3rd International Conference | ICSR Mediterranean Knowledge
8th International Conference | MedWorlds

 Cultures, Hopes and Conflicts.
The Mediterranean between Land and Sea

 26-28 September 2017 – University of Salerno, Italy

The Conference Cultures, Hopes and Conflicts. The Mediterranean between Land and Sea, jointly organized by the ICSR Mediterranean Knowledge and the Consortium Mediterranean Worlds, aims to collect contributions that address the most important questions related to the Mediterranean Basin from the point of view of different social and human sciences.

The Mediterranean is a sea of cultures, as its shore witnessed the dawn of knowledge: from historiography to philosophy, from natural sciences to political sciences. The Mediterranean, furthermore, is a nexus of civilizations and ethnicities, which have constantly interacted through clashes and peaceful encounters. Indeed, the Mediterranean has always been a meeting place between East and West; this is even more true today as the Mediterranean seems to have become more fragmented and divided between different “worlds”: the secular Western Europe, the Arab-Islamic North Africa and Middle East, the orthodox Christianity of Greece and other Balkan countries, the Jewish culture of Israel, to mention only the most important.

However, one should consider that each of these “worlds” reveals in its internal ethnical, territorial, and social tensions, which adds up to the richness and the peculiarity of the «Mare nostrum».

The Mediterranean, furthermore, is also a sea of hopes: the hopes of hundreds of thousands of migrants who desperately try to cross the sea, on the run from hunger and conflicts; the hope of a fair and lasting peace for those who live in countries affected by civil wars and ethno-religious clashes.

Indeed, the Mediterranean is also a sea of conflicts: armed confrontations (think of Libya, Syria, and Israel-Palestine, as well as the phenomenon of terrorism and the military interventions of Western countries in the Middle East), social clashes (for examples, those provoked by the great economic recession of the Mediterranean countries), cultural battles (mainly related to the confrontation between different mentalities and ways of life), and political disputes (from the recent Arab spring to the growth of new political forces in Europe, both to the right and the left wings), all taking place along its shores.

Analysing the above-mentioned phenomena requires a rather multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary approach, in order to bring together the contribution of different social sciences; history, sociology, philosophy, literary sciences, economy must cooperate in providing tools for a proper understanding of a complex and multi-faceted reality.


2nd Annual International Conference

 Mediterranean Cultures and Societies
Knowledge, Health and Tourism

4-5 May 2017 – University of Algarve, Portugal

Nowadays, the Mediterranean is affected by major changes. The social role of territories has changed: not only people are able to move and travel in a less expensive and easy way, but an increasing number of people can build their identity with multiple senses of belonging. These changes paved the way for new opportunities for multipolarity and also give new opportunities to territories historically destined to marginalization.

New coexistences can be built with an approach that can effectively go beyond the classical oppositions Europe/Mediterranean, North/South; West/East, etc., and facilitate the configurations of a new dimension of social space and daily life.

In the present context, characterized by conflicts and instability, the dialogue among cultures and societies of the Mediterranean, in order to promote pluralism, diversity and freedom, is undoubtedly more necessary. Indeed, the increasing globalization and the massive migration flows ensure that the exchanges among different civilizations becomes more intense.

The aim of this Conference is thus to increase awareness about the Mediterranean as a departure and arrival point for the construction of a pluralistic society, starting from a great variety of cultures, societies and ways of life. We also aim at disseminating the research results on such topics. On the basis of these considerations, the Conference is open to contributions that address the great questions concerning the Mediterranean, the cultures and the societies developed on its shores.

For additional information please see Conference’s website:

Final Program


“Gender, Sexuality, Migration”

International Conference

ICSR Mediterranean Knowledge

14-15 November 2016, University of Salerno (UNISA) – Italy

The International Centre for Studies and Research Mediterranean Knowledge focuses on the Mediterranean as a place where several forms of knowledge, sociality and culture have developed, met and clashed. A “liquid” border, in constant movement, which has generated a large part of the Western civilization, but which has been also a place of fierce fights.

The new appointment is the International Conference “Gender, Sexuality, Migration,” to be held at the University of Salerno on 14/15 November 2016, Aula dei Consigli.

The main purpose of the Conference was to initiate a transdisciplinary reflection on such issues and sexuality, in part by reducing the clear vacuum in scientific research, and at the same time making an issue of sex, sexuality and the multiple identifications of gender of and in migration, involving migratory experiences both on the side of leaving a country and on that of arriving to another. At the same time, the Conference intends to open a permanent reflection on the phenomenon of migration by addressing different aspects.

The concept of “gender” has recently become one of the symbols best expressing what  many now consider a clash of civilizations, i.e., between the West and Muslim countries. recent events – such as the case of the women assaulted by migrants in Cologne or the prohibition of burkinis on French beaches – highlight how gender issues are emblematic of the basic traits of a country’s culture, and thus constitute some of the elements allowing for the construction of dividing lines between cultures, arbitrarily distinguishing between the “evolved” and “backward” ones, therefore with the aim to establish demarcation lines between “Us” and the “Others”.

To the Conference will participate scholars from Spain (Seville and Huelva), France, Morocco, Algeria, and Italy (IRPPS-CNR of Rome and the University of Salerno).

Program brochure                   Program                    Program in brief



1st Annual International Conference
University of Salerno
26-28 October 2015



Border/s is the theme of the 1st Annual International Conference to be held between 26th and 28th October, 2015, organised by the ICSR Mediterranean Knowledge and promoted by the University of Salerno.

Among the scientific activities intended to be promoted, and within the peculiarity of the foreign and Italian universities and research centres forming the ICSR Mediterranean Knowledge, the primary objective of this Conference is to initiate a debate on the studies and research about different forms of tangible and intangible knowledge of, and within, the Mediterranean region. The aim is that of creating tools for the planning, management and evaluation of local actions that may produce a positive effect on the Europeanization and on the citizens’ perception of Europe. However, all this cannot take place unless it goes through a radical analysis of the concept of “Border”. Contrary to all metaphysics, ancient and modern, that has sought to immunize the human experience – “the air trips of the soul” as Plato had defined them – a permanent open space needs to be opened for discussion and reflection among the human, philosophical and social sciences. Thus, the aim is that of promoting free thought which is not limited to any particular identity, open to knowledge through a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approach. From the humanities and social fields (history, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, philology, history of art etc.) to the economic and legislative areas (economics, law, information sciences etc.), the focus must be on the promotion of cultural heritage, the transmission of thought, traditions, languages, as well as ethical, moral and religious values of the Mediterranean region before any political borders that lead to exclusion and immunization.

The current geographical representation of Europe, conveyed since the introduction of the education system, represents it as a “product” of classical antiquity, coinciding with the West. Yet, this representation delimits the wide horizon of the Mediterranean culture and the countries surrounding it. Hence, such a simplistic perspective excludes all the Mediterranean world which is not Western Europe.

Rethinking the boundaries thus means rethinking the current idea of Europe and the Mediterranean. Only from such a rethinking can the foundations for the construction of a real and different European identity be laid. The knowledge and cultural values of the Mediterranean can be the driving force to overcome the impasse of which Europe cannot free itself. The knowledge and cultural values can become the fruitful stimulus for the review of European policies and provide a solid foundation for the protection and promotion of effective cultural heritage and knowledge of the contemporary world, capable of bringing out the legacy of the different cultures and distinct peculiarity of a new future.

Yet again, this means being able to stay – simul – outside and inside the borders; within an image of Europe which finally stops thinking about the Mediterranean as its internal vulnus, as its lesion and contamination: outside the borders, refers to that alteration that every “thinking of the border” leads to within it: promiscuity, exchange, latency, expectancy and hope; inside the borders where these testify and convey the mobility of thought, the circulation of knowledge, the defence of all cultures and the egalitarian recognition of the right to human dignity.

Program brochure                   Program                    Program in brief