Research Stream


Giovanni Tarantino
The University of Western Australia

Katrina O'Loughlin
The University of Western Australia/ Brunel University

Entangled Histories of Emotions in the Mediterranean World

The cluster aims to apply new methodological lenses to the complex and entangled history of the geo-cultural space of the Mediterranean.

Entangled Histories of Emotions in the Mediterranean World .jpg

Image: Johannes (or Johann) Lingelbach, Harbour on the Mediterranean (1670), Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis, The Hague. This is a faithful photographic reproduction of a two-dimensional, public domain work of art.

Entangled histories (Espagne, Kocka, Werner, Zimmermann) have explored 'mutual influencing', 'reciprocal or asymmetric perceptions', and the intertwined 'processes of constituting one another'. In his highly informed interdisciplinary work Mediterranean Crossings: The Politics of an Interrupted Modernity (Duke University Press, 2008), Iain Chambers has provided a timely reminder that the Mediterranean is a fusion of European, African and Asian influences. He explores what he calls the 'liquid materiality' of the area: the ways in which 'overlapping territories and intertwined histories' suggest 'the making of a more multiple Mediterranean', where borders are 'both transitory and zones of transit'. The Mediterranean is an extensive geopolitical space which has long acted as a flexible locus of exchange for a multitude of cultural transactions. In it, North, South, East and West are all 'entangled in a cultural and historical net cast over centuries, even millennia'.

In more recent comparative work, scholars have increasingly engaged with what Serge Gruzinski has described as the 'alchemy of hybridisation'. The term 'hybridity' has been the subject of debate ever since Homi Bhabha’s seminal work The Location of Culture appeared in 1994. Within the context of globalisation in particular, cultural transformations are being increasingly analysed as hybridisation processes. Although hybridity itself is often treated as a specifically postcolonial phenomenon, Peter Burke has shown that a high level of cultural intermingling is an intrinsic part of human experience. Not less importantly, historians of emotions have begun to investigate and problematise the transcultural translatability of emotions. Despite its transdisciplinary capacity to upset or revitalise consolidated approaches and historiographic methods, the emotional turn in historical studies might soon lose its innovative force, unless it broadens its horizons, exploring emotional cultures, lexicons and taxonomies and investigating their porosity, hybridisation; in a word, their entanglements.


Giovanni Tarantino (University of Florence, Italy and The University of Western Australia)
Susanne Meurer (The University of Western Australia)
Arvi Wattel (The University of Western Australia)
Katrina O'Loughlin (Brunel University, UK and The University of Western Australia)

Collaborating Members

Nadia Al-Bagdadi (Central European University)
Jean-Paul Baldacchino (University of Malta) 
Daniel Barbu (CRASSH Cambridge/ CNRS Paris)
Roger Benjamin (The University of Sydney)
Stefano Carboni (Art Gallery of Western Australia)
Iain Chambers (University of Naples “L’Orientale”, Centre for Postcolonial Studies)
Randi Deguilhem (Aix-Marseille University/CNRS/MMSH)
Anne Dunlop (The University of Melbourne)
Graziano Gentili
(INdAM/University of Florence)
Daniela Hacke (Freie Universität Berlin)
Lauren Jacobi (MIT Architecture)
Catherine Kovesi (The University of Melbourne)
Ivan Missoni (University of Zagreb)
Luca Molà (European University Institute)
Luisa Simonutti (CNR/ISPF Milan)
Hélène Sirantoine (The University of Sydney)
Anastasia Stouraiti (Goldsmiths University of London)
Ann Thomson (European University Institute)
Luc Wodzicki (Freie Universität Berlin)

Cluster Activities

2018: 'Holy Affections and Religious Entanglements in Early Modern Europe: Contacts, Polemics, and Representations', a workshop with Giovanni Tarantino and Knut-Martin Stünkel, Ruhr-Universität Bochum (Germany), 12–13 March 2018.

2018: 'Entangled Histories of Emotions: Concepts, Challenges, Case Studies', Freie Universität Berlin (Germany), a masterclass with Giovanni Tarantino, 24 January 2018.

2017–2019: International Seminar Series 'Entangled Histories of Emotions in the Mediterranean World' ('MED' Series), in collaboration with the Society for the History of Emotions:

  1. 'Cultures in Movement: New Visions, New Conceptual Paradigms', Naples (Italy), 26 June 2017.
  2. ‘Portals: Spaces of Encounter, Entanglement and Exchange’, Centre for the Study of Emotions in Cross-Cultural Exchange (ECCE), Split (Croatia), 25 September 2017.
  3. 'Entangled Histories of Things in the Mediterranean World', The University of Western Australia, Perth (Australia), 14 December 2017.
  4. 'Mediterranean Encounters: People in Motion', European University Institute, Florence (Italy), 5 February 2018.
  5. 'Entangled Histories of Gender in the Medieval Mediterranean World', The University of Queensland, Brisbane (Australia), 5 May 2018.
  6. 'Religious Sentiments Across Central and Eastern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean', Central European University, Institute for Advanced Study, Budapest (Hungary), 18 June 2018.
  7. 'Moral Sentiments in the Mediterranean: Social, Historical and Cultural Perspectives', The Mediterranean Institute, University of Malta, Msida (Malta), 11 February 2019.

Download the SHE MED Series Schedule 2017/2018

 Download the SHE MED Series Schedule 2018/2019


2017: Graduate Masterclass 'Emotions and Race Labelling in Early Modern Europe, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, 8 August 2017.

2016: PhD Workshop 'The Historical Study of Emotions: Concepts, Challenges, Case Studies', European University Institute, Florence, Italy, 4 March 2016.

Main Outcomes

Research and publishing on Entangled Histories of Emotions

Workshops, symposia and conferences

Interdisciplinary grant applications:

  • UPDATE 18 December 2018: The MED cluster's grant proposal for a 4-year COST Action (OC-2018-1-23096) People in Motion: Entangled Histories of Displacement across the Mediterranean (1492-1923) has been approved by COST Committee of Senior Officials to commence its research in Spring of 2019. The European Cooperation in Science and Technology (COST) is an EU-funded, intergovernmental framework with currently 38 Members and 1 Cooperating Member. It has, therefore, a strong reach beyond the European Union. Its main objective is to manage the COST Open Call, dedicated to the creation of pan-European research networks in all science fields.

Public engagement activities


Tarantino, G., ed. 'From Comparative to Global History: Assessing Relational Approaches to the Past', special issue, CROMOHS 21 (2017–2018).

Image by Ivan Missoni. Convenors of the 'Entangled Histories of Emotions in the Mediterranean World'  (MED) series meet at the CEU Institute for Advanced Study in Budapest, Hungary, 18 June 2018. 

From left to right (standing): Randi Deguilhem, Nadia Al-Bagdadi, Nina Peršak, Giovanni Tarantino, Mirko Sardelić, Tolga U. Esmer, Vedran Nikolić, Olivia Michalowska, Graziano Gentili; (seated): Lisa Beaven, Ann Thomson, Luisa Simonutti.


CHE Members

Lisa Beaven

La Trobe University


Jane-Héloïse Nancarrow (2016)

The University of Western Australia


Umberto Grassi

The University of Sydney


Elizabeth Reid

The University of Western Australia


Andrea Rizzi (2015-2017)

The University of Melbourne


Mirko Sardelic

The University of Western Australia


Yasmin Haskell

The University of Western Australia


Louise D’Arcens (2012-2017)

The University of Wollongong


Susan Broomhall (Full term)

The University of Western Australia


Megan Cassidy-Welch (2014-2016)

The University of Queensland