© 2017

Can We Talk Mediterranean?

Conversations on an Emerging Field in Medieval and Early Modern Studies

  • Brian A. Catlos
  • Sharon Kinoshita
  • Provides a thoroughly interdisciplinary approach to the emerging field of Mediterranean Studies

  • Includes close reading of literary texts in combination with historical analysis of their prominence in the early Modern world

  • Features contributions from leading scholars in the field, including Peregrine Horden, Claire Farago and Cecily Hilsdale


Part of the Mediterranean Perspectives book series (MEPERS)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxi
  2. Brian A. Catlos
    Pages 1-17
  3. Cecily J. Hilsdale
    Pages 19-32
  4. The Panelists & Audience
    Pages 81-101
  5. Brian A. Catlos, Cecily J. Hilsdale, Peregrine Horden, Sharon Kinoshita
    Pages 103-123
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 125-153

About this book


This book provides a systematic framework for the emerging field of Mediterranean studies, collecting essays from scholars of history, literature, religion, and art history that seek a more fluid understanding of “Mediterranean.” It emphasizes the interdependence of Mediterranean regions and the rich interaction (both peaceful and bellicose, at sea and on land) between them. It avoids applying the national, cultural and ethnic categories that developed with the post-Enlightenment domination of northwestern Europe over the academy, working instead towards a dynamic and thoroughly interdisciplinary picture of the Mediterranean. Including an extensive bibliography and a conversation between leading scholars in the field, Can We Talk Mediterranean? lays the groundwork for a new critical and conceptual approach to the region.


Braudel The Corrupting Sea Early modern art Byzantine art medieval Mediterranean Mediterranean history early modern literature Islamic history Islamic art

Editors and affiliations

  • Brian A. Catlos
    • 1
  • Sharon Kinoshita
    • 2
  1. 1.University of Colorado BoulderBoulderUSA
  2. 2.University of California Santa CruzSanta CruzUSA

About the editors

Brian A. Catlos is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder and Research Associate in Humanities at the University of California, Santa Cruz, USA. He is the award-winning author of The Victors and the Vanquished: Christians and Muslims of Catalonia and Aragon, 1050-1300Muslims of Medieval Latin Christendom; and Infidel Kings and Holy Warriors.

Sharon Kinoshita is Professor of Literature at the University of California, Santa Cruz, USA, specializing in Medieval French Literature, Mediterranean Studies, and the Global Middle Ages. She is the author of Medieval Boundaries: Rethinking Difference in Old French Literature and co-editor of the Blackwell Companion to Mediterranean History.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Can We Talk Mediterranean?
  • Book Subtitle Conversations on an Emerging Field in Medieval and Early Modern Studies
  • Editors Brian A. Catlos
    Sharon Kinoshita
  • Series Title Mediterranean Perspectives
  • Series Abbreviated Title Mediterranean Perspectives
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2017
  • Publisher Name Palgrave Macmillan, Cham
  • eBook Packages History History (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-319-55725-0
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-319-85732-9
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-319-55726-7
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XXI, 153
  • Number of Illustrations 2 b/w illustrations, 3 illustrations in colour
  • Topics History of Early Modern Europe
    Cultural History
    Early Modern/Renaissance Literature
    European Culture
  • Buy this book on publisher's site


“This volume is a signal intellectual achievement, confirming that Mediterranean Studies has become a mature field of scholarly inquiry.” (Fred Astren, Professor and Chair, Department of Jewish Studies, San Francisco State University, USA)

 “A brilliant and thought-provoking collection that captures a conversation among scholars, representing various disciplines, on the applicability of the ‘Mediterranean turn’ in a variety of fields.  The exchanges among the contributors offer much food for thought to the specialist and non-specialist alike, and suggest new and productive approaches to medieval and early modern questions.  Taken together, the essays point to the potential of Mediterranean studies as a framework, or a heuristic device, for the analysis of numerous phenomena of pressing historical and contemporary concern, opening up possibilities too often obscured by ‘national’ approaches to a range of topics, including literature, art history, religious studies, and history.” (Andrew W. Devereux, Department of History, Loyola Marymount University, USA)

“This conversation among five of the most important voices in this emerging area offers an accessible and richly suggestive introduction to the ever-evolving intellectual quest across staid disciplinary and chronological boundaries that can be embarked upon when one works in and through a Mediterranean matrix of inquiry.” (John Dagenais, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, UCLA, USA)

“Over the last decade, Brian Catlos and Sharon Kinoshita have been at the forefront of Mediterranean scholarship in their valiant and important efforts to place the centrality of the medieval Mediterranean within interdisciplinary contexts. Bringing together some of the leading authorities in the field, this excellent, lively, and thoughtful collection of essays, besides its scholarly importance and its successful attempt to bring the study of the Middle Sea to a wider audience, is also a passionate brief for the relevance of the subject, while advocating for new methodological and historiographical contributions to our understanding of the sea. Examining the topic from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, Can We Talk Mediterranean? makes an invaluable addition to  our understanding of the sea, of those polities that flourish along its shores, and of the people who lived, worked, fought, commingled, and died in the lands and waters  of the Mediterranean.” (Teofilo F. Ruiz, Distinguished Professor of History and of Spanish and Portuguese Literature and Wellman Term Chair in History, UCLA, USA)