Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

Copresences: 20th-21st Century Encounters in the Mediterranean and Caribbean

Boum Make, Jennifer (2019) Copresences: 20th-21st Century Encounters in the Mediterranean and Caribbean. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

[img] PDF
Restricted to University of Pittsburgh users only until 26 June 2024.

Download (2MB) | Request a Copy


The Caribbean and Mediterranean regions have long been cons idered in opposition to one another historically, culturally, and geographically. At the height of the Roman Empire, a widespread representation of the Mediterranean, starting with images of the Mare Nostrum, suggests a process of continuity and unification from shore to shore. An overall topographical description of the Mediterranean captured by Fernand Braudel’s longue durée establishes the prevalence of enduring geographical and environmental structures somehow left untouched by human agitation. The many socio-cultural and political realities of the region are here subdued to fit within a syncretic narrative that congregates around the nature of the Mediterranean environment reinforcing a sense of unique regional identity and forging a so-called ‘Mediterranean character’. In the imaginary of the Martinican writer Edouard Glissant, the Caribbean alternatively appears to be marked by a history of migration, a diverse range of human experiences and interlocking cultures, set against the memory of the slave trade. This dissertation, “Copresences: 20th-21st Century Encounters in the Mediterranean and Caribbean,” argues alternatively for a meeting of the two seas, relying on but also interrogating the long-lasting literary and philosophical traditions reflecting on strategies of coexistence that these two spaces have influenced.

In this dissertation, I adopt a critical stance on the ethical postulates that have come to define the Caribbean and Mediterranean respectively and inquire into spaces that, although they have long been considered conducive to mobility, sharing, and exchanges, remain the scene of brutal and deadly inhospitality practices in 20th-21st century contexts. I use the word ‘copresences’ to identify a competence for which the notions of exchange, dialogue, and togetherness become possibilities, questionings, and imaginaries, often in stark contrast to the realities experienced. To define ‘copresences’ as a competence is to interrogate and test the strategies for an active development of openness and attentiveness to different others in moments of encounter recounted in works of fiction. It is, also, to articulate around this term an ethical and pedagogical project of encounter that can be learned to exercise copresences productively and reciprocally.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Boum Make, Jenniferjeb235@pitt.edujeb235
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee CoChairDoshi, Neildoshi@pitt.edudoshi
Committee CoChairWalsh, Johnjpw64@pitt.edujpw64
Committee MemberInsana, Linainsana@pitt.eduinsana
Committee MemberBamyeh, Mohammedmab205@pitt.edumab205
Date: 26 June 2019
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 8 April 2019
Approval Date: 26 June 2019
Submission Date: 17 June 2019
Access Restriction: 5 year -- Restrict access to University of Pittsburgh for a period of 5 years.
Number of Pages: 246
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > French
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Mediterranean; Caribbean; hospitality; alterity; encounter; literature; ethics
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2019 20:44
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2019 20:44


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item