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"Mixed multitudes": displacement and belonging in ancient Sicily (Annual AIA Faculty Lecture)

Randall Souza (Seattle University)
Friday, January 21, 2022 - 7:30pm
By Zoom

Prof. Souza writes: "The inhabitants of the ancient Mediterranean were mobile, and many of them lived in or passed through the large island of Sicily, which sits between the eastern and western Mediterranean basins and nearly unites the continents of Europe and Africa. Some moved more voluntarily, others less so, and still others were relocated with no choice in the matter, expelled as refugees or enslaved and sold. These displacements stretched, reorganized, and dissolved existing communities, but also created new ones; moving people change the social and political landscape around them. Given the extent of human mobility in Sicily, urban centers on the island can be viewed less as static entities where stable communities automatically persisted, and more as contingent sites in which inherently fragile communities were continually re-imagined. In this talk I examine several key episodes of dislocation in order to illuminate gradual developments affecting citizenship and belonging in the context of high mobility. I will suggest that one of the principal effects of movement across territorial boundaries and the resulting interaction across social boundaries was to erode the island’s internal divisions. This process in turn left Sicily itself to assume greater relevance over time as a source of belonging."

Prof. Randall Souza is an Assistant Professor of History at Seattle University. 

Free and open to the public. This event will be held remotely via Zoom. Register for this event to receive the Zoom meeting link.