieval hisbah treatises indicate that butchers and other food sellers must prevent dogs get closed to the food. On the other hand, zooarchaeological evidence confirms the presence of cats and dogs in the Muslim Spanish towns.  Finally, we can discuss some singular burials where an animal or some parts of it was present. Therefore an extreme attachment to a cat was documented in the Toledo Gateway cemetery in Saragossa dated to the Taipha period. A young man was buried with a cat placed next to his head. The same emotional attachment to domestic animals was documented in the Muslim cemetery of El Quez (Saragossa) where a burial also contained a cat skeleton.  


Other animals also were present in the daily life of the inhabitants of medieval towns: animal images were used for house decoration; water was stored in the terracotta vessels shaping a cat or a camel, for example, while children used to play with zoomorphic figurines made of clay that can be identified as toys.  Archaeological, zooarchaeological and historical data will be discussed in this paper.
David García Cueto, Universidad de Granada, “The Knowledge of American Flora and Fauna in the Mediterranean: The Edition of the Tesoro Messicano (1651) in Rome”

The scientific expeditions promoted by the Spanish Crown in their American dominions during the XVI century had outstanding results for the knowledge of the fauna and flora of the New World in Europe. Among their results, it was particularly relevant the treatise of Doctor Francisco Hernández on Mexico’s animals, plants and minerals, preserved in one unique copy at the library of the Royal Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial. There was consulted by several erudite of the time, being between them the Neapolitan Leonardo Antonio Recchi, who made a resume of its content.  After Recchi’s death, his brief copy of the El Escorial’s treatise was bought in 1610 by Federico Cesi, member of the prestigious Roman academy of the Lincei. As a collective enterprise of the academy, Cesi tried to edit in Rome the materials collected by Recchi. After a long, hard and expensive process, the book appeared in 1650 dedicated to the Spanish King Philip IV -thanks in part to the assistance of the agent Alonso de la Torre y Verna- with the title Rerum medicarum Novae Hispaniae Thesaurus. Colloquially, the work was known as Tesoro Messicano. Two decades after, El Escorial was devastated by a terrible fire, who severely affected to its manuscript library. The original materials who served for the Tesoro Messicano were destroyed, having then a special significance the printed edition appeared in Roma. The roman book make possible to several generations of European scientists had a former knowledge of the American minerals, flora and fauna, renovated in the XVIII century with other scientific expeditions to New World.


María Dolores Cisneros Sola, Victoria Eugenia Conservatory of Music of Granada, “The Garden as an Inspiration in the Spanish Music Creation: Manuel de Falla”

The garden as a source of inspiration has been very present in French and Spanish music of the first third of the twentieth century. In the case of Spanish music, firstly, we have to mention several works by Joaquin Turina, whose titles include the garden, like Jardines de Andalucía, op. 31 for piano or the opera Jardín de Oriente, op. 25. Secondly, we must highlight the compositions by Ernesto Halffter such as Amanecer en los jardines de España (1937) for orchestra. Notwithstanding, the most popular and the most performed work all over the world in this sense is undoubtedly Noches en los jardines de España by Manuel de Falla.  In this study, we will analyze how composers inspired by nature, how the musician reflects in the stave the feelings of nature, how to create music from nature transformed into art, that is, how to create art about art. These studies of the sources of inspiration used by musicians as well as the strictly musical resources will be essential for our research. These resources are usually taken from Andalusian folk music: rhythm, imitation of writing guitar, scale and melodic and Andalusian cadential formulas.


María Marcos Cobaleda, “The Vegetal Ornamentation in Al-Andalus and North Africa during the Almoravid Period and Its Symbolic Meaning”

The hydraulic constructions built by the Almoravids in al-Andalus and in the North of Africa are one of the most outstanding architectural expressions within their heritage. These constructions

were built in the whole Empire because it was necessary to provide of water the main towns and other centres. The most important work was the net of khettaras built all over the territory

of Marrakech. This town was the capital of the Empire, and in its region was built a great hydraulic network of subterranean galleries and several pools for storing the water. These works

were started by ‘Ali Ibn Yusuf in the beginning of the 12th Century. But the Almoravids made other different hydraulic works in the main towns of the Empire, such as the hydraulic

system built in Fez by Yusuf Ibn Tashufin. We have references of those systems in the Arabic medieval sources and thanks to the archaeological works. The importance of water in medieval

Islamic societies is well known. Because of that, the Almoravids also built many hydraulic constructions related to the Islamic religion. This kind of works has been conserved in some

cases, not only in the North of Africa (for example the ablutions complex in the mosque Ibn Yusuf of Marrakech) but in al-Andalus, such as the hydraulic constructions preserved in

Cordoba or Almeria. In this paper, we propose the analysis of all the preserved hydraulic constructions built in the Almoravid period for studying the main characteristics of this kind of

works at that time. We also study their transmission all over the Empire and the relationship between North of Africa and al-Andalus in this period, because many of the constructions in the

North of Africa were made by people from al-Andalus, and vice versa.
María Isabel del Val Valdivieso and Olatz Villanueva Zubizarreta, Universidad de Valladolid, “References to Fish in Medieval Castilian Normative Sources”

The use of the products that man has been provided by the see and the rivers has been constant evidence throughout the whole history. This fact has been manifested in the material rests of the archaeology, the written sources and the symbolic artistic representations. Particularly, during de Middle Ages the fish consumption was widespread. Therefore the regulation of its capture, consumption and sale was necessary. The analysis of the fueros (jurisdictions) of the 13th and 14th centuries and the ordinances of the Councils of the 15th centuries allows an approach to the subject: the relationship between society and fish as mere food, source of income or object of tax collection.


1E. Medieval and Renaissance History

Chair: Ilias Giarenis, Ιόνιο Πανεπιστήμιο (Ionian University)


Filippo Naitana, Mount Holyoke College, “Mediterranean Chessboard: Florence and Ragusa (Dubrovnik) in the Quattrocento”

Ragusa (Dubrovnik) occupies a special place among the cities that dot the Mediterranean, not only for the exceptional state of conservation of its archives, but also for the particular character

of the historiographical debate to which they bear witness. They chronicle the story of a city at the fringes, caught between the Slavic world and the Latin tradition. During the Renaissance

in striking contrast with the recent history of the Balkans— Ragusa succeeded in turning its liminal character into a resource: it is precisely thanks to its extraordinary capacity to integrate different languages,

ethnicities, and cultural traditions that the city flourished and became a vibrant center of international trade. This paper discusses the privileged relationship that tied Ragusa to Florence, and the pivotal role

such relationship played in bringing to fruition the Medici’s plan to open up, both politically and economically, toward the Ottoman Levant region.


Ilias Giarenis, Ιόνιο Πανεπιστήμιο (Ionian University), “Sun and the City: Mediterranean Sun as Element of Political and Cultural Perceptions in Byzantine Constantinople”

In our paper we focus on the great role the Mediterranean Sun played in the establishment of a rich political, cultural and spiritual heritage in Byzantium. A special reference is made to the Byzantine capital, where the ideological and cultural spirit of Byzantine Civilization was par excellence expressed.


Cássio da Silva Fernandes, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, “L’Epistola dal Papa Pio II al sultano turco Maometto II” (“The Epistle from Pope Pius II to the Turkish Sultan

Mehmed II, el-Fāti”)

The work of Enea Silvio Piccolomini (1405-1464) constitutes itself of a significant example of the humanistic literature of central Italy in the Quattrocento. Poet, cosmographer, skilled orator, politician, state theorist and diplomat, Piccolomini had pursued a religious career been elected Pope Pio II in 1458.  A main personage in the centre of political and religious events of his time, Piccolomini was the head of a pontificate featured by the march of the turkish toward the west.  Nevertheless halting the turkish was such a primordial effort of his popedom in the field of pragmatic actions and it revealed as complementary means to the dramatic effort to keeping of the medieval construction of the church.  That was so and during the autumm of 1461, soon after the apprehension by the turkish sultan Moahammed II, conqueror of Constantinople of Sinope and Trebizond, Pio II writes him an invitation letter for the convertibleness to Christianity. In exchange the Pope offers the sultan his power recognition in the capacity of legitim imperial authority. Although it had ever been dispatched, the epistle of Pio II to Moahammed II is a humanistic literature piece of most importance written by the erudite pope, who at the same time conceived two paradigmatic cosmographic works of his lifetime: Description of Asia and Europe. Besides the alluded epistle is itself embed as a primodial document for the understanding of the relations between Orient and Occident, meant as a   unique episode within such a dramatic context. Two years later Pio II would have abandoned the attempt for the concord and would decree the Crusade against the Turkish, that is to say, the unsuccessful expedition that ends up in Ancona with the Pope’s death on august 1464, while uselessly awaited for the arrival of the venezian fleet. Through this document our intent is to perceive the  inner meanings of the relationship between  Latin Christianity and  Ottoman Empire by prioritizing the  toscanny  humanistic  approach made Pope, over whom , at that epoch, had  been  considered as the paramount enemy of the Occident.      




2A. Early Modern Geography, History & Drama

Chair: Geraldo U. de Sousa, University of Kansas


Geraldo U. de Sousa, University of Kansas, “Geography and Alien Ecology in John Fletcher and Philip Massinger’s The Sea Voyage (1622)”

This paper focuses on the concepts of home and away Fletcher and Massinger’s The Sea Voyage (1622), and the extent to which intertwined cultural paths “give their shape to spaces” (de Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life, 97). The Sea Voyage suggests that to be “in nature” actually means to be “against nature. The characters find themselves caught in a strange geography, which intertwines natural environments and the absence of architectural structures. In the process, the characters discover a new relationship to the natural world, as their perceptions shift from alien habitats to familiar places.


Richard Raspa, Wayne State University, “The Politics of Memory: Blessings, Curses, and schaudenfreude in Shakespeare's Richard III

One of Shakespeare's notorious villains was a politician who became the King of England in the 15th century during the War of the Roses. Like contemporary tyrants the world over, Richard's appetite for power was rapacious and drove unspeakable acts of butchery against real and imagined enemies, including children. This presentation explores how a master politician can shape memory and the ways events are interpreted and acted upon by others, expanding the magnitude of Richard's horror and control.



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