On Wednesday 11 January, from 1800hrs to 2000hrs, a public seminar in Maltese is being held in the Faculty of Arts Library of the University of Malta in Tal-Qroqq about "The Murder of Fr Viċenz Grimani,” with the participation of four academics and a folk singer accompanied by two guitarists.
This seminar is part of the Oral Tradition series of talks organized by the Department of Maltese at the Faculty of Arts. This event is open to the general public and entrance is free of charge. After the presentations there will be a discussion with the audience, followed by light refreshments.
The speakers are Marlene Mifsud Chircop, Rev. Dr Mark Montebello, Dr Bernard Micallef, and Prof. Carmel Cassar. The ballad about the slaying of the priest will be sung by Kalċidon Vella, id-Danny, accompanied by Ronnie Calleja, ir-Ronnie, and another guitarist.
The seminar explores the relationship between the brutal murder of Padre Vincenzo Grimani in 1738 and the Maltese ballad sung in the days following the murder. On the basis of the historical narrative Min qatel il-patri? (a Klabb Kotba Maltin publication), authors Marlene Mifsud Chircop and Mark Montebello discuss the literary, historical and cultural context of this relationship. They also discuss what led to the crime, what followed and, within the context of historiographic studies, why the event is still of interest to us. Also taking part in the seminar are Dr Bernard Micallef, Head of the Department of Maltese and Prof. Carmel Cassar from the Institute of Tourism, Travel and Culture of the University of Malta.
The book Min Qatel il-Patri? (KKM 2016) will be on sale during the seminar. Klabb Kotba Maltin offers book vouchers to the speakers of the Oral Tradition series of talks.
Marlene Mifsud Chircop of Mosta is a researcher of Maltese folklore, teacher, storyteller and translator. She studied at the University of Malta under the guidance of folklorist Ġużè Cassar Pullicino and later of her late husband anthropological folklorist Ġorġ Mifsud Chircop. She co-produced and presented two series of thirteen cultural documentaries for television and another two series for Voice of the Mediterranean. She co-organised and took part in several cultural activities locally and abroad as narrator and interpreter. She has presented papers on folklore and Maltese folksinging in conferences in Malta and in international conferences abroad. In 2014 she co-produced Grimani Min Qatlu? for Science in the City.
Mark Montebello of Sliema, researcher and lecturer, is a Dominican priest. He studied philosophy in Malta, Italy and Spain and teaches the subject at the University of Malta and other institutions for advanced learning. Together with others, in 2012, he set up the foundation for Philosophy Sharing, which functions in Malta and Gozo. For many years,he took part in social work in Cottonera, Cordin prisons and with victims of crime. He authored some thirty books, mostly philosophical and critical. He pioneered the study of Maltese philosophical tradition, about which he published several writings and taught the subject at the University of Malta. He also published scientific historical studies, among which on social reformer Manwel Dimech.
Carmel Cassar Ph.D (Cantab), M.Phil (Cantab), BA, FRHist.S (Lond), FCCS, is Associate Professor of Cultural History at the Institute for Tourism, Travel and Culture of the University of Malta. Carmel Cassar has published extensively on Maltese and Mediterranean culture and history. His books include: Society, Culture and Identity in Early Modern Malta (2000); A Concise History of Malta (2000, 2002); Daughters of Eve. Women, Gender Roles, and the Impact of the Council of Trent in Catholic Malta (2002); Honour & Shame in the Mediterranean (2003); Witchcraft, Sorcery and the Inquisition (1996); Sex, Magic and the Periwinkle (2000); and Fenkata. An Emblem of Maltese Peasant Resistance? (1994). His publications have appeared in learned journals in Italy, Britain, France, Spain, Bulgaria, Tunisia, the USA and Malta. Cassar is Chairman of the Culinary Culture Research Programme at the University of Malta.
Bernard Micallef, is the head of Department of Maltese at the Faculty of Arts, University of Malta. He teaches Maltese literature, and literary theory and criticism and supervizes dissertations at all levels. His areas of specialization are hermeneutics and reader response criticism. He has read papers about Maltese and foreign writers at conferences in Malta and abroad, including three conferences at the University of Harvard as a guest of the World Phenomenology Institute. His papers have been published in the series Analecta Husserliana (Springer). Dr Micallef has also read papers, including one about the work of Hans-Georg Gadamer, at conferences in Europe which have been published in leading journals. Micallef is the author of a number of books and studies, including critical introductions to the poetry of Maria Grech Ganado and Philip Sciberras.