Itinerant Seminars Be-longing

A series of three seminars I organised with colleagues from Austria, France, Italy and the Czech Republic to discuss issues of belonging, longing and memories across the Mediterranean.

Venice Conference, 6-8/10/2021
Convenors: Dario Miccoli and Piera Rossetto

Across Borders and Boundaries. Jewish Be-longings in the Mediterranean Space and Beyond

co-sponsored by European Association of Jewish Studies, FWF (Austrian Science Fund), Ca’ Foscari University of Venice


Event abstract
At the intersection of Jewish, postcolonial and migration studies, the discussion-focused workshop explores Jewish migrations from the Middle East and North Africa across the Mediterranean and beyond during the second half of the 20th century. The three-day workshop intends to bring together early career and senior scholars from different disciplines (history, anthropology, sociology, literary studies) to discuss issues of multiple belongings, cultural affiliations, dis-locations as they are evoked in memories and narratives of migration. Building on multiple case studies (Jewish migrants from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Iran, Syria, Rodhes, Corfu), we aim at portraying the complexity of a migratory phenomenon that intensified dramatically between the late 1940s and 1970s and deeply changed the demography and social composition of European Jewish communities.

Graz Event, 24/09/2020 Virtual environment
Convenor: Piera Rossetto

The Materialit-y/ies of Be-Longing: Objects in Exile (Workshop & Roundtable)
Contributors discuss the role of objects in the context of (forced) migration.

Inquiring the narrative potential and the value of personal objects
The objects belonging to our daily lives are silent witnesses of what they absorb from these lives; they are mute carriers of stories, memories, cultural and gender contexts, historical times. Each participant is invited to bring an object with, which carries an emotional, affective value, which he/she deems able to tell something about her/himself, of her/his personal story. These objects are the focus of an individual as well as shared interrogation and narration. The personal and collective experience blend together, creating a deep moment of sharing and exchange: telling about oneself through the others, and vice versa, creating a short circuit between what it is and what is believed to be. (M. Melilli)

Guest Artist and Workshop Facilitator: Martina Melilli
Whether we work with personal memories, museum collections, archives or research-creation actions, objects represent a unique source to explore the many attachments and displacements that migrants experience in their lifetrajectories. As “precipitates of re-memory” (Tolia-Kelly 2004), they offer an original perspective on how people make sense of their multiple belongings and longings.

Moderator: Piera Rossetto

Paris Event, 13 /11/2019 @ University Paris Nanterre
Convenors: Piera Rossetto and Michèle Baussant

Be-longing. Roots, Routes and Memories, International methodological workshop on (forced) migrations, identity (re)construction and performances of memory across Europe, the Mediterranean and beyond.

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