The Department of Geography at the Faculty of Arts has held a book launch of the recent edited volume published by Springer, entitled Landscapes and Landforms of the Maltese Islands. Co-edited by geographers Dr Ritienne Gauci and Professor John A. Schembri, the volume joins Springer’s successful series of geomorphology reference books called World Geomorphological Landscapes (Series Editor: Professor Piotr Migoń, University of Wroclaw).
With 46 authors from a blend of local and international researchers in geomorphology and environment related fields, this volume covers the most important themes and case-studies in the study of geomorphological landscapes of the Maltese Islands, with an extensive compilation of 29 peer-reviewed chapters. It involved the collaboration of six departments within the University of Malta and six European universities and research institutions. The volume was published under the patronage of the International Association of Geomorphologists, in which the Department of Geography is appointed as National Scientific Member.
The book launch was held on Wednesday 23rd October at Pietru Pawl Saydon Theatre, the Arts Lecture Theatre, at Msida Campus. For this occasion, each author was also gifted with a hardback complimentary copy of the volume. The launch was chaired by Head of Department of Geography Professor Maria Attard, with speeches given by the two editors Dr Ritienne Gauci and Professor John A. Schembri and a final critique presented by Professor Godfrey Baldacchino Pro-Rector for International Development and Quality Assurance.
Professor Attard opened the launch by highlighting how the Department is always at the forefront of research, with the most advanced knowledge in a variety of subfields in geography and with geomorphology being a strong component of the Department's research portfolio.
Co-editor, Dr Gauci thanked all the volume contributors and highlighted the scope and relevance of the reference book in the broader context of island geomorphology research and education, geoheritage and landscape conservation.
Professor Schembri illustrated other various elements of human flavour present in the book through various selected case-studies about historic landscape modification, with geomorphological landscapes as a backdrop to societal development.
Professor Baldacchino concluded the launch by providing a succinct critique and pleasantly noting new narratives in the link between geomorphology and cultural heritage, such as that of the earliest poem written in Maltese, il-Kantilena, which in actual fact should also be considered as the first geomorphological description ever written in Maltese for its lamenting description of a house collapse due to weak clay foundations.
The academic panel of speakers concluded the launch by congratulating all the contributors for the production of this work in climate of trustworthy academic collective.More information on the volume can be found on the Springer website.