Common Heritage and Common Challenges

Fluid Nature, Fluid Cultures: Malta and the Mediterranean



09 - 13 September 2015, Malta

For centuries the island of Malta has been at the centre of cultural, military and commercial encounters throughout the Mediterranean. Its dynamic character is also visible in natural phenomena. In processes of exchange, islands act as outposts or as gateways. Therefore, Malta constitutes an excellent micro level case study to research the complex global processes of exchange.

4 Days - 11 Venues - 14 Research Disciplines

The conference organizers have realized an innovative conference format. They did not only bring together renowned researchers from sciences and humanities in order to develop new interdisciplinary perspectives on the Mediterranean, but also chose unconventional places such as a water treatment plant or the Inquisitor's Palace as venues. 

Behind this innovative approach was the idea to investigate Malta as a physical and cultural space by on the spot visits of sites that were related to the discussed panel topics. For example, the historical sieges of Malta were presented on a boat floating directly opposite the quay walls of Valletta, thus adding a strong sensual and aesthetic aspect to the presentation.

The discussed topics were manifold and included among others water supply and distribution, environmental studies, challenges of migration, human rights and international law.

The conference was funded by the Volkswagen Foundation in Germany.

Members in Charge


Julia Hauser

is Professor of Global History at the Department of Social Sciences at the University of Kassel.

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Jens Scheiner

is Professor at the Courant Research Centre "Education and Religion" at the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen. He was trained as scholar in Islamic Studies and History at the Universities of Tübingen, Edinburgh and Nijmegen and stayed in several Islamic countries.

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