Prof. John Chircop

Prof. John Chircop

Prof. John Chircop



Old Humanities Building (OH)
University of Malta
  +356 2340 2619
John Chircop is full professor in social and economic history, and chairperson of the Mediterranean Institute. He obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Essex in 1997 with a thesis on ‘The British Imperial Network in the Mediterranean 1800-1870. A Study of Regional Fragmentation and Imperial Integration’. Early in his doctoral studies he was awarded a Wingate Scholarship from the Hyam Wingate Foundation, London.

John Chircop’s main research is in the comparative socio-economic history of the British colonial domains in the Mediterranean, focusing mostly on: poor relief, social welfare, public health, quarantine, institutionalisation, colonial/postcolonial labour, forms of resistance, ideology and migration during the period 1800-1940s. Mediterranean historiography is yet another stem of his research work.

Chircop is also involved in Public Memory and Oral history. He has founded and still manages the Public Memory Archive and is now hands-on advisor to the National Archives on the setting up of an Oral, Sound and Visual Archive.

Prof Chircop has been awarded scholarships and bursaries to carry out archival research and fieldwork in various Mediterranean countries – including the Ionian Islands, Sicily, Tunisia and Tripoli – as well as in London, Oxford and Paris. He has conducted field research and reviewed public history/community cultural centres, museums and archives in Sicily, Cephalonia, Corfu, Tripoli, Tunis and Malta.

Chircop sits on the Scientific Committee of the 'Mediterranean Association for Historical, Social and Economic Studies', and on the board of the 'International Quarantine Studies Network' which he co-founded in 2013. He coordinates the research team 'The Body, Health and Food' at the Mediterranean Institute.
He sits on the editorial boards of these international academic journals:
Journal of Mediterranean Studies
Mediterranean Review
Mediterranean Knowledge
Tunisian-Mediterranean Review of Social and Economic Studies
and founding editor of the on-line 'Journal of Maltese History'.

Prof. Chircop is now vice-President of the Community of Mediterranean Universities.
  • Mediterranean Historiography
  • British colonialism in the Mediterranean
  • Social assistance, poor relief and hospitalisation
  • The body, health and food
  • Colonial medicine and quarantine
  • Public Memory, Oral History and audio-visual archives
  • Colonial/Postcolonial labour and migration

CHIRCOP, J., 2021. Lazarettos as Border Filters: Expurgating Bodies, Commodities and Ideas 1800-1880s. In: TRUBETA, S., PROMITZER, C. AND WEINDLING, P., ed, Medicalising Borders. Selection, containment and quarantine since 1800. pp. 130-154.

CHIRCOP, J., 2020. Eloszo (Preface). In: AL-NAGGAR, ABDALLAY ABDEL-ATI AND SZABO, VIOLA, ed, Magyarorszag es az 1948-as arab-izraeli haboru. 1st edn. Szeged - Hungary: JATEPress, .

CHIRCOP, J., 2018. Quarantine, sanitization, colonialism and the construction of the 'contagious Arab' in the Mediterranean, 1830s-1900. In: CHIRCOP, J AND MARTINEZ, J.F., ed, Mediterranean Quarantines. Space, Power and Identity, 1780-1914. pp. 199-231.

CHIRCOP, JOHN AND MARTINEZ, JAVIER FRANCISCO, ed, 2018. Mediterranean Quarantines. Space, Power and Identity, 1780-1914. Manchester: Manchester University Press.

CHIRCOP, J., 2017. [book review] D. Palermo (ed.), Sanita' e Controllo dei Confini. Mediterranea -Ricerche Storiche, XIV(147), pp. 720-724.

CHIRCOP, J., 2017. From Scattered outposts into a Global Imperial Network: A case study on how Mediterranean zones integrated in the global economic system during the nineteenth century. In: K. JUNG HA, ed, Mediterranean Civilizations. pp. 453-488.

CHIRCOP, J., 2017. Rethinking the Archive through the Making of Memorja: an oral, sound and visual archive. Arkivju, (8), pp. 5-16.

CHIRCOP, JOHN AND BALDACCHINO, JOHN, 2017. Revolution and the politics of Imagination: the aesthetics of revolution. In: I.M. SAADAOUI , ed, Economic Crises and socio-political changes: Protest movements, insurrections and Revolutions throughout History. pp. 361-379.

CHIRCOP, J., 2016. Forward: In: M. REFALO, ed, Waking the Dead. Nineteenth-century obituaries as a mirror of Maltese society (1815-1910). pp. 9-12.

CHIRCOP, J., 2016. From Permeable Frontiers to strict Border Divisions. The Geostrategic Construction of the Mediterranean on the Ruins of the Ancient Narrow Seas. In: D'ANGELO, G AND MARTINES RIBERO, J., ed, Borders and Conflicts in the Mediterranean Basin. pp. 51-68.

CHIRCOP, J., 2016. Quarantine as a Tool of 'Modernity'  and the construction of the 'Contagious Arab' through the International Sanitary Conferences, 1851-1890. Les Actes de 2'eme Colloque sur la Modernite e le Monde Arab. pp. 47-82.

CHIRCOP, J., 2015. Colonial Encounters in Multiple Dimensions: Collaboration, Defiance and Hybridity in the Making - Introduction. In: J. CHIRCOP, ed, Colonial Encounters: Maltese Experiences of British Rule 1800-1970s. pp. 13-66.

CHIRCOP, J., ed, 2015. Colonial Encounters: Maltese Experiences of British Rule 1800-1970s. Malta: Horizons.

CHIRCOP, J., 2015. Pax Britannica, 'Free Trade and Open Seas': Shifting British Informal Colonialism in North Africa, 1800-1860s. Mediterranean Review, 8(1), pp. 29-57.

CHIRCOP, J., 2015. Resilience, Survival, Defiance. The Fishing Communities on the Coast of Colonial Malta, 1840-1890. In: J. CHIRCOP, ed, Colonial Encounters. Maltese Experiences of British Rule. pp. 327-353.

CHIRCOP, JOHN AND BOURDELAIS, PATRICE, ed, 2015. Vulnerability, Social Inequality and Health. Lisboa: Colibri.

CHIRCOP, J., 2014. Management and Therapeutic Regimes in Two Lunatic Asylums in Corfu and Malta, 1837-1870. In: ABREU, L AND SHEARD, S, ed, Hospital Life, Theory and Practice From the Medieval to the Modern. pp. 179-207.

CHIRCOP, J., 2014. Oral Tradition: Contending historical and contemporary relevance. Arkivju, (5), pp. 3-12.

CHIRCOP, J., 2013. [Preface] When Medicine Transforms Politics. In: J. ZAMMIT-MARMARA, ed, Paul Boffa. First Labour Prime Minister . .

CHIRCOP, J., 2013. L'Immagni ta' Mintoff fil-Memorja Kollettiva: Riflessjonijiet t'Analizi. In: M. CUTAJAR, ed, Mintoff, il-bniedem u l'Istorja. pp. 104-144.

CHIRCOP, J., ed, 2013. Labour History Revisited. Horizons.

CHIRCOP, J., 2013. Reconfiguring British historical involvement in the Mediterranean, 16th - 19th centuries. Etudes Sur L'Afrique et L'Espace Arabo-Mediterraneen. Melanges offerts au Hichem Djait. pp. 153-176.

CHIRCOP, J., 2012. Between Neighbours and a Colonial Third Party: Pioneer Migration of British Subjects to the North African Coast, 1815-1870. Mediterranean Social & Economic History Review, 1(1), pp. 95-130.

CHIRCOP, J., 2012. Labour History, Historiography and Beyond. In: J. CHIRCOP, ed, Labour History Revisitied. pp. 11-60.

CHIRCOP, J., 2010-11. Gibraltar, Labour Resistance and Social Protest. In: I. NESS, ed, The International Encyclopedia of Revolution and Protest.

CHIRCOP, J., 2010. Female vulnerabilites and coping strategies in the poor neighbourhoods of three colonial port districts: Corfu, Malta and Gibraltar, 1815-1870. In: CHIRCOP, J AND BOURDELAIS, P., ed, Vulnerability, Social Inequality and Health. pp. 35-59.

CHIRCOP, J., 2010. From the pulse of social routine to the subversion of normality: bell-ringing in the Ionian Islands and Malta. Journal of Mediterranean Studies, 9(1), pp. 3-29.

CHIRCOP, J., 2010. 'Giusta la Benefica Intenzione del Re' :  the Bourbon cowpox vaccination campaign in Sicily, 1800-1860. Hygiea Internationalis. Journal of the History of Public Health, 9(2), pp. 25-47.

CHIRCOP, J., 2010. Living on Fishing, Caught in the Market. Journal of Maltese History, 2(1), pp. 21-32.

CHIRCOP, JOHN AND BOURDELAIS, PATRICE, 2010. Introduction: Situating and defining vulnerability in historical perspective. In: CHIRCOP, J AND BOURDELAIS, P., ed, Vulnerability, Social Inequality and Health. pp. 7-14.

CHIRCOP, J., 2008. Margined People of the Kastland. Pastoral Cave-centred strategies in the Central Mediterranean. In: EMMANUELSON, M AND JOHANSSON, E., ed, Peripheral Communities. Crisis, Continuity and Long-Term Survival. pp. 245-260.

CHIRCOP, J., 2008. So Far and Yet So Near: Ionian and Maltese Migrant Networks of Support in the Southern and Eastern countries of the Mediterranean, 1800-1870. In: BOURDELAIS, P AND ABREU L., ed, The Price of Life. Welfare Systems, Social Nets and Economic Growth. pp. 333-355.

CHIRCOP, J., 2007. Negotiating provisions, social assistance and health treatment: The Elderly Poor in the Ionian Islands, 1800-1860. In: M. DINGES, ed, Health and Health Care between Self-help, Intermediary Organizations and Formal Poor Relief, 1500-2005. pp. 61-78.

CHIRCOP, J., 2007. Revisiting a Pioneer : The Libyan AlJihad Centre. Bulletin of the International Oral History Association, 15(1), pp. 3-8.

CHIRCOP, J., 2006. Old age coping strategies of the Ionian and Maltese Poor, 1800-1865. Hygiea Internationalis. Journal of the History of Public Health, 5(1), pp. 51-73.

CHIRCOP, J., 2005. Surviving in the Landscape of War Memories. In: THAKE, C AND CALLUS, I, ed, Malta at War in Cultural Memory. Representations of the Madonna's Chosen People. pp. 21-32.

CHIRCOP, J., 2004. Brokers, Collectors, Collaborators: mediating colonial modernization in Malta, 1870-1914. Melita Historica. Proceedings of History Week, , pp. 43-56.

CHIRCOP, J., 2004. Maltese Maritime Historiography: A Critical Assessment. New Directions in Mediterranean Maritime History. Research in Maritime History, (28), pp. 83-103.

CHIRCOP, J., 2004. Public Health and Poor Relief in the British Mediterranean 1800-1860. In: L. ABREU, ed, European Health and Social Welfare Policies. pp. 297-320.

CHIRCOP, J., 2003. Crisis and the Social Desire for History. UOM Annual Report, , pp. 29-32.

CHIRCOP, J., 2003. Maltese Voices of the Twentieth Century. International Oral History Association Newsletter, , pp. 24-26.

CHIRCOP, J., 2002. The Narrow Sea Complex: A Hidden Dimension in Mediterranean Maritime History. In: BOYCE, G AND GORSKI, R., ed, Resources and Infrastructures in the Maritime Economy, 1500-2000. pp. 43-61.

CHIRCOP, J., 2001. L'Ezodu u l-kontroll tal 'Popolazzjoni Zejda' f'Malta: Il-Kaz tal-kolonja Agrikola f'Kefalonja. In: D. MASSA, ed, Malta Esplorazzjoni. Dghajsa Karti. pp. 48-65.

CHIRCOP, J., 2001. Shifting the Colonial Frontier: the colonial state, schooling and Maltese society, 1814-1914. In: R.G. SULTANA, ed, Yesterday's Schools. Readings in Maltese Educational History. pp. 123-136.

CHIRCOP, J., 2000. Maritime History in the Maltese Islands. Commission International d'Histoire Maritime Newsletter, 15, pp. 17-19.

CHIRCOP, J., 2000. Oral History in the Maltese Islands. Words and Silences, 28(5),.

CHIRCOP, J., 1999. [book review] C. Vassallo, The Malta Chamber of Commerce 1848-1979. Storja, (5), pp. 114-116.

CHIRCOP, J., 1999. Bell-Ringing in Maltese History 1800-1870s. Language, Regulator and Weapon. In: P. XUEREB, ed, Karissime Gotifride. Historical Essays presented to Godfrey Wettinger on his seventieth birthday. pp. 147-158.

CHIRCOP, J., 1997. Critical Comments: Historiography of the ex-British outposts in the Mediterranean. Gibraltar Chronicle, (356),.

CHIRCOP, J., 1997. Evolution of a harbour infrastructure: from mercantile to naval control. Melita Historica, xii(2), pp. 209-218.

CHIRCOP, J., 1997. Maltese Cotton Manufacture: A Story of Decline and Extinction. Bank of Valletta Review, (15), pp. 47-59.

CHIRCOP, J., 1995. The nature and development of British commercial relations with Tripolitania 1800-1850. In: IAN BLANCHARD, ed, New Directions in Economic and Social History. pp. 136-141.

CHIRCOP, J., 1993. Dal mugugno all resistenza: tradizioni di resistenza Sociale a Malta. I Giorni Cantati, , pp. 15-23.

CHIRCOP, J., 1993. Ghannejja: Oral tradition and Historical Source. Oral History: Journal of the Oral History Society, 4((Spring), 2), pp. 63-67.

CHIRCOP, J., 1993. Social values in the first three school journals. The Teacher, (51), pp. 40-44.

CHIRCOP, J., 1992. Contesting the Past. History, Folklore and other Visions. L-Imnara: Journal of the Folklore Society, 4(1), pp. 40-43.

CHIRCOP, J., 1992. In Search of Enlightenment: Maltese working class perceptions of emancipation. Labour Education Journal (Geneva), (89), pp. 28-32.

CHIRCOP, J., 1991. The Left Within the Maltese Labour Movement. Malta: Mireva.

CHIRCOP, J., 1991. Maltese Emigration:Political control and Underdevelopment in the inter-war period. Society, 4(2), pp. 5-13.

  • HST1011 - Structure and Change in Malta's Economic History
  • HST3011 - European Industrialisation and Mediterranean Underdevelopment
  • HST3075 - Synoptic Study-Unit 1 - International and Global History
  • HST3076 - Synoptic Study-Unit 2 - European History
  • HST3077 - Synoptic Study-Unit 1 - International and Global History
  • HST3078 - Synoptic Study-Unit 2 - European History
  • HST3089 - Synoptic Study-Unit: Maltese and Mediterranean History
  • HST3090 - Synoptic Study-Unit: European and International History
  • HST3097 - Synoptic Study-Unit: Maltese and Mediterranean History
  • HST3098 - Synoptic Study-Unit (European and International History)
  • HST5097 - Research Methods
Prof Chircop supervises research on social and economic history, mainly on public health,
quarantine, hospitalization, body hygiene and social welfare, the labouring poor, charity
establishments, poor relief, mutual aid and labour migration. He is at present also supervising
postgraduate research on cultural management/heritage, oral and audio-visual archives, public
memory, material culture and community museums.