SoConDi: Professor Karla Mallette on a lingua franca for the Mediterranean


By Andries W. Coetzee
Nov 03, 2012 Bookmark and Share

Professor Karla Mallette

Professor Karla Mallette

SoConDi is honored to host Dr. Karla Mallette (associate professor of Italian and Near Eastern Studies, and former director of the Center for European Studies) this week. Professor Mallette is an expert on the medieval Mediterranean, with a specific focus on communications between literary traditions in the that part of the world. She has penned two books about her research: The Kingdom of Sicily, 1100-1250: A Literary History (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2005), traced the transition between Arabic and Italian literary traditions in medieval Sicily.  Her second book, European Modernity and the Arab Mediterranean (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2010), focused on a southern European tradition of scholarship that identifies the origins of modernity in the contact between Islamic and Christian civilizations in the medieval Mediterranean.

Her current project, tentatively titled "Lingua franca in the Mediterranean",examines  linguistic strategies used to communicate across the boundaries that language creates. She has recently completed an essay on this topic, titled "The lingua franca as matrix of Mediterranean connectivity". This essay is slated to appear in the new Wiley-Blackwell Companion to the Mediterranean. The SoConDi meeting this week will be a Q&A session with Professor Mallette about this essay. Everyone is encouraged to read the essay before the meeting.

More information, including a copy of the essay, is available from Tridha Chatterjee. SoConDi meets on Friday (11/9) at 3 pm in Lorch Hall 403.