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Introduction to Boundaries

This Neatline project, “Boundaries,” provides artistic and historical information from four locations in the Mediterranean to demonstrate that political and religious boundaries, traditionally seen as rigid or definitive borders, are permeable membranes that involve overlapping and intertwined cultural histories. Using the 12th century travel narrative by Ibn Jubayr, we have traced his journey of the Hajj through some of the cities he visits to denote the fluidity of boundaries around the Mediterranean. The proper way to study the Mediterranean is hotly contested in the academic world, with theories ranging from strict categorization by political affiliation, region, or religious identity, to a more integrative networking approach. While “Boundaries” doesn’t propose one method over the other, we are hoping that with the help of digital technologies we will be able to present a more holistic method to studying the varying regions and cultures that make up the Mediterranean.  

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