Studies Association

December 2019 Newsletter

Mediterranean Studies Journal 27.2

Dear MSA members,

The latest volume of Mediterranean Studies (27.2) has just been published, and the table of contents has been posted to the MSA website:

Here are some highlights of the issue.

In the opening article of the issue, Madeline Rislow analyzes the fifteenth century rise of the signature Genoese architectural embellishment known as the sopraporta, a lintel sculpture. The Doria family used this overdoor imagery to intertwine the family’s private agenda with a broader civic identity among the Genoese.

Miriam Byrd’s article, “Dianoetic Education in Plato’s Republic”, offers a graphic illustration of the contrast between dianoetic reasoning and the dialectic. Inferior though it may be to the dialectic, when it is taught to be used correctly, dianoetic reasoning can function as a prelude to its dialectic superior, participating in this way in the philosophical development of the soul.

In the first of a two-part article, Nathaniel Miller takes Gerard Genette’s formulation of intertextuality as his point of departure for an extended study of Muslim poets in the court of Roger II. Weaving time-honored tropes into their Arabic verse, the palace poets asserted in their verse a robust Islamic identity under a Christian king and affirmed their ties to a wider Arabic Mediterranean. The second part of this article, to appear in the Spring issue of Mediterranean Studies, will look to inscriptional evidence in the palaces of Roger II to argue further for an identity among Arabic poets under this Christian king that is not a hybrid composed of Greek, Latin and Arabic elements, but rather participates in the Arabic Islamic Mediterranean of the time.

Gina Breen, author of “Neither Algerian, nor French: Albert Camus’s Pied-Noir Identity,” plumbs the first and last novels of Albert Camus to gain perspective on the author’s representations of identity in French Algeria. In its comparisons and contrasts of French Algerians in L’Étranger and Le Premier Homme, the article considers Camus’s ambivalence toward his own identity.

The book reviews in this issue do their part to demonstrate the vast horizontal and vertical range of subjects compatible with, and relevant to, the field of Mediterranean Studies. From memoir to movies, from an overview of a period of history in the Mediterranean to a focus on a medieval board game, reviews in Mediterranean Studies 27.2 offer something for every research project.

In short, this is an issue made for end-of-year reflection on diversity and direction in the field of Mediterranean Studies. Enjoy the read!

Susan L. Rosenstreich

Editor, Mediterranean Studies

Mediterranean Studies Association

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