The Strategy of Toleration

On 16th October 2018, I presented my monograph Tolerance Re-Shaped in the Early Modern Mediterranean Borderlands: Traveller, Missionaries and Proto-Journalists, published by Routledge in April 2018. The lunch talk The Strategy of Toleration: Mobility and the Functionality of Standing the Otherness in Early Modern Mediterranean Border-Spaces (17th-18th centuries) was held at the The Nathan & Jeanette Miller Center for Historical Studies, Department of History, University of Maryland, College Park.

The book is based on my PhD thesis, defended at the University of Florence in April 2011. It is actually the basis on which the MedRoute project was built and developed. In inquires the way Italian subjects that were moving into the Mediterranean were depicting cultural otherness and how they developed a practical tolerance. This toleration was much more of a kind of capacity to standing the otherness, rather than an appreciation of cultural diversity. Nevertheless, it was a very efficient tool!

People were used to find strategies of coexistence, eventually understanding otherness itself. Sailing from Istanbul (Part 1), to Izimr (Part 2), and finally ending in Valletta (Part 3), the book is a mosaic of Mediterranean ways of understanding difference and it represent the first part of our project maritime route. That is: the beginning of our voyage.

My question was and is: how do port cities manage they cultural pluralism? Is difference a resource or a problem?

So, let’s start traveling, just from here!