Course Calendar (Syllabus of Readings)

NB: The Readings Listed are those to be finished prior to the class date under which they are listed.  The questions and discussion of the dates will be based on the readings listed with them.

Abbreviations (for required texts):

HC                                     Marc Bloch, The Historian's Craft
                                   Braudel, The Mediterranean
RtM                                   Harris, Rethinking the Mediterranean (Oxford, 2005)
MC                                   Iain Chambers, Mediterranean Crossings
Moodle                             This means a link can be found on the courses server.

Course Calendar:

Week 1:

Friday, January 20:


Arnold, History: A Short Introduction, excerpt on Moodle.

Download Zotero, send me your user name and look at the various maps available in the Zotero folder.

Think about what you know about any of the multiple societies that appear in the maps and come in with questions about the timeline of the Mediterranean from 3000 BC to today (yes, that's a lot).

Finally, think about what different topic areas you might be interested in studying over the course of the semester.  We will try to come up with a list that people can think about and post on the courses server.

Week 2:

Tuesday, January 24:


*HC* - beginning (including all introductions) to page 113.

Friday, January 27: Introduction to Historiography


*HC* - 114-end.

McCullagh, C. Behan, “What Do Historians Argue About?” in History and Theory, Vol. 43, No. 1 (Feb., 2004), pp. 18-38.

Extra Bibliography for Historiography (All on reserve):

Keith Jenkins, The postmodern history reader (Routledge,, 1997).

Robert F Berkhofer, Beyond the great story :history as text and discourse (Belknap Press of Harvard University Press,, 1997).

Joyce Oldham Appleby and Lynn Hunt, Telling the truth about history (Norton,, c1994.).

Week 3:

Tuesday, January 31: Braudel – Geography and the “Longue Duree”


*BrM* - Beginning (again, with all introductions and prefaces) to 354.

Friday, February 3: Braudel II - Economy and Human Events


Bernard Bailyn, “Braudel’s Geohistory--A Reconsideration,” The Journal of Economic History 11, no. 3 (July 1, 1951): 277-282.

Braudel, “Personal Testimony,” The Journal of Modern History, 44:4 (Dec., 1972), pp. 448-467.

Froeyman, Anton, “Concepts of Causation in Historiography,” in Historical Methods, 42:3 (2009): 116- 129. 

Valensi, "The Problem of unbelief in Braudel's Mediterranean," in Braudel Revisited, 17-34.  Reserve

And Choose One of Either (skim only as necessary):

A) Harsgor, Michael, “Braudel's sea revisited,” Mediterranean Historical Review 1:2 (1986): 135-157.  Moodle

B) Lai, Cheng-chung.  Braudel’s Historiography Reconsidered, pp. 1-31.  Moodle

Week 4:

Tuesday, February 7: Responses to Braudel


*BrM* - Selections to be determined in class.

Aristotle, Meteorology Book II, Only Parts 1-3.

Pliny the Elder, The Natural History (selections) Book III (An Account of Countries, Nations, Seas, Towns…)

Strabo, Geography - Book II (Description of the world, contrasted with descriptions by Hipparchus and Erastothenes).

Friday, February 10:  Pirenne – the Economic Approach


Pirenne, Henri, Mohamed and Charlemagne, 17-20; 67-74; 147-185.  See Moodle Also

Power, Eileen, “Review of Mohamed and Charlemagne,” in The Economic History Review, 10:1 (1940): 60-62. 

McCormick, Michael, Origins of the European Economy (2001); 1-24. Moodle

Hodges, Richard, “Review of McCormick, Origins of the European Economy,” in The Journal of Economic History, 63:2 (2003): 578-579.


Further Reading:

Medieval Trade in the Mediterranean World: Illustrative Documents Translated with Introductions and Notes by Robert S. Lopez and Irving W. Raymond (1955),

Olivia Remie Constable, Housing the Stranger in the Mediterranean World (2003).

Richard Hodges and David Whitehouse, Mohammed, Charlemagne & the origins of Europe: archaeology and the Pirenne thesis (Cornell University Press, 1983).

Commerce and Conquest in the Mediterranean, 1100-1500 (1993).


Week 5:

Tuesday, February 14: Goitein – Economy and the Sea of Faith Approach


Goitein, A Mediterranean Society: Volume I, pp. 29-74. [This is the book you bought!]

Alternative Assignment: Goitein, A Mediterranean Society: An Abridgement in One Volume, 9-74; 290-305.  [This is not the book you bought - it's on RESERVE]


Further Reading on Trade and Religion:

Letters of Medieval Jewish Traders, trans. DS. D. Goitein (1973).

Negotiating Cultures: Bilingual Surrender Treaties in Muslim-Crusader Spain under James the Conqueror ed. Robert I. Burns and Paul E. Chevedden (1999).

David Abulafia, “The Role of Trade in Muslim-Christian contact during the Middle Ages” in Mediterranean Encounters, Economic, Religious, Political, 1100-1550, I 1-24.

Peter Cole, The Dream of the Poem: Hebrew Poetry from Muslim and Christian Spain, 950-1492. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2007.


Friday, February 17: Modern Responses to Mediterranean Unity I: Intro to "Mediterraneanism"


Abulafia, “Mediterraneans,” in *RtM*, pp. 64-93

Marshall, “Alphabet Soup in the Mediterranean Basin: The Emergenceof the Mediterranean Serial,” in *RtM*, pp. 314-338.

Malkin, Irad, “Introduction,” Mediterranean Historical Review 18:2 (2003): 1-8. Moodle


Week 6:

Tuesday, February 21: Modern Responses II: Corrupting Sea


Hordan and Purcell, Corrupting Sea, Section 1, pgs. 1-50.

Bresson, Alain, “Ecology and Beyond: The Mediterranean Paradigm,” in *RtM*, pp. 94-116.


Friday, February 24: Goitein's Ghost - the Sea of Faith Today


Horden and Purcell, Corrupting Sea, 401-460.

Chaniotis, Angelos, “Ritual Dynamics in the Eastern Mediterranean,” in *RtM*: 141-166.

Greg Woolf, “A Sea of Faith?” in Mediterranean Historical Review 18(2) 2003, 126-43. Moodle

Week 7:

Tuesday, February 28: Anthropology and History


Lederman, R. “Globalization and the Future of Culture Areas: Melanesianist Anthropology in Transition,” in Annual Review of Anthropology, 27 (1998): 427-449. Moodle

Horden and Purcell, Corrupting Sea: 461-529.

Friday, March 2: Orientalism I: The Concept


Read This First:

   Said, Orientalism, Selections I.  Moodle and Reserve

Then Read One of the Following

   Said, Orientalism, Selections II.  On the creation and past of the concept. Moodle and Reserve


   Said, Orientalism, Selections III. “Orientalism Now.” Moodle and Reserve

Week 8:

Tuesday, March 6: Orientalism II: Criticism and Response


Bernard Lewis, "The Question of Orientalism," The NewYork Review of Books, 24 June, 1982.

"Orientalism Now," History and Theory

*MC* - Chapters One and Two - 1-49.


Friday, March 9: Orientalism III: Uses of the Concept


Bowersock, “The East-West Orientation of Mediterranean Studies…” in RtM: 167-178.

Plus Read One of the Following:

Leo Treitler, “Gender and other Dualities of Medieval Music,” in Musicology and Difference, ed. Solie, p. 23-45. Moodle

Zeynep Çelik, “Le Corbusier, Orientalism, Colonialism,” Assemblage, no. 17 (April 1992): 59-77.  Moodle

P. Nodelman, “The other: Orientalism, colonialism, and children’s literature,” Children’s Literature Association Quarterly 17, no. 1 (2009): 29–35. Moodle


Week 9:

Tuesday, March 27: Modern Mediterraneanism in Israel


Kimche, “Better Mediterraneanism than Arabism,” Jerusalem Post, 17 July, 2008.

Alexandra Nocke, The place of the Mediterranean in modern Israeli identity (BRILL, 2009). EBRARY
  Selections - 33-44 and 175-250.

Friday, March 30: Modern Mediterraneanism in Florence


Herzfeld, “Practical Mediterraneanism,” in *RtM*, 45-63.

*MC* - 71-152

Week 10:

Tuesday, April 3: Historiography Recap


Penelope Corfield, "Historians and the Return to the Diachronic," in Gelina Harlaftis, The New Ways of History: Developments in Historiography (I. B. Tauris, 2010), 13-34. EBRARY

Willie Thompson, What happened to history? (Pluto Press, 2000), pgs. 96-157 (focus on chap. 5). EBRARY

Friday, April 6: NO CLASS - WORK DAY

Group Video Presentations Due!


Week 11: Group Discussions

            Tuesday, April 10: Group I



            Friday, April 13: Group II




Week 12: Group Discussions II

            Tuesday, April 17: Group III



            Friday, April 20: Group IV




Week 13:

Tuesday, April 24: An Imaginative Mediterranean


           Ghosh, In an Antique Land, all (yes it's long, so start sooner, but it's also literature and fun to read).

Friday, April 27: TBD - Depending on Presentations




Week 14:

Tuesday, May 1: Final Class


None!  Not One Page!

Saturday, May 5: << Final Papers Due>>

Last modified: Friday, February 17, 2012, 11:23 PM