'Mediterranean Imaginaries: Literature, Arts, Culture'
Start date: Sep 1, 2016,
End date: Aug 31, 2018
Specialisation in literature and cultural studies is often accompanied by the loss of vital connections. The separation between Anglophone and Francophone literatures, and between classical and contemporary literary and cultural studies are examples of how connections can be lost. ‘Mediterranean Imaginaries: Literature, Arts, Culture’ presents the particular space of this sea as an area of study, thereby providing a platform where scholars with different specialisations can meet. The Intensive Study Programme (ISP) is highly innovative in studying not only how literature and other art forms are produced in the Mediterranean, but also how the Mediterranean has been represented and “produced” by other “North European” cultures, historically and more recently. The ISP takes account of very recent literature and films that feature current forms of migration as well as developments on the Southern Mediterranean shores (the so-called “Arab spring” and the recent waves of migration ), and their representation. The two week ISP features lectures given by specialists in the field and these are followed by all the students. While attending all the lectures and their discussion, the specialist workshops, organised in two series co-ordinated by the academic advisers to the project, allow students to choose between the two different workshop series, so that students can achieve more focused specialisation on particular areas of the curriculum. Seminar A concentrates on classical representations of the Mediterranean while Seminar B has a more contemporary focus. The students all attend a number of joint seminars (A+B) that allow them to share learning and research. Students from Malta, Goldsmiths, Nova Gorica, Minho, Cagliari, Florence and Carthage will benefit from the large pool of experts lecturing in the Intensive Study Programme. Students will achieve knowledge of a range of texts and films representing aspects of the Mediterranean, they will learn to identify literature and cultures from different periods and different areas, as well as influences between texts. Students will study how different works construct Mediterranean culture, history or geography, how cultural encounters, clashes or exchanges are represented in various texts, and how these, in turn, impact on their national literatures.The syllabus of ‘Mediterranean Imaginaries: Literature, Arts, Culture’ enables students who are at a distance from the Mediterranean sea to study literature and culture from this region. The topic will draw scholars and students working in comparative, Anglophone and Francophone literary studies as well as others from disciplines such as history , cultural studies, film studies, visual arts, and philosophy, thus presenting a strong multidisciplinary approach. Through the ISP, important cross-cultural perspectives and opinions will be shared amongst participants and students. This would not be possible if the module was run separately at the 7 universities. The follow-up events - the post-graduate conferences organized by the UOM's Department of English - at the end of the ISP in 2017 and 2018 give opportunities to all the students to present their collaborative work to a wider audience. As these conferences will also include literature culture related to the Mediterranean, the students extend their knowledge of these subjects even further. The follow-up events in London in June 2017 and 2018 again call for collaborative work from all the students. The work will be presented by 4 of the Maltese students and by the 6 Goldsmiths students who have attended the ISP at the conference of the London Intercollegiate Network for Comparative Studies or of the Goldsmiths Literature Seminar. As the Maltese students do not benefit from mobility for the ISP, it is appropriate that they should have the opportunity to go to London to work in a different academic environment.The Strategic Partnership as a whole widens the horizons of the students and academics taking part and makes them more aware of the wealth of knowledge on Mediterranean affairs harboured in 6 European and 1 North African university. This will enhance the international competitiveness of the participating universities. Students will also become more conscious of the practical ways in which literature can influence society, for example, by addressing issues related to migration, racism and xenophobia in the Mediterranean and beyond, thus enhancing their value as European citizens, and increasing their employability. Number of participants per year requiring funding For Intensive Study Programme Goldsmiths College : 4 academics, 6 students each year Florence: 1 academic, 3 students each year Cagliari: 1 academic, 3 students each year Minho: 1 academic, 3 students each year Nova Gorica: 1 academic, 3 students each year For Blended Mobility Malta 1 academic 4 students each year
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