Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE The Mediterranean in Modern Times

LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course



DESCRIPTION The Mediterranean in Modern Times (Prof. D. Fenech) is a historical survey aiming to show the changing importance of the Mediterranean in international politics in modern history. It reviews the changes that led to the Mediterranean region being superseded politically and economically by northern Europe in early modern times until it returned to international importance by being itself subjected to largely non-Mediterranean powers. Themes discussed include the anachronism of the Christian-Muslim East-West contest as it is overshadowed by the Christian-Christian Nort-South divide in the context of the rising capitalist world economy and the wars of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation; the decline of Spanish and Ottoman Empires; the competing interests of Britain, Russia and France for advantage and access in the nineteenth century; the Eastern question and Balkanization; European imperialism in the Mediterranean; and the consequences for the Mediterranean of the fall of the of the Austrian and Ottoman Empires.

Study-unit Aims:

• To combine the study of Maltese history with that of the Mediterranean, which constitutes the main external context within which this history unfolds;
• To offer alternative approaches to, and evaluation of, knowledge which in part may have been previously acquired;
• To provide a basis for further study-units on Malta and the Mediterranean at a higher level.

Learning Outcomes:

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

• Take a more three-dimensional view of modern Maltese history within its Mediterranean context;
• View certain aspects of history, originally learned as European history, from a Mediterranean vantage point;
• Acquire alternative perspectives on certain features of Maltese history;
• Apply the knowledge acquired to a fuller understanding of contemporary issues concerning Malta and the Mediterranean.

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

• Approach the study of history with a more critical outlook than s/he has been accustomed to at pre-university level;
• Connect and combine knowledge acquired from different lecturers in a synoptic manner;
• Detect broad historical trends.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

• All readings are available in the University libraries.
• Lecturers will guide the students on the use of the literature at the beginning of the lecture series.

The Mediterranean in Modern Times
• Dominic Fenech, 'East-West to North-South in the Mediterranean', Geojournal, 32.1, 1993.
Robert Holland, Blue-Water Empire: the British in the Mediterranean since 1800, London 2012.
• John J. Norwich, The Middle Sea: a History of the Mediterranean, London 2007.
David Abulafia (ed), The Mediterranean in History, London 2003--Chapters 7 and 8 (Molly Green, 'Resurgent Islam', and Jeremy Black, 'The Mediterranean as a Battleground of the European Powers').
The New Cambridge Modern History, the following chapters: John Mathiex, 'The Mediterranean', in Volume VI; C. W. Crawley, 'The Mediterranean' in Volume X.
• P. Thronton, 'Rivalries in the Mediterranean, the Middle East and Egypt', in Volume XI.
Immanuel Wallerstein, The Capitalist World Economy, Cambridge 1979, Chapters 1 and 2.


ADDITIONAL NOTES Pre-requisite Qualifications: None, but students are normally expected to satisfy the entry requirements for History


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Examination (1 Hour) SEM1 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Dominic Fenech

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 description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.