University of Malta

Study-Unit Description
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TITLE Thinking 'the Mediterranean'

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT Faculty of Arts

DESCRIPTION Thinking the Mediterranean is a study-unit designed to discuss the notion of the Mediterranean as a single unity from multi-disciplinary perspectives, with the participation of experts from different fields of learning. At the end of the study-unit the student should be able to offer an answer to the question, what is the Mediterranean? Apart from stimulating students to ‘think’ about the Mediterranean, the study-unit, as a bedrock of the M.A. programme, also aims to give students an opportunity to sample various disciplinary approaches and inform their choice of elective study-units. Fourteen seminar sessions will be held, as follows:

• Introduction: The Mediterranean as a region
• The Mediterranean tradition at the University of Malta and beyond
• Archaeology and the Mediterranean
• The Mediterranean in Classical Times
• Mediterranean religions
• Historical unity and fragmentation I
• Historical unity and fragmentation II
• The Anthropologist’s Mediterranean
• The Geographer’s Mediterranean
• The Mediterranean Diet
• Mediterranean diseases
• Writing the Mediterranean
• Representing the Mediterranean
• The Mediterranean in International Relations

Study-unit Aims:

• To give students a multi-disciplinary approach to the study of the Mediterranean within the same study-unit, in what is essentially a multi-disciplinary programme of studies;
• To stimulate discussion and cross-fertilization of ideas and enable students to make their own synthesis of what defines the Mediterranean;
• To help students make decisions about which electives to choose from during the rest of the programme.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to

• understand the relevance of the ‘Mediterranean idea’;
• gain insights into a variety of disciplines to which s/he may not have been exposed before;
• locate the place of the Mediterranean in the wider world;
• grasp the complexity of the characteristics that give the Mediterranean its unity and diversity.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

• adopt multi-disciplinary approaches to their studies;
• organize, synthesise and observe patterns from apparently scattered knowledge;
• draw on the knowledge acquired in their studies in any competitive examinations or interviews which require awareness of the world around them.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

David Abulafia, The Great Sea: a Human History of the Mediterranean, (Allen Lane, 2011)
Sarah Arenson, The Encircled Sea: the Mediterranean Maritime Civilization (Caroline Academic 1991); as well as accompanying DVDs of Channel 4 television series by the same name
Miriam Cooke, Erdag Göknar, Grant Parker, Mediterranean Passages: Readings from Dido to Derrida (North Carolina Press, 2008)
A.T. Grove and Oliver Rackham, The Nature of Mediterranean Europe: An Ecological History (Yale University Press, 2003)
Peregrine Horden and Nicholas Purcell, The Corrupting Sea. A Study of Mediterranean History (Blackwell Mass, 2000)
Eric Newby, On the Shores of the Mediterranean (Harper, 2011 edition)
Faysal Yachir, The Mediterranean: Between Autonomy and Dependency (Zed Books,1989)


Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Anthony Bonanno
Emanuel Buttigieg
Joseph M. Cacciottolo
Stephen Calleya
Ivan Callus
Charles Dalli
Mark Anthony Falzon
Dominic Fenech (Co-ord.)
Anna McElhatton
Dennis Mizzi
Paul Sant Cassia
John A. Schembri
Keith Paul Sciberras
Horatio C. R. Vella
Nicholas Vella

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2017/8, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.
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