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Mershon Center Speaker Series
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Maurizio Albahari
Rethreading the Mediterranean: Disquieting Art and Migrant Democracy
Thursday, February 22, 2018, 03:30pm - 05:00pm
The Mershon Center for International Security Studies
1501 Neil Avenue, Room 120
Columbus, Ohio 43201

Maurizio Albahari

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Maurizio Albahari is associate professor of anthropology and a concurrent associate professor in the Keough School of Global Affairs. Albahari is a social-cultural anthropologist (Ph.D., U.C. Irvine) who explores the tension between human existence and structures of power. He is the author of Crimes of Peace: Mediterranean Migrations at the World’s Deadliest Border, published by the University of Pennsylvania Press as part of its Series in Human Rights (2015).

Albahari has published extensively on the humanitarian, socio-cultural, legal, and geopolitical components of the ongoing refugee “crisis,” as well as on forms of civic engagement and migrant integration. His current research traces modalities of participatory citizenship and trans-Mediterranean mobilization emerging in the everyday life of maritime spaces, as well as of changing cities in Italy and in the region. It seeks to capture, ethnographically and conceptually, emerging practices of engaged citizenship that might be maritime, urban, and local, but not parochial; coherently political, but not institutionalized; transnational, but not national in the first place.

Albahari’s research has appeared in Anthropology Today, Anthropological Quarterly, Anthropology News, Social Research, InTraformazione, and the Journal on Migration and Human Security. He also has also written for media outlets including History News Network, openDemocracy, Diritti Globali, Mobilizing Ideas, Perspektif, Fox News, and CNN.


The Mediterranean Sea continues to constitute a most lethal passage for migrants, including refugees and would-be asylum seekers. Italian and European Union authorities seek to “close” this maritime “route” and contain migrants far away from Europe’s southern shores. By focusing on ongoing developments and conflicts in this Mediterranean arena, the talk will also discuss challenging tensions between peace and war, security and human rights, democracy and authoritarianism. In charting some of the ways forward, Albahari draws on existing practices and engagements, including artistic and more broadly civic ones, to trace the profile of an emerging “migrant democracy”.

This event is co-sponsored by the Department of Anthropology, with additional support from the Mershon Center, the Department of French and Italian, and the Global Mobility Project at The Ohio State University.


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