International Conference - Captifs en Méditerranée (XVIe–XVIIIe siècles): Histoires, récits, légendes

The Centre de Recherche sur la Littérature des Voyages (CRLV) of the Université de Paris-Sorbonne, Paris IV and the Department of French of the University of Malta will be convening a bilingual (French and English) international conference entitled Captifs en Méditerranée (XVIe–XVIIIe siècles): Histoires, récits, légendes between the 21st and 23rd September 2006 at Wignacourt Collegiate Museum, Rabat. This conference will bring together historians, literary experts and specialists in the field of travel literature with the aim of exploring the literary, cultural and historic importance of texts dealing with slavery in the Mediterranean. The papers will examine the cultural ties existing between the Arab world and different European states at a time when the Mediterranean was the theatre in which piracy, il corso, was rife. How did these stories differ when told by Berber and by Christian slaves? What was Malta’s particular role in the circulation of these stories? Documentary evidence in Maltese and other archives will bring to light the effects of the corso on the life of those directly and indirectly involved in it. The corso gave birth to a “mythology” of the Berber states in the West. Maritime adventures in the Mediterranean Sea have in turn been the source of literary works which have enriched European literature.

The programme may be accessed on http://www.crlv.org

This conference is open to all interested persons. For further details please contact Dr Carmen Depasquale on e-mail address carmen.depasquale@um.edu.mt

It is of interest to note that on 23rd August 2006, the world marked International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its abolition.

This conference is being sponsored by the /Ministère français de la Recherche/, the Embassy of France, the /Université Paris-Sorbonne/, the University of Malta and Air Malta.