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Is There No Honour among the Maltese?

Paradigms of Honour in a Mediterranean Moral Economy

Jean-Paul Baldacchino

The ‘honour-shame syndrome’ is an anthropological model originally developed in the sixties to describe Mediterranean cultural unity. The model came under heavy criticism, producing a veritable ‘anti-Mediterraneanist’ backlash. There is, however, a renewed interest in the regional paradigm. This article attempts an analysis of concepts of ‘honour’ in Malta, contextualising it within the broader ethnographic and linguistic evidence from the region. The author argues that ‘honour’ is a salient moral concept, and in fact, Maltese has a rich and highly nuanced discourse of honour, which includes both sexualised and nonsexualised aspects. While the author criticises the simplistic ‘honour-shame syndrome’ paradigm, he argues that honour needs to be considered in its own right as an important key to analysing the contemporary Maltese moral economy as it engages with ‘modernity’.

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Digital Activism, Physical Activism

Malta’s Front Harsien ODZ

Michael Briguglio

On 1 May 2015, Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat announced his government’s support of a new project—the American University of Malta. This project would entail the construction of a private university managed by Jordanian investors on the

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Frans Ciappara

On 16 October 1609 a group of relics, including a piece of the true cross that the Spaniard Fra Juan Benegas had brought from Rome to Malta, was translated from Valletta to Rabat in a national procession. Grand Master Alof de Wignacourt (1601

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Tintin and Corto Maltese

The European Adventurer Meets the Colonial Other

Dani Filc

The Tintin and Corto Maltese series are among the most famous European adventure comics. The adventure genre – both in novels and comics – is deeply related to nineteenth-century colonialism. This article compares the ways in which colonialism and the relationship to the colonial Other appear in Hergé’s and Pratt’s creations, focusing on Tintin and Corto Maltese’s adventures in Africa and Latin America. The comparison between Tintin and Corto shows that although Hergé developed an ambivalent view of European colonialism, Eurocentrism is constant through all his work. Pratt’s Corto, in contrast, shows a more critical, though ambiguous, view of colonialism, and a more egalitarian, though also ambivalent, conceptualisation of the colonial Other.

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Anthropology of Europe Redux

Déjà vu in the South

Jon P. Mitchell

For good reasons, anthropology some decades ago deconstructed the Mediterraneanist picture of familialist societies in the South. However, this deconstruction unexpectedly had its political twin in Malta’s fight against corruption to meet the conditions for EU-membership in 2004. Drawing on a deeper concept of “territoriality”, introduced by anthropologist Ina-Maria Greverus, the article considers lately observed new variants of nationalist positions that paradoxically are deeply entwined with clientelistic dynamics against the state, culminating in the recent murder of critical journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

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Ta' Pinu

Ritualised Empathy on the Doorstep of Heaven

Philip Kao

This article explores the miracles and ex-votos (votive offerings) associated with the Ta' Pinu shrine on Gozo, Malta's northernmost island. Drawing from ethnographic data, analysis of various personal accounts, and observations of people's interactions with the bricolage of Ta' Pinu ex-votos, I seek to show that Gozitans perform a highly personal yet ritualised form of empathy in the context of miracle worship. The miracles associated with Ta' Pinu are thus seemingly 'contagious' and meaningful, because they elicit existential connections and reflections on the nature of supplication and Gozitan social relations.

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Dione Mifsud

This article explores the decision by two universities, the University of Malta and the University of Maryland, College Park, U.S.A., to create a dual master's degree in transcultural counselling. The difficulties encountered by the two universities in creating a harmonised system encompassing tuition, assessment, accreditation and regulatory procedures will be discussed, as well as the complexities of learning and teaching and the opportunities for intercultural learning. The article explores the experiences of the students and academics as they grapple with two different philosophical and academic systems, but also with their own personal and professional differences as narrated, composed and received in their different contexts – interactional, historical, institutional and discursive. Through the narratives of the research participants a powerful tool for course evaluation was created.

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The Editors

As preparations get under way for the celebration, in 2009, of the eightieth anniversary of Tintin and the fiftieth of Astérix, it seems strange that, until now, there has been no journal in English dedicated to European comic art. In France recent Astérix albums have outsold Harry Potter and The Da Vinci Code put together. The movie Astérix aux jeux olympiques [‘Asterix at the Olympic Games’], released on 13 January 2008, is one of the two most expensive French film productions of all time (with Le Cinquième élément [‘The Fifth Element’], on which cartoonists Jean Giraud and Jean-Claude Mézières collaborated), and has topped box office charts in Spain. Like Astérix in Paris, Belgian Schtroumpfs [‘Smurfs’] have their own theme park, and Italy’s Corto Maltese is popular enough to appear on scratchcards, Swatch watches and TV programmes across Europe.

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Henk Driessen

Haverford College, Pennsylvania in 1952. After spending several years in the Philippines, Japan, India, Malta, and Sicily working for US CARE relief programs, Lawrence Wylie, one of his teachers at Haverford, advised him to take up the study of social

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Benjamin Abrams and Giovanni A. Travaglino

, Physical Activism: Malta’s Front Harsien ODZ” offers a focused analysis of a Maltese environmental movement organization. Briguglio’s analysis is at once an academic report and a form of movement writing, offering a careful deep dive into the processes of