- ACUME European Thematic Network -


Cultural Memory in

Geographical Peripheral European Countries

MALTA, 7 – 9 MAY  2004

Acume second General Meeting has been conceived as a seminar aiming at investigating and questioning the ideas of 'Europe' and 'national identity' starting from the cultural memory of those countries that, due to historical and political reasons, have been oppressed or marginalized. The focus is, therefore, on the nations forced into frontiers among more powerful European countries, and far from power. It is necessary to deconstruct an old and monolithic idea of Europe and underline that Europe was built upon artificial boundaries and contingent historical events. Thus, the reality of Europe can no longer be approached as an object framed within geographical constraints.
To investigate cultural memory in so called geographical and peripheral countries contributes to bring to light the processes of contamination and hybridisation that are constantly in progress; these are, in fact, fertile processes that make the cultural heritage of these countries plurivocal and multi-layered. The aim is to retrieve and revaluate these cultural heritages, too often neglected or marginalized: they not only comprise works of art and literature, but also other archives including more popular traditions. And, today, it is precisely these archives preserving autobiographies, memories, diaries, letters, that offer an extraordinary means to elaborate and represent collective and private memories. It is a difficult process, and yet it is a necessary one because it enriches our European cultural tradition, as well as deconstructs some dangerous stereotypes deeply embedded in our European history, a history which has been written, as Walter Benjamin says, by the winners.
While elaborating on these perspectives, European identity looks more like a juxtaposition of continuous movements, breakings, crossings of borders than a monolithic, static entity. Europe is the shifting product of its ceaseless transformations; its geography is mobile and its boundaries are constantly redrawn. European identity is therefore moulded upon cultural and linguistic differences and, inevitably, in time Europeans have been forced to learn the hard lesson of coexistence: to bring together the most complex diversities without muddling them all up.

Official Languages: English, French

- Preliminary Program -

Friday, May 7th


Conference Room, University House, University of Malta

9.00 a.m.:

Peter Vassallo, University of Malta
Welcome Speech



Roger Ellul-Micallef, Rector University of Malta
Introductory Address


9.15 a.m.:

Vita Fortunati, ACUME General Co-ordinator
Introduction to
Cultural Memory in Geographical Peripheral European Countries



9.30–11.15 a.m.

Chair: Peter Vassallo, University of Malta



Jola Skulj, University Of Ljubljana
Retold (Hi)stories of Identity: The Sense-Resource in Border-Crossing Literatures



Martin Procházka, Charles University Prague
“Where Is My Home?
”: Revival Myth and National Boundaries in Nineteenth Century Czech and Slovak Culture



Wladislaw Witalisz, Jagiellonian University
Re-Shaping Cultural Memory in Poland: Education, National Identity and the Winds of Change


11.15 a.m.:

Coffee Break


11.30-13.15 a.m.

Chair: Elena Lamberti, University of Bologna



Tina Aunin, Tallin Pedagogical University
East/West Dichotomy: Russian and German Influences on the Perceptive Landscape of Estonia (The German Theatre in Tallin)


Roumiana L. Stantcheva, Institute for Balkan Studies, Sofia, Bulgaria
Self vs. Foreign in the Bulgarian and Romanian Modernist Literature of the 1920s

Ivan Callus, University of Malta
Figuring Malta’s War. A Comparative Look at Fictional Accounts of the Maltese Experience of World War II



Clare Thake Vassallo, University of Malta
Linguistic Identity and Versions of History: Post-colonial Issues in Malta



1.15 p.m.



3.00-5.15 p.m.

Chair: Max Saunders, King’s College London



Stephen Knight, University of Wales
Two Lost Worlds: Languages, Culture and Reconstruction in Modern Wales



Breda Gray, University of Limerick
Migration, Memory Practices and Multiculturalism in the Republic of Ireland



Gloria Lauri Lucente, University of Malta
Memory and Identity in Trezza Azzopardi’s Novels



Maria Lourdes Cancio, University of Lisbon
Portuguese (E)migration and the Mirrors of Identity through Postmodern Fiction



5.15 p.m.:

Coffee Break


5.30-7.00 p.m.

Chair: Clare Thake Vassallo, University Of Malta



Patricia Camilleri, University of Malta
Museums as Expression of Cultural Identity



Egidija Ramanauskaite and Irena Ragaišiene, Vytautas Magnus University
Audiovisual Exposition of Folk Art and Traditions



Marianne Boerch, University of Southern Denmark
Hans Christian Andersen as Literary Oeuvre and as Cultural Icon: Reflections on the Bicentennial of Andersen’s Birth



End of first Session

8.00 p.m.:



Saturday, May 8th


Aula Magna, Old University, Valletta

9.30-11.00 a.m.

Chair: Theo D’Haen, University of Leuven



Monica Spiridon, University of Bucharest
Borders: A View From The European Far East



Stephanos Stephanides, University of Cyprus
Border Thinking: The Cyprus Example



Jury Talvet, Tartu University
“Kalevipoeg”: A Great European Peripheral Epic



11.00 a.m.:

Coffee Break


11.15-1.00 p.m.

Chair: Adriana Corrado, Suor Orsola Benincasa Napoli



Wieslaw Krajka, Marie Curie-Sklodowska University
Strong Peripheral Identity: The Case of Poland



Gabriella Imposti, University of Bologna
Rewriting the Past after the Fall of the Soviet Empire



Stella Borg Barthet, University of Malta
Representations of Community in Maltese Poetry in English since Independence



Adrian Grima, University of Malta
Forging the National Imaginary in Maltese Literature


1.15 p.m.:



3.00-4.00 p.m.

Chair: Rita Monticelli, University of Bologna



Paola Toninato, University of Warwick
Beyond Boundaries: A Discussion Of The Current Re-Definition Of Romani Identity Across Linguistic And National Borders



Alberto De Bernardi, University of Bologna
L’Italie d’aujourd’hui et ses mémoires divergentes.


4.00 p.m.:

Coffee Break


4.30 p.m.:

General Meeting: plenary session


8.00 p.m.:



Sunday, May 9th  

9.00 a.m.:

Steering Committee and Meeting of the Scientific Board

10.30 a.m.: