The prime objective of the International Institute for Baroque Studies is to disseminate multidisciplinary knowledge about the Baroque heritage of mankind and its conservation for posterity.
Since the foundation of the Institute in 1996, this objective has been reflected in teaching activities at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, in extensive research work which has formed the basis of several theses
, publications and books
, and in prestigious consultancy services
concerned with various aspects of the Baroque heritage of the Maltese islands, imported by the Hospitaller Knights of St. John the Baptist in the late sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Recent examples of such consultancy activity was the involvement of the Institute in the formulation of masterplans for the conservation of Mdina and Valletta, both important centres of our Baroque heritage.
On an international level, the International Institute for Baroque Studies has, since its foundation, enhanced its teaching activities by actively participating in several academic conferences organised by overseas universities. It has also taken the initiative to organise a number of international seminars
in Malta, and also assumed a pioneering role in the founding of the Baroque Route Network of the Council of Europe, on behalf of which the Institute still regularly publishes a newsletter
The contents of the courses offered by the Institute at undergraduate and postgraduate levels and its publications reflect the interest of the various academic staff members
involved in the political, military, religious, social, philosophical, scientific, literary, artistic and conservation aspects of the Baroque age which are presented in such a way as to promote the Baroque world as a holistic cultural entity accommodating the two contradictions of the age: the abstract mathematical and methodical aspect on one side and the rebellious, emotional and exuberant aspect on the other, both manifest in the architecture and art forms of the great Baroque capitals of Europe. Here, the still-visible residues of this eminently European cultural expression bear testimony to an age of learning, discovery, brilliance and splendor which continues to attract the attention of many scholars, posing a formidable challenge for them to provide answers to a host of yet unanswered questions, to use archival research to identify and disseminate new knowledge about the Baroque achievement and, lastly, to propagate the many lessons covering diverse fields to be learnt from it. This is what the International Institute for Baroque Studies at the University of Malta is all about.