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Call for papers

16 Jan 2019



SHORES OF ENCOUNTER: Conflict and Conviviality in the Mediterranean

A conference organised by the Mediterranean Institute - University of Malta in collaboration with the Institute of Mediterranean Studies, Busan University of Foreign Studies.

University of Malta, 28 June 2019

Convened by Dr Norbert Bugeja and Professor John Chircop

The history of the Mediterranean basin as a space of exchange and encounter is a long and complex one. From medieval Sicily to the kingdoms of al-Andalus, from the polities and empires of classical and ancient times to the powers that dominated its shores in the modern era, the sea itself has functioned as a medium that at once facilitated the conviviality of communities along its shores, as well as conflicts across the breath of its littoral. Relations of exchange and encounter in the Mediterranean were never only trade-based or commercial ones. The history of its food cultures, the etymology of its languages, the cultural contamination across the many systems of belief adopted by its populations, their ritual and social dynamics, the affinities between and across its ports of call and its islands ask for a convoluted and meandering approach to the Mediterranean and its morphing definitions over time. 

Through a trans-disciplinary reading of the Mediterranean in its current urgencies and historic manifestations, the Shores of Encounter conference seeks to expand the purviews of Mediterranean Studies scholarship in unearthing tropes of encounter and exchange, of co-habitation and conflict, and the broader spectrum of historical and present-day modes and dynamics of life and community in the Mediterranean basin. While the conference seeks essays that contribute to paths of knowledge across the Mediterranean region, essays with special emphasis on the Central Mediterranean and histories of Sicily and Andalusia are of particular interest in the context of the conference.

The deadline for submission of proposals for 20-minute presentations is April 15, 2019 at noon.

For more information on the conference and to register for the event, kindly contact Dr Norbert Bugeja at or Prof. John Chircop at

Dr Norbert Bugeja 
Senior Lecturer in Postcolonial Studies

General Editor
Journal of Mediterranean Studies

Seminar by Dr Karsten Xuereb

09 Jan 2019

The Mediterranean Institute is pleased to announce the next seminar session on its Mediterranean Institute Seminar Series. The Seminar is titled 'Perpetuating European colonialism in the Mediterranean: the cases of cultural governance in Malta and Tunisia' and will be delivered by Dr Karsten Xuereb. 

A study of cultural governance in Malta and Tunisia illustrates how former European colonial practice has influenced the current implementation of policy addressing culture in European Union (EU) and non-EU Mediterranean territories. This seminar will assess the continuity of the praxis of British and French rule, respectively, on contemporary cultural policy in Malta and Tunisia. It does this in the context of particular structural practices at EU level. In particular, the EU has supported politically conservative yet economically liberal approaches to culture that have strengthened nationalism and instrumentalisation. The choice of one EU, and one non-EU, country, both from the Mediterranean, allows for a comparison to be drawn between similarities as well as differences in the impact of the legacy of colonialism through the EU on cultural governance in postcolonial contexts. 

Karsten read for a PhD in cultural relations in the Mediterranean at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili in Tarragona (2012) and an M.A. in European Cultural Policy and Management at the University of Warwick (2005) as a Chevening Scholar. He is a member of the scientific committee of The Phoenicians' Cultural Route of the Council of Europe on behalf of the Maltese cultural association Inizjamed, and of the Brokering Intercultural Exchange Network, a research network exploring the role of arts and cultural management He is projects coordinator at the Institute for Tourism, Travel & Culture at the University of Malta. 

The Seminar is free and open to the general public, and students are particularly encouraged to attend. The session will take place at the Hursun Farmhouse (Msida Campus) on Thursday 17th January at 6PM and will be followed by a Q&A session. 

After the Seminar, you are welcome to join us for a drinks reception. For more information and reservations, kindly contact the MI Seminar Convenor, Dr Norbert Bugeja at or Ms Isabelle Abela at

Upcoming Events

08 Jan 2019

Supervision for M.A./Ph.D research

23 Oct 2018

The Mediterranean Institute is providing trans-disciplinary supervision for Masters of Arts and Doctoral research on the Mediterranean. Interested students should contact the Director of the Institute, Dr Jean-Paul Baldacchino on jean-paul.baldacchino for further information.

Seminar by Dr Bashir Abu-Manneh

12 Oct 2018

Palestinian Trajectories: Novel and Politics since 1948

The Mediterranean Institute is pleased to announce the first session on its Mediterranean Institute Seminar series. The 2018/19 Seminar series will kick off this October with a lecture by Dr. Bashir Abu-Manneh from the University of Kent. The lecture is titled 'Palestinian Trajectories: Novel and Politics since 1948'.

What happens to the Palestinian novel after the national dispossession of the nakba, and how do Palestinian novelists respond to this massive crisis? Abu-Manneh charts the development of the Palestinian novel in exile and under occupation from 1948 onwards, and reads it in the context of the ebb and flow of Arab and Palestinian revolution. Combining historical analysis with textual readings of key novels by Jabra Ibrahim Jabra, Ghassan Kanafani, Emile Habiby, and Sahar Khalifeh, he chronicles how the Palestinian novel articulates humanism, self-sacrifice as collective redemption, mutuality, and self-realisation. By engaging with critical and postcolonial theory, questions of struggle and self-determination take centre stage.

Bashir Abu-Manneh is Reader in Postcolonial Literature, Director of the Centre for Postcolonial Studies, and author of 'The Palestinian Novel: From 1948 to the Present' (Cambridge University Press, 2016) and 'Fiction of the New Statesman, 1913-1939' (2011). He has also edited a collection of essays on Edward Said as literary critic and postcolonial titled 'After Said: Postcolonial Literary Studies in the Twenty-First Century' (Cambridge University Press, 2018).

A drinks reception will take place after the Seminar. For more information and to book a seat, kindly contact the Mediterranean Institute Seminar convenor, Dr. Norbert Bugeja, at

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