William & Mary

2019 Vinson Sutlive Lecture: "The Mediterranean Incarnate" by Naor Ben-Yehoyada

Each year the Department of Anthropology awards the Sutlive Book Prize to the best book published in the prior year, in any discipline, that makes use of anthropological perspectives in order to examine historical contexts and/or the role of the past in the present. The author is then invited to campus to present the Sutlive Lecture. These annual events honor Dr. Vinson Sutlive, Professor Emeritus, who taught for thirty years in the Department of Anthropology.Professor Naor Ben-Yehoyada and his book "The Mediterranean Incarnate: Region Formation Between Sicily and Tunisia Since World War II"

This year's Sutlive Book Prize winner is Naor Ben-Yehoyada for his book The Mediterranean Incarnate. Naor Ben-Yehoyada is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Columbia University. The Mediterranean Incarnate is a vivid account of one anthropologist’s five weeks aboard a fishing vessel in the Mediterranean waters between Sicily and Tunisia. Brimming with sensuous detail and trenchant analysis, this ethnography offers a riveting and unglamorous portrait of labor, masculinity, and what Naor Ben-Yehoyada terms “affinity across difference” as they play out in the cramped quarters of a fishing trawler. At the same time, The Mediterranean Incarnate places the quotidian on-board dramas between owners, captains, deckhands, and others within a much larger story that extends through space and time, thereby connecting the vessel’s home port of Mazara del Vallo in Sicily to Tunisia and to a wider Mediterranean imaginary reaching back to the end of Second World War and well before. The result is not only a singular investigation into the postwar political economy of industrial-scale fishing but also a compelling case for how a place anthropologists and historians thought they knew might allow us to rethink the meaning of the transnational.

The lecture will take place on March 21, 2019 at 5 PM in Washington Hall 201. Event Details