Migrating Mediterranean Imaginaries at BCLA conference


British Comparative Literature Association (BCLA) XIII International Conference

July 8-11 2013, University of Essex, United Kingdom

In July I attended the British Comparative Literature Association conference at the University of Essex which focused on Migration. I read a paper on “Migrating Mediterranean Imaginaries” in a panel chaired by Lucia Boldrini (Goldsmiths College, University of London) and then chaired a panel in which Lucia, a good friend of Malta and of the Department of English at our University, read her paper on Traffic in the Mediterranean,’ focusing on three fascinating “Mediterranean” narratives. The two sessions also featured papers by Mariangela Palladino (Coimbra University) on ‘Burning Boundaries: Trans-coastal Narratives across the Mediterranean’ and Maria Dasca Batalla (University Pompeu Fabra), on “Reading North-American literature in Spain: an example of the migration of texts.”

It was an excellent conference with outstanding keynote speeches by Rosi Braidotti, Maria Tatar, Abdelfattah Kilito, and Michael Cronin.

Thanks to Mohamed-Salah Omri (University of Oxford) and Wen-chin Ouyang (SOAS, University of London) for putting together a great programme of events on the Arab Revolutions. It was great to meet up with three writers who have read at the Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival: Mohamed-Salah, Selma Dabbagh and Ghazi Gheblawi.

There was a lively debate after I made my presentation and all comments, including those by Marina Warner and Mohamed-Salah Omri, will help me to continue my work on this project.

Marina Warner and Adrian Grima
Marina Warner and Adrian Grima

Technically not a great photo, but one which I cherish. Marina Warner is a great writer, a great mind and a wonderful person. Thanks both to her, as president of BCLA, and to all those involved in the organization of this fantastic conference, including Dr Sanja Bahun, Dr Clare Finburgh, Dr Mohamed-Salah Omri, and all the helpers. Thanks for the injection of intellectual rigour and humanity.

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