Urban Bridges, Global Capital(s)

BookUrban Bridges, Global Capital(s)

Urban Bridges, Global Capital(s)

Trans-Mediterranean Francosphères


January 31st, 2021



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This collection of essays on Trans-Mediterranean Francospheres offers an original examination of cultural production and the flows between urban capitals and “capital” in and of a selection of Mediterranean cities and sites. In three parts, the book covers both familiar and overlooked terrain, in chapters which examine writing the city, the transit between different poles, film and EU designated cultural capitals. The collection therefore brings together texts and their critical readings in new comparative ways. Following Jacques Derrida’s peregrinations in L’Autre Cap (1991), the volume interrogates the what of Europe; the when or where of Paris; the who of the Mediterranean. Or might the Mediterranean fall under the rubric of paleonomy, that is, as Michael Naas recalls Derrida’s words in Positions: “the ‘strategic’ necessity that requires the occasional maintenance of an old name in order to launch a new concept.”
Taking this forward, we understand the Mediterranean as an old name to launch a new concept and the essays in the book each reflect on this in different ways. Issues concerning identity are challenged, since a Metropolitan, European, Arab or African identity may be preferred over a Mediterranean one. As borders become reinforced in the region, trans-Mediterranean bridging narratives may be thwarted, especially by those who write across Europe, Africa and the Middle East, in the face of the contemporary refugee crisis. Finally, chapters explore what it means to define a Mediterranean city—such as Marseille as European Capital of Culture—and interrogate how this feeds into the cultural production of a city whose multi-ethnic identities are as outward-looking towards North Africa as they are inward towards the French capital.
Contributors: Silvia Baage, Marzia Caporale, Angela Giovanangeli, Mark Ingram, Christa Jones, Gemma King, Claire Launchbury, Megan C. MacDonald, Agnès Peysson-Zeiss, Ipek Çelik Rappas, Alison Rice, Rania Said

“This edited volume breathes new life into our understanding of cultural exchanges in the Mediterranean. The contributors' inventive attention to the 'Francosphère' revives debates around postcolonial cultural production in its myriad interdisciplinary expressions."
Claudia Esposito, University of Massachusetts-Boston


Author Information

Claire Launchbury is a visiting research scholar in French in the School of Languages, Cultures and Societies at the University of Leeds. Megan C. MacDonald is affiliated with the viticulture œnologie programme at the CFPPA Montmorot, France

Table of Contents

Section TitlePage
Introduction: Urban Bridges, Global Capital(s)
Claire Launchbury and Megan C. MacDonald
Chapter 1: The Flâneuses of Tunis: Reading the City in the Life Narratives of Kaouthar Khlifi and Dora Latiri
Rania Said
Chapter 2: City Speak: Nice through the Eyes of Jean Vigo, Jacques Demy and Emmanuel Roblès
Christa Jones
Chapter 3: Moroccan Narratives of Dystopia: Representations of Tangier in Leïla Kilani’s film Sur la planche
Marzia Caporale
Chapter 4: Cultural Capitals in Crisis: Meditating on the Mediterranean and Memory Between Paris and Athens in La clarinette by Vassilis Alexakis
Alison Rice
Chapter 5: Screening Cosmopolitan and Mediterranean Marseille
Ipek Çelik Rappas
Chapter 6: Shaping Mediterranean geographies: The museum of European and Mediterranean civilisations in Marseille and the making of identity
Angela Giovanangeli
Chapter 7: Marseille Provence 2013: a social face-lift for an old lady?
Agnès Peysson-Zeiss
Chapter 8: Bridges and fault lines in the Mediterranean City: Neighbourhood memory in an urban walk in Marseille
Mark Ingram
Chapter 9: Between the Comoros Islands and Marseille: Trans-Mediterranean bridging narratives in the works of Salim Hatubou
Silvia Baage
Chapter 10: Trans-Mediterranean Beyroutes
Claire Launchbury
Chapter 11: Multilingual Pilgrimages: Language and Trans-Mediterranean Cultural Identity in Ismaël Ferroukhi’s Le Grand Voyage (2004)
Gemma King
Chapter 12: Bare Life At Sea: Mediterranean Crossings, Istanbul Limbo
Megan C. MacDonald
Contributor Biographies