University of Malta

Space, Narrative and Memory
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M.A. Mediterranean Studies




Postcoloniality and Representation in the Mediterranean

As the geo-political and socio-cultural maps of the Mediterranean continue to be drawn and redrawn, the region’s emergent cultural politics increasingly demands the reconfiguration of its spatial, narrative, and memorial modes of harnessing both the littoral’s present urgencies and its volatile bequeathals, whether political, aesthetic or otherwise. The Mediterranean sea and its historic networks of exchange have played an inescapable role in the lives of its people. Through narrative – written and oral, as well as various other modes of expression and representation — the Mediterranean experience has produced its own representational domains that enable people to engage, contest and understand the postcolonial worlds they inhabit. This dynamic spans the region’s economy of visual and performative arts and the current worlding of its literary platforms, as well as its emerging creative practices, artivist hubs, citizen and civil society scholarship.


Research Area Coordinator:

Dr Norbert Bugeja  

Senior Lecturer

Mediterranean Institute

University of Malta 

Dr Norbert Bugeja was awarded his Ph.D. in Postcolonial Studies as a Commonwealth Doctoral Scholar from the University of Warwick in 2011. He has published widely on the politics of memory, liminality, spatial relations, historical-memorial dialectics, literary and cultural studies across the southeastern Mediterranean and the MENA region. His first single-authored monograph, Postcolonial Memoir in the Middle East — Rethinking the Liminal in Mashriqi Writing appeared from Routledge in late 2012. Since then, he published and researched extensively on post-2011 political-cultural trajectories and relations in the MENA, post-Republican politics and literature in Turkey, and the literary politics of Palestine, Tunisia and presently, Libya. 

Dr Bugeja has guest-edited the ‘Postcolonial Springs’ special issue of CounterText (April 2015, Edinburgh University Press), and has convened the second Mediterranean Fractures International Symposium at the Mediterranean Institute in late 2015 in collaboration with the University of Kent and AISCLI. He has lectured at the Universities of Warwick (UK), Kent (UK) and Malta, and has delivered keynotes, presentations and invited lectures in the UK, the US, Italy, France, Turkey, Tunisia, South Korea, Indonesia and elsewhere. He is currently researching the interface between post-despotic political formations and the spatio-temporal bearings of the political memoir. 

Dr Bugeja is also a leading voice on Malta’s contemporary poetry scene, having authored two collections in Maltese (Nartiċi  [2016] and Bliet [2015]) as well as South of the Kasbah (Midsea Books, 2015), in an English translation by Irene Mangion, and Stay, Fairy Tale, Stay! (Inizjamed / Midsea Books, 2005), translated by Maria Grech Ganado 



Research Associates


Dr Adrian Grima

Department of Maltese

Faculty of Arts

Research Interests: Maltese literature and literature in the Mediterranean; the Maltese national imaginary; the concept of the "Mediterranean" and "Europe;" contemporary Maltese literature. 



Prof. Clare Vassallo

Translation, Terminology and Interpreting Studies

Faculty of Arts

Research Interests:  Semiotics; Literary Theory; Critical and Cultural Theory with special interests in Translation Theory and Gender.



Professor Stella Borg Barthet 

Associate Professor

Department of English

University of Malta

This specific research area brings together several of the interests I have developed over the years. These include postcolonial African writing, an area I have continued to develop since my doctoral studies, with a closer focus in recent years on works featuring migration across the Mediterranean. As a base for the study of contemporary fiction, I often refer to the work of trauma, narrative and memory — as set out by Cathy Caruth, Dori Laub and others — along with Iain Chambers’s work on South to North migration as a continuation of colonial history. I also have a very lively interest in the politics of space as set out by Bruce Robbins, Pheng Cheah and others, this providing a framework to explore the representation of migrant lives in the UK and the US. SBB



Dr Virginia Monteforte

Virginia Monteforte (Rome, 1978) is a cultural anthropologist and photographer. Her work deals with social memory, politics, material culture, migration and literature in the Mediterranean. She studied at the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy at La Sapienza in Rome and then at the EHESS, École des hautes études en sciences sociales (iiAC - LAIOS) in Paris where she got a Ph.D in Social Anthropology and Ethnology with a thesis entitled Construction de l’incurable. Mémoire et opposition politique à Malte (Constructing the incurable. Memory and political opposition in Malta). Her first fieldwork took place in the province of Rome and was focused on intercultural education (from kindergarten to secondary schools), followed by work in Lipari (Aeolian islands) on social memory and history. In 2004 she landed in Malta, where she conducted a study for her M.A. about the contemporary literary scene and the construction of the author among the last generation of Maltese writers. She has also worked in literary publishing and literary translation. After having been among the coordinators of Din mhix tazza (2012-2013), a multidisciplinary project about women in Bormla and their narratives, at present she coordinates the project Rima (started in 2015) an anthropological and artistic project supported by Valletta 2018. She is the co-author and co-editor of two publications "Din mhix tazza" (2013) and "Undertow. Poetics of displacement" (2016). She lives in Malta.





Dr Anna Khakee

Head of Department

International Relations

University of Malta

Anna Khakee obtained her first degree from the University of Lund, Sweden where she majored in Political Science. She went on to study for a M.A. (Diplôme d'Etudes Supérieures, D.E.S.) and a Ph.D. in Political Science and International Relations at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, Switzerland.







Seminar by Dr Bashir Abu-Manneh
This seminar entitled 'Palestinian Trajectories: Novel and Politics since 1948' is going to be held on Wednesday 31st October at 18.00 hrs at the Mediterranean Institute, Ir-Razzett tal-Hursun, University of Malta. 
The Journal of Mediterranean Studies available online
The Journal of Mediterranean Studies (ISSN: 1016-3476) published by the Mediterranean Institute at the University of Malta is now available online through the prestigious Project Muse platform.
Supervision for M.A./Ph.D research
The Mediterranean Institute is providing trans-disciplinary supervision for Masters of Arts and Doctoral research...
Last Updated: 29 January 2018

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