About the Center for Mediterranean Civilization

About the Center for Mediterranean Civilizations

Introduction to the Center and its activities

For the past three millennia the Mediterranean has functioned as both infrastructure and network for the civilizations among its shores. Aside from its political unity in antiquity, the Mediterranean had known, and continues to experience, interconnected perceptions, attitudes, religions, cultures, languages, colonizations and migrations. The Mediterranean region shares social and economic patterns, modes of contacts, and representations, which, today, provide the groundwork for future developments and a renewed European interest.
Modern Israel's Mediterranean heritage, evidenced in its relation to the past, is expanding through the memory of its Mediterranean immigrant communities, from southern Europe, North Africa, the Balkans, and Turkey. Israel, with the bulk of its population settled along the Mediterranean coast, is undergoing today a Mediterranean re-orientation, expressed in lifestyle, in changing points of reference, and sometimes articulated as one of the competing strategies for a future collective identity and cultural direction.

Tel Aviv University, itself situated within sight of the Mediterranean coast, has in recent years broken international grounds in the field of Mediterranean Studies. In 1986 the periodical Mediterranean Historical Review was established there by a group of scholars from the School of History and the department of Jewish History. Applying a multi-period perspective, it offers scholarly articles, testimonia, and book reviews, whose interests span from antiquity to the modern era. The Mediterranean Historical Review emphasizes interconnections and influences within the Mediterranean context, as well as questions of comparative and comparable nature. The School of History and the School of Cultures and Languages is also the home of the Mediterranean Language Review , a journal edited by Alexander Borg and Sasson Somech, with the academic support of an international editorial board, and of the Israel Oriental Sudies, a journal edited by Shlomo Izre'el.

The Center for Mediterranean Civilizations, at the Lester and Sally Entin Faculty of the Humanities, aims to foster international cooperation with existing Mediterranean institutions, universities, and education programs through a pan-humanities approach, addressing questions of history, archaeology, literature, language, geography, and cultural affinities. Its initial activities include summer workshops and conferences, producing a series of Mediterranean publications in Hebrew, developing university and Mediterranean Studies and high school curricula, providing fellowships for students and exchange programs, supporting the teaching of Mediterranean Languages, managing an international Internet site, and collaborating with other Mediterranean universities and research institutions through joint research projects and work programs. Its directors hope for closer connections and fruitful work relations throughout the region.

International Board

1. Abdou-Filali Ansary, Head of the Fondation du Roi Abdul-Aziz, Casablanca, Morocco.

2. Maurice Aymard, Head of the Maison des Sciences de l'Homme, Paris; Directeur d'Études, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris, France.

3. Professor Mercedes Garcia-Arenal, Departmento de Estudios Arabes, CSIC, Madrid, Spain.

4. Professor Gideon Goldenberg, Institute for Judaic Studies/ Hebrew Linguistic Department, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Mt. Scopus, Jerusalem, Israel.

5. Professor Benjamin Isaac, Head of the Classics Department, Tel Aviv University, and member of The Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Jerusalem, Israel.

6. Professor Fergus Millar, Barsenose College, Oxford University, Oxford, England.

Advisory Board at Tel Aviv University for On-going Projects

1. Professor Alisa Ginio, Department of General History.

2. Professor Shlomo Izre'el, Department of Hebrew and Semitic Languages.

3. Professor David Mendelson, Department of French Literature and Language.

4. Professor Yaacov Shavit, Department of Jewish History.

5. Dr. Rachel Vishnia, Department of General History.

6. Professor David Wasserstein, Department of Middle-Eastern and African History.

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