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Catania and Valencia’s way to modernity. A multidisciplinary comparison between two port cities within Mediterranean Europe (1850-1915)


This project compares the two cities of Catania and Valencia in order to theorise a new growth model related to industrialisation and maritime traffics between the 19th and 20th centuries. The comparison between similar urban entities represents a fundamental approach in urban historiography. The similarities are many. Both cities expand their port infrastructures and enjoy the transition to industrialisation since the second half of the XIX century. They are direct competitors in the orange export trade on a global scale.
Valuating the strengths and the weaknesses of Catania and Valencia economies will permit to better understand the Southern European development model. Particular emphasis will be given to the capacity of the two economies of reacting to cyclical crises.
Methodologically, EHESS enjoys a consolidated scientific tradition in studying the Euro-Mediterranean space. Besides multidisciplinary approach, transnational history is a privileged methodological path at EHESS. The proposal is based on the attendance of the EHESS seminars. The present research project will therefore leverage a particularly favorable framework based on continuous interaction between scientific updates, analysis of archive sources and bibliography, and frequent meetings with the scientist in charge.
Mobility and multidisciplinary learning expertise are structural preconditions to the purpose of this proposal. At the same time, training at EHESS will increase the candidate’s scientific background in a decisive way for his future career. The implementation of the fellowship is ensured. EHESS has facilities, administrative structures and consolidated tradition in hosting Marie Curie fellows. Further developments of this project may consolidate scholarship networks about the Mediterranean and Worldwide port cities. The results of the proposal will be useful to better understand economic crises in Italy and Spain and to create a Euro-Mediterranean research domain about port cities.

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54 Bd Raspail
75270 Paris 6
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 194 046,60
Administrative Contact
Chloe Borgel (Mrs.)