Painting of a man in a small boat in open water with waves.

“Fragile Crossing" Luis Cruz Azaceta, Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Mediterranean and Caribbean: Island Populations and Migrations

NYU-PSL Global Alliance - Insularities: An Interdisciplinary Diachronic Investigation, Workshop V

Conference organized by Joan Breton Connelly (NYU, Dept. of Classics), Francois de Polignac (École Pratique des Hautes Études) and Antonis Kotsonas (NYU, ISAW)

This workshop brings together archaeologists, anthropologists, cultural historians, and scholars of comparative literature, linguistics, and film for a dynamic cross-cultural conversation.  Focusing on the mobility and movement of peoples through islands and archipelagos of the Mediterranean and Caribbean, from antiquity to the present, participants seek to identify common ground as well as to define differences.  Topics for discussion include the role of literature, arts, and language in the development of regional archipelagic consciousness, the production of spatial identities, transmission and evolution of artistic, religious, utilitarian and other cultural markers, issues of race, power, colonial/colonized relations, and the creation of subalternity as a category.  Introducing an archaeological perspective to ongoing scrutiny of the effects of inter-island movement and migration today may bring a new dimension to our understanding of human mobility across the ages, its motivations, influences, perils, benefits, and unforeseen consequences.


9:00am: Morning Session

Welcome and Introduction:
Joan Breton Connelly, Francois de Polignac, Antonis Kotsonas

Francois de Polignac, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes, Paris
"Vanished and displaced populations in the myths of Greek islands"

Tom Leppard, Dept. of Anthropology, Florida State University
”Frictive Liquid: Movement and its Absence in Island Prehistory”

Christopher Winks, Dept. of Comparative Literature, Queens College, CUNY
“Seeing the Fragments/Whole”

10:40-11:00am: Coffee Break

Renée Blake, NYU, Dept. of Linguistics; Dept. of Social and Cultural Analysis
“Linguistic remnants of racial contact in colonial Barbados: The historical record up against lived lives”

Ana Dopico, NYU, Dept. of Comparative Literature; Dept. of Spanish and Portuguese; Director of King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center
“Repeating Islands: Relation, Remittance, and Caribbean Modernity”

Elektra Kostopoulou, Dept. of History, Rutgers University/New Jersey Institute of Technology
"Islands of Movement: The Aegean Sea and Crete from WWI to the Present”


12:30-1:30pm: Lunch Break (note: lunch will not be provided for attendees)

1:30pm: Afternoon Session

Antonis Kotsonas, NYU, ISAW
“Migration Stories and Island Archaeologies: The Dorians on Crete?”

Irene Sanchez, Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes; National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
“The Making of an Archipelago: The Cyclades and Aegean Migration Routes from the Late Bronze Age to the Early Iron Age”

Thomas Tartaron, Dept. of Classical Studies, Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World, University of Pennsylvania
“Coastal Migrations in Multiple scales of Time and Space: Case Studies From Greece and India”

3:30-4:00pm: Coffee Break

Joan Breton Connelly, NYU, Dept. of Classics
“Archaeologies of Mobility and Migration: Lessons from Cyprus”

Final Discussion

This conference is co-sponsored by NYU-PSL Global Alliance, ISAW, NYU Center for Ancient Studies, NYU Department of Classics, Africana Studies Program in the Department of Social & Cultural Analysis, Center for the Study of Africa and the African Diaspora, Alexander S. Onassis Program in Hellenic Studies, and the Friends of Yeronisos.

Registration is required at

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ISAW is committed to providing a positive and educational experience for all guests and participants who attend our public programming. We ask that all attendees follow the guidelines listed in our community standards policy.