Reflections on Sicilian Insularity – What Does It Mean to Be an Island and What Is Its Role as a Meeting Point for Europe, Africa, and the Middle East?
Professor Andò will introduce his Sicilian home to an American audience by applying his long experience as a professor of comparative law and a student of different cultures to bear on the questions of Sicily’s role in the current world. Sicily is undeniably an island and that fact entails a certain degree of insularity though modern forms of information technology may be overcoming some of the isolation due to geography. But islands can also be meeting points, and Sicily’s position in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea has made it an important meeting point throughout recorded history. It has served and will continue to serve as an important meeting point for Europeans, Africans, and Middle Easterners. It is, however, also being overwhelmed by waves of refugees fleeing Africa and the Near East. Professor Andò will seek to acquaint us with Sicily by exploring these multiple meanings of Sicilian “insularity.”
Professor Biagio Andò earned his basic law degree and his Ph.D. in law at the University of Catania. He is currently a professor of comparative law at the University of Catania and is visiting Iowa’s College of Law as a visiting research scholar during this fall semester (2022). He has deepened his understanding of islands through several stints as a visiting lecturer at the University of Malta and research stays at the British Institute of International and Comparative Law. He has also conducted research at the Max Planck Institute in Hamburg, at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and at the Paul M. Hebert Law Center at Louisiana State University.