Celebrating Recent Work by Naor Ben-Yehoyada

New Books in the Arts and Sciences

September 14, 2017 Thursday, 6:15pm–7:30pm EDT The Heyman Center, Second Floor Common Room, Columbia University
  • Office of the Dean of Arts & Sciences in the Social Sciences
  • Department of Anthropology
  • The Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy
  • Free and open to the public
  • No registration necessary
  • First come, first seated

Listen to the podcast here.

New Books in the Arts & Sciences
—panel discussions celebrating recent work by the Columbia Faculty

The Mediterranean Incarnate
by Naor Ben-Yehoyada

In The Mediterranean Incarnate, anthropologist Naor Ben-Yehoyada takes us aboard the Naumachos for a thirty-seven-day voyage in the fishing grounds between Sicily and Tunisia. He also takes us on a historical exploration of the past eighty years to show how the Mediterranean has reemerged as a modern transnational region. From Sicilian poaching in North African territory to the construction of the TransMediterranean gas pipeline, Ben-Yehoyada examines the transformation of political action, imaginaries, and relations in the central Mediterranean while detailing the remarkable bonds that have formed between the Sicilians and Tunisians who live on its waters.

The book centers on the town of Mazara del Vallo, located on the southwestern tip of Sicily some ninety nautical miles northeast of the African shore. Ben-Yehoyada intertwines the town’s recent turbulent history—which has been fraught with conflicts over fishing rights, development projects, and how the Mediterranean should figure in Italian politics at large—with deep accounts of life aboard the Naumacho, linking ethnography with historical anthropology and political-economic analysis. Through this sophisticated approach, he crafts a new viewpoint on the historical processes of transnational region formation, one offered by these moving ships as they weave together new social and political constellations.

  • Author Naor Ben-Yehoyada Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Department of Anthropology Columbia University
  • Panel Chair David Scott Professor of Anthropology Columbia University
  • Discussant Mark Mazower Ira D. Wallach Professor of World Order Studies Department of History, Columbia University
  • Discussant Konstantina Zanou Assistant Professor of Italian Columbia University
  • Discussant Jane Schneider Professor of Anthropology The Graduate Center, CUNY