University of Malta

Prof John Chircop's Biography
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John Chircop is Professor in social and economic history at the Department of History and Director of the Mediterranean Institute [ ].  He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Essex in 1997 with a thesis on ‘The British Imperial Network in the Mediterranean 1800-1870. A Study of Regional Fragmentation and Imperial Integration’.  Early in his doctoral studies he was awarded a Wingate Scholarship from the Hyam Wingate Foundation, London.

John Chircop’s main research is in the comparative social and economic history of the Central Mediterranean, focusing on poor relief and institutionalisation, welfare, public health, colonial medicine, dietary regimes in hospitals, and colonial/postcolonial labour migration, during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Mediterranean historiography and the study of campanarian culture are two other stems of his research and publication. He is now Research Area Co-ordinator of the ‘Body, Health and Food’ research team at the Mediterranean Institute.

Chircop is also very much involved in the study of Public Memory and oral history.  He has founded and still manages the Public Memory Archive  – a centre of trans-disciplinary research on public memory and people’s history  [ ]. He acted as external advisor to the Media and Memory Research Initiative (MaMRI) at the University of Hull for five years till 2014, and is at present official adviser to the National Archives of Malta on the setting up of an Oral, Sound and Visual Archive.

In the course of his academic carrier Prof Chircop has been awarded scholarships and bursaries to carry out archival research and fieldwork in various Mediterranean countries – mainly the Ionian Islands, Sicily and Tripoli – as well as in the United Kingdom and Paris. He has conducted field research and reviewed public history/community cultural centres, museums  and archives in Sicily, Cephalonia, Tripoli, Tunis and Malta.

Prof Chircop sits on the scientific committee of the Tunis-basedMediterranean Association for Historical, Social and Economic Studies. He is also on the governing council of the International centre for research – Mediterranean Knowledge (based at the University of Salerno) and member of the ICSR editorial board of the book series ‘Mediterranean Culture and Heritage’. In 2013 he co-founded the International Quarantine Studies Network [ ].  As from 2014 he has been acting delegate on the Council of the Community of Mediterranean Universities (CMU).

From 1990 to 2010 Chircop was active as scientific expert on Phoenix NT (EU Erasmus programme on Health and Social Welfare) and convened international workshops and conferences on aspects of public health, welfare and poverty in Europe and the Mediterranean.  He has published extensively on these research topics (see list of publications) and presented papers in numerous international conferences and symposia around Europe, North Africa, Asia and the Near East.

John Chircop is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Mediterranean Studies and sits on the international board of editors of the Mediterranean Review. He also serves on the scientific board of editors of the journal Mediterranean Knowledge.  In 2008 he founded the internationally peer reviewed Journal of Maltese History [ISSN 2077-4228] which is still under his editorship                                            []

Prof Chircop supervises postgraduate research on the social history of medicine, hospitalization, body hygiene and social welfare; the labouring poor; charity establishments, confraternities, mutual aid societies and poor relief. He is now also supervising postgraduate research on cultural management/heritage with particular focus on public history, material culture and community museums. 






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