A Third Wave of Remembering the Mediterranean Sea as a Septic Tank

  • Victor J. Vitanza Clemson University


The argument focuses on the differences in methods of historiographies as put forth by David Abulafia and Fernand Braudel. Their object-of-study is the Mediterranean Sea. Abulafia focuses primarily on human beings making history, while Braudel focuses on the Sea making itself, not primarily, as Abulafia insists in his title “A Human History.†Their vocabulary, as assumed, focuses on latitudes and longitudes. In a radical turn, Kenneth Burke focuses on the third as attitudes toward history and on casuistic stretchings. Gregory Ulmer, following-rethinking Burke, develops para-methodologies in the entitlement of “MEmorial,†that also combines both horizontal-vertical histories. Ulmer’s thoughts piggy-back on Burke allowing also for the excluded third by way of the reality, as well as the metaphor, of the Mediterranean Sea, as a Septic Tank, with the casuistic stretching of the Sea, as a Skeptic Tank. Hence, the writing is better performed than a writing of exposition, which the latter would only be a performative contradiction!  

Author Biography

Victor J. Vitanza, Clemson University
College of Architecture, Arts, and Humanities


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