The Haifa Conference on the History of the Mediterranean (29-30.11.2016)

The Haifa Conference was established four years ago by the University of Haifa and the Municipality of Haifa, and its main aim is to highlight current issues related to Mediterranean research, bring these issues to the attention of the wider community of researchers in Israel and abroad, and provoke respective leading-edge discussion. During the last decade, the University of  Haifa has taken the leading role in Mediterranean research in Israel, not least as a result of the foundation of the Charney School for Marine Sciences (CSMS), which serves as the superior coordinating authority of the Haifa Conference.

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Always seeking to highlight the most significant recent developments in Mediterranean research in Haifa and Israel, the CSMS organising committee has recently decided to dedicate the next Haifa Conference to the topic of ‘The History of the Mediterranean.’ The timing has been designed to align with the official initiation of the Haifa Centre for Mediterranean History (HCMH), which has been announced in Summer 2015.

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The conference gathered 12 leading Mediterranean scholars from Israel and abroad, each gave an extended presentation, considering both the state of the field and broad thematic questions. The two main goals of the conference were to determine the methodological starting point for the activity of the HCMH; and to stir interest within an academic milieu so far mostly little concerned with general Mediterranean issues. The venue of the Haifa Conference promises sufficient resonance and resources for bringing to Haifa both leading researchers, and interested audience from within Israeli academia.  A sample of papers from the conference is prepared for submission to Mediterranean Historical Review as a special issue.

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The conference allowed the University of Haifa to position itself as a rising leading institution in the international sphere of Mediterranean historiography, while, at the same time, it exposed local scholars from all universities in the country to the most recent developments in a burgeoning field so far insufficiently studied here in Israel.

Gil Gambash and Zur Shalev, HCMHa