Studies Association

Mediterranean Studies Association

Gibraltar Conference Updates

September 2020 Newsletter

Mediterranean Studies Association 2021 Conference Update

Dear MSA Colleagues,

I hope this communication finds all of you safe, healthy, and successfully avoiding the disastrous pandemic sweeping the world. This is a particularly difficult time for those of us in America where, because of government neglect and indifference, the pandemic is killing a thousand people a day. Nevertheless, in the hope of a better future, we are optimistically making plans for the 23rdAnnual International Congress that was postponed and rescheduled for Gibraltar May 26 – May 29, 2021.

This week, Program Chair John Watkins will send out the Call for Papers which we have delayed while considering backup plans should the pandemic still be a major danger in the spring of 2021. I will get to those backups up plans in a moment.

Realizing that the fear of the pandemic may extend into the spring of 2021 and beyond, Louise and I have been meeting virtually with the MSA Advisory Council to develop a Congress Plan B and Plan C. The members of the Advisory Council are Jennifer Ballentine, Chair and President of the 23rdAnnual Congress, Vaios Vaiopoulos, MSA Assistant Director, Suzi Rosenstreich, Editor, John Watkins, Chair Program Committee, Geraldo Sousa, Ana Clara Birrento, and AmikamNachmani.

For now, we will proceed with the intention of hosting the traditional onsite Congress in Gibraltar May 26 – May 29, 2021 but will concurrently develop a strategy for Plans B and C.
Plan B would be a hybrid Congress with both an onsite Congress for those who wish to attend in person and a virtual live opportunity for those who wanted to participate in the Congress but not travel to Gibraltar. Plan C would be the most drastic plan in which we would go to a fully virtual Congress. If I were to consult my not very clear crystal ball today, I would see the likely possibility of the Plan B hybrid Congress. A final determination on the kind of the Congress will be made in March 2021.

The good news is that we have been advised by Jennifer Ballentine that the University of Gibraltar has both the technical capacity and willingness to host either the Plan B or Plan C Congress should conditions dictate adopting one or the other.


We still have 20+ people signed up for the post tour and will continue to operate under the assumption that there will be a post tour. However, like the status of the Congress, a final decision will not be made be made until early 2021. At this time, the borders of Morocco are closed to all foreign travel. Should the post tour be cancelled, we will offer a full refund. MSA is a non-profit 501c, if you choose to donate your deposit a donation letter will be sent to you for tax purposes.

The Call for Papers should be out later this week, we will keep you updated with frequent NEWSLETTERS, and urge everyone to practice all the measures necessary to remain safe from Covid-19. For my colleagues in the USA, be sure and vote and please urge your students to vote.

Very best regards,

Dr. Benjamin F. Taggie

Executive Director

Mediterranean Studies Association

Mediterranean Studies Association

8 Merrymount Drive, North Dartmouth, MA 02747  USA