Program designed and coordinated by Thierry Fabre, essayist, researcher and curator, founder of the Rencontres d’Averroès.

The Mediterranean program welcomes in residence researchers and artists working in the field of “Mediterranean studies”.

Being a Mediterranean observatory of interdisciplinarity, Aix Marseille University’s Institute for Advanced Study (IMERA) emphasizes the openness to the Mediterranean world and a better inclusion in its territory. Residents hosted by IMERA’s Mediterranean program are selected based on their own questions and following an interdisciplinary approach, that questions the Mediterranean world through its diversity.

IMERA’s Mediterranean program covers a range of Mediterranean issues of interdisciplinary interest, namely focusing on the three following themes:

1. Mediterranean Islam

The notion of Mediterranean Islam stems from the works of Professor Jacques Berque, and Mohammed Arkoun, Islamology.

The aim is to contextualise Islam, far from any essentialism or literalism, in its Mediterranean dimension. Mediterranean Islam crosses borders, embraces population flows and diasporas, from one side of the Mediterranean to the other, takes into account multiple historical and civilizational heritages as secular contexts, and recognizes specifically the place of the Other, particularly of the religious minorities.

To consider Mediterranean Islam helps opening other paths and offers possible alternatives to the rigorist, literalist or Salafist visions currently pervading contemporary Islam.

Therefore, the approach will certainly be interdisciplinary, encompassing philosophy, law, history, anthropology, the study of texts and their translations, such as the transmission between Greco-Latin and Judeo-Arabic legacies.

Residents linked to this axis will be encouraged to contribute to the expression of critical thinking in contemporary and Mediterranean Islam as well as to broadcast those ideas in the Mediterranean. They will work closely with the holder of the Averroès Chair, who benefits from the support of the Aix-Marseille University Excellence Initiative (A*MIDEX).

2. Mediterranean Ways of Life

The question of “How to live?” or of ways of life is a sensitive one, an analysis that questions the transformation of our ways of life, at the crossroads of thought and creation.

Ways of life in the Mediterranean are the subject of an annual IMERA research workshop to which residents are invited to actively contribute. From the exploration of culture on a daily basis, on the scale of the Mediterranean, to the ways of life and forms of life which are transforming before our eyes, it is about exploring new projects and paving the way for new perspectives.

The ways of life approach is in principle interdisciplinary and involves research - in the human and social sciences as well as in the hard sciences - critical thinking, literary or visual creation. Researchers and artists can apply to the call in this axis.

3. Tomorrow The Mediterranean

How to give the future a new face? Can we think about the aftermath of the disaster? Can new forward-looking approaches emerge across the Mediterranean?

Given climate change and upheavals in our ecosystems, what can we analyze and anticipate for the future? What transformations will impact our ways of life in the Mediterranean?

Residents linked to this axis will be invited to an open reflection on international issues in the Mediterranean, across the diversity of their issues and their disciplines. The “Germaine Tillion, tomorrow the Mediterranean” Chair is open to applications, with the support of the Region Sud.

The Albert Hirschman Chair is a new Chair created in 2020-2021, with the initial support of the Excellence Initiative of Aix Marseille University (A*MIDEX), and of Sciences Po-Aix.

Its objective is to give itself the means to think about the realities of tomorrow, and to begin with the identity passions, between Europe and the Mediterranean. The rise of identity passions in fact leaves thought helpless in many ways. It is more necessary than ever to open a space of thought that seeks to question these identity passions.

For more information, please contact Thierry Fabre, program director: