Natalie Göltenboth (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität)


Course description
Separating and at the same time connecting the shores of the Mediterranean, the sea has served as a major resource for conquerors, traders, travelers, labor migrants and refugees from the antiquity until today. Considering that mobility and connectivity has been one of the constituting elements of the Mediterranean, the topic of this course will range from historical networks in the Mediterranean to the touristic endeavour starting in the beginning of the 20th century up to recent clandestine migration from the Middle-East and the Sub-Sahara Region to Europe via the Mediterranean Sea. As this phenomenon will definitely concern us over the next years, we will get into a closer examination of the actual scenarios and the actors involved in the production of illegality, clandestine migration and risk.
Departing from an historical approach to mobility in the Mediterranean, we will highlight different kinds of migration typical for that area: postcolonial migration due to wars or independent movements at the beginning of the 20th century, as well as lifestyle migration of artists, thinkers and pensioners in search of utopias and better ways of life. As a special form of mobility, we will also take a closer look at the touristic annexation of some areas, which started in the late sixties and continues until today.
As the alarming scenarios of the actual refugee crisis in the Mediterranean call for a deeper analysis of this issue, we will consider the production of illegalness and the illegality industry, studying the strategies of the clandestine migrants, who try to reach Europe by making decisions about which routes and transports to take, where to hide and how to deal with embodied illegalness. The ontological, social and political dimension of the border and the modus operandi of the European border regimes executed through Frontex and other gatekeepers will concern us here. Thereby a special focus will be set on gender aspects of illegal migration as women are more vulnerable to harassments connected to their physical integrity and usually opt for different strategies as their male fellow travelers.
In addition to the theoretical input, the course participants are asked to design and carry out their own research project on migration and/or mobility in Venice. Research projects might range from a historical approach to migration in Venice up to the investigation of more recent mobilities from the Sub-Sahara region, Bangladesh, Ukraine or other European or even Italian cities, tourism and over- tourism or special forms of mobilities that are characteristic for Venice. A special unit is reserved for training in fieldwork methods and interview techniques.

Course requirements
- the course is a seminar. Each session is organized around readings that must be completed before class. Students have to be prepared to discuss the texts and physically bring them to class (either on paper or on screen) so that we can re-read certain passages. Short statements are to be written on the texts.
- prepare one presentation (alone or in group) accompanied by power point, based on the readings
- do fieldwork (alone or in group) and present and discuss their research
- write one final essay. The essay must include bibliographical references and notes. The topic can be chosen in agreement with the professor and may range from one of the topics of the seminar to reflections on own research experiences.

- Historical approach to connectivity and mobility in the Mediterranean
- Anthropological Approach to Mobility and Migration
- Postcolonial migration in the Mediterranean
- In search of Utopias in the sunny South: travelers, tourists, retirement - and lifestyle - migration
Border regimes on the northern shores of the Mediterranean
- Woman crossing borders – the female experience
- The making of Illegalness and the illegality Industry
- Training in fieldwork-methods and interview techniques
- Migration and mobility in Venice: research and fieldwork on the actual situation of different types of migration/mobility in and around Venice

Evaluation method
30% attendance and participation in class
30% oral presentation in class
40% written final essay

No Preliminary Knowledge required


Connectivity and Mobility – a Historical Approach
Mobility and Travel in the Mediterranean from antiquity to the Middle Ages. Kongressbericht Paderborn. Münster 2004: Lit Verlag
Peregrine Horden & Nicholas Purcel. 2000. The Corrupting Sea: A Study of Mediterranean History. Oxford, Malden (Massachusetts): Blackwell

Anthropological Approach to Mobility and Migration
Noel. B. Salazar. 2016. Keywords in Mobility. A critical Introduction p. 1-12 In: Keywords in Mobility. A Critical Engagements. Noel B. Salazar & Kiran Jayaram (eds.) NY, Oxford: Berghahn
Arjun Appadurai. 1996.Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy p.27-47. In: Arjun Appadurai. Modernity at Large. Cultural Dimensions of Globalization. London, Minneapolis: Univ. of Minnesota Press
Postcolonial Migration in the Mediterranean
Sayak Abdelmalek. 2000. El Ghorba. From Original Sin to Collective Lie p. 147-170. In: Ethnography 2000.1; 147.London, NY: Sage Publications
In Search of Utopias
Eduardo Moyá.2016. Journeys in the Sun: Travel Literature and Desire in the Balearic Islands (1903-1939). Mallorca: Universitat de les Illes Balerars
Valene S. Smith (ed.) Hosts and Guests: The Anthropology of Tourism. Philadelphia: Univ. Press
Anthropology of the Border
Sharam Khosravi. 2011. Illegal Traveller. An Auto-Ethnography of Borders. Introduction. London: Pallgrave McMillan
Chris Rumford.2006. Theorizing Borders In: European Journal of Social Theory 9(2): 155-169
Border Regimes
Paolo Gaibazzi, Alice Bellagamba, Stephan Dünnwald (eds.) 2017. EurAfrican Borders and Migration Management: Political Cultures, Contested Spaces and Ordinary Lives. NY: Pallgrave McMillan
Nick-Vaugham Williams. 2011. Off-Shore Biopolitical Border Security: The EU’s Global Response to Migration, Piracy and “Risky Subjects” In: Luiza Bialasiewicz (eds.) Europe in the World. EU Politics and the making of European Space. Franham Burlington:
Clandestine migration
Alessandro Triulzi & Robert L. McKenzie (eds.) 2103. Long Journeys. African Migrants on the Road. Leiden: Brill
Gebrewold Bealchew & Tendayi Bloom: 2016. Understanding Migrant Decisions: From Sub-Sahara Africa to the Mediterranean Region. London, NY: Routledge
Andersson, Ruben. 2014. Time and the Migrant Other: European Border Controls and the Temporal Economics of Illegality. In: American Anthropologist 116(4):795-809
Woman crossing borders – the female experience
Kristin Kastner. 2013. Nigerian Border Crossers: Woman Travelling to Europe by Land In: Long Journeys. African Migrants on the Road. Alessandro Triulzi and Robert L. McKenzie (Eds.) Leiden: Brill
Eva Evers Rosander.1991. Woman in a Borderland. Managing Ethnic Identity where Morocco meets Spain.  Stockholm
The making of illegalness and the illegality Industry
Anderson, Ruben. 2014. Hunter and Prey: Patrolling Clandestine Migration in the Euro-African Borderlands. In: Anthropological Quarterly 87(1): 119-150.
Itty Abrahams & Willem van Schendel.2005. The Making of Illicitness In: Willem van Schendel & Itty Abrahams  (eds.): Illicit Flows and Criminal Things. State Borders and the Other Side of Globalization. Indiana: Indiana Univ.Press


Isola di San Servolo
30133 Venice,

phone: +39 041 2719511
fax:+39 041 2719510

VAT: 02928970272