Mary Immaculate College is delighted to welcome Professor of English, Said Mentak, from Mohamed I University, Oujda, Morocco to the College this week. Professor Mentak is visiting the College as part of the Erasmus Plus programme, an EU-wide initiative designed to link scholars within and beyond Europe. MIC’s agreement with Mohamed I University, the largest university in Eastern Morocco with a student population of 21,000, is the first between an Irish and Moroccan third-level institution.
According to Dr Tony Langlois, lecturer in Media and Communication at MIC; ‘We are delighted to welcome Professor Mentak on the first visit of a Moroccan scholar to MIC under the Erasmus Plus scheme. The project will enhance communication and academic collaboration, building cultural bridges during a time when they have seldom been so important. We have great hopes that this will signal the beginning of a fruitful relationship for both partners in years to come.’
For the next 10 days, Professor Mentak will present papers, engage with postgraduate students and meet college representatives. His specialism is literature, with a research interest in the Irish short story, which he will explore in a presentation as part of the MIC Institute of Irish Studies Lecture Series.
Speaking about his visit to MIC Professor Mentak, said; ‘This is the first project of its kind between Morocco and Ireland and I’m very pleased to be here, to meet staff and students and share ideas with Irish colleagues. Already we are exploring the possibility of joint publications and future projects. I look forward to welcoming MIC students to Oujda in the years to come.’
Under the agreement between MIC and Mohamed I University a postgraduate student, of any discipline, is also afforded the opportunity to spend a semester at the other’s university. Fees are waived and students receive a monthly stipend for subsistence and travel. MIC is set to receive its first postgraduate student from Mohamed I University in the autumn with a similar opportunity being extended to MIC students to travel to Morocco next semester. Professor Mentak’s visit to MIC will be followed by Dr Tony Langlois visiting the Mohamed I University next month.
Professor Mentak has published many articles on the dialogue of cultures, cultural studies, ecocriticism, and cultural geography. He is a contributor to Moroccan Culture in the 21st Century: Globalisation, Challenges and Prospects (2013) has published a book on postmodernism in the USA and translated three books from English into Arabic, two of which were published in Kuwait.
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