Reflections

/Reflections

Iain Chambers, ‘A molecular Mediterranean and metaphysical shipwrecks’

By |2020-03-31T15:10:57+00:00December 2nd, 2019|Reflections|

A consistently and purely maritime perspective on the land is difficult for a territorial observer to comprehend. Our common language constructs its markers quite self-evidently from the land. Carl Schmitt, Land and Sea: A World-Historical Meditation   Reflection is the courage to make the truth of our own presupposition and the realm of our own goals into the things that most deserve to be called into question. Martin Heidegger, ‘The Age of the World Picture’   Schmitt and Heidegger: two deeply conservative thinkers, and both directly associated with Nazism, who nevertheless leave us with a radical interrogation of the manner and method of our thinking. As in all Occidental philosophy, what they have to say is bound to the negated geography of their language. There are no bodies here, and certainly no others; or rather the latter are displaced and reduced to the excluded world upon which they build their pronouncements. Both thinkers are obsessed with the West’s worlding of the world. Although they never give up on the white myth of the universalism of their thinking, they do take [...]

Susan Broomhall, ‘Hercules at the Hippodrome: Cycles of displacement across the Mediterranean’

By |2019-09-12T12:20:38+00:00September 9th, 2019|Reflections|

At the turn of the sixteenth century, a young boy, the son of a Greek Christian sailor from Parga, was forcibly taken from his home, sold to a widow in Manisa who educated the intelligent child and taught him the violin, an instrument he learned to play “to perfection”. Later, he would become the property of a young prince who was born the very same week as himself, a youth who would become Sultan Süleyman I. Such were some of the tales of origins that were told by and about this intriguing Muslim convert to Christian ambassadors who wrote with fascination about the powerful, trusted official of the sultan, İbrahim Paşa (1493/4?–1536). To read the reports of those Christians, İbrahim Paşa never lost his interest in the Christian world that vied with the Ottoman Empire for control of the Mediterranean at this period. They noted optimistically the tastes of the sultan’s wily grand vizier for luxury art and design from the West and of friendships cultivated with Christian advisors. After the 1526 Ottoman victory over the Kingdom of Hungary, led [...]