Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


CODE ENG2033

 
TITLE Maltese Literature in English

 
LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course

 
ECTS CREDITS 4

 
DEPARTMENT English

 
DESCRIPTION This study-unit focuses on the Maltese writers’ expression of identity in the language of the ‘other.’ The introductory lectures will present a historical survey of the Maltese writers’ notions of nationality, ethnicity, colonial resistance, and identity; their expression in the Italian, Maltese, and English languages, and the effect of bilingualism or trilingualism on creativity. Through the close study of a sample of poetry and prose written in the English language from the 1960s to date, the study-unit will highlight the Maltese writers’ use of the English language. Texts by the following authors will be for detailed study:

Maltese Poetry in English: Daniel Massa, Victor Fenech, Mario Azzopardi, John Cremona, Immanuel Mifsud, Maria Ganado, Abigail Ardelle Zammit, Norbert Bugeja and Adrian Grima.

Maltese Prose in English: Francis Ebejer, Vincent Vella, Lou Drofenik, Petra Bianchi, Lillian Sciberras.

Study-Unit Aims:

This study-unit aims to acquaint students with the prose and the poetry written in response to the aesthetic, cultural and socio-economic conditions of post-colonial Malta, within the context of Anglophone writing and the politics of language as a salient marker of the of the development of communal, national and religious identity. It also offers a culturally-oriented perspective of an inter-disciplinary nature, drawing on political historiography, literary scholarship, post-colonial theory, the politics of language and translation dynamics.

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Define the salient issues and questions pertaining to the post-independence trajectory of Malta's anglophone writing.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the major thematics that characterised and still characterise Malta's anglophone writing from the 1960s to the present.
- Display a mastery of the salient influences and issues, as well as the cultural, literary and language-political choices, aspirations and stances that characterised and continue to characterise Maltese writing.
- Demonstrate a proficient grasp of the post-independence problematics and challenges faced by writers.
- Demonstrate a comparative ability in relating the style, aesthetics and political stance of the writers within the broader context of the time.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- Discuss the context of the events, and the colonial, national and communal relations that shaped and continue to shape Maltese writing in English from the1960s to date.
- Formulate informed opinions on Malta's evolving bilingual creative-writing context and project possible future scenarios on an informed knowledge of current trends and preoccupations in the field.
- Associate, relate and contextualise Malta's post-independence literature within and as part of the broader, trans-regional geopolitical urgencies affecting both the Mediterranean basin and the European continent.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

- Maltese Poetry in English: Daniel Massa, Victor Fenech, Mario Azzopardi, John Cremona, Immanuel Mifsud, Maria Ganado.
- Maltese Prose in English: Francis Ebejer, Vincent Vella, Lou Drofenik, Petra Bianchi, Lillian Sciberras.
- Godfrey Baldacchino, “A Nationless State? Malta, National identity and the EU” in West European Politics, vol.25 no.4(2006) 191-206.
- Ivan Callus, “Maltese literature in theh language of the other: a case study in minority literatures’ pursuit of majority,” in Acta Scientaiarum Language and Culture, vol.31 no.1 (2009) 31-40.
- Isabelle de Coutrivon (ed.), Lives in Translation: Bilingual Writers on Identity and Creativity (Palgrave Macmillan: 2003).
- Jacques Derrida, Monolingualism of the Other: or, The Prosthesis of Origin (Stanford University Press: 1998).
- Henry Frendo & Oliver Friggieri (ed.) Malta: Culture and Identity (Ministry of Youth and Culture: 1994).
- Geoffrey Hull, The Malta Language Question: a Case Study in Cultural Imperialism (Said International Ltd: 1993).
- Victor Mallia-Milanes, The British Colonial Experience 1800-1964 (Malta, Mireva Academic Publications, 1988).
- Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Decolonising the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature (James Currey Ltd / Heinemann: 2008).

 
STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture

 
METHOD OF ASSESSMENT
Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment Yes 50%
Assignment Yes 50%

 
LECTURER/S Stella Borg Barthet
Norbert Bugeja
Vincent 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 2018/9, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.

https://www.um.edu.mt/course/studyunit