The School of Arts and New Media

Dr Toni Sant

Reader in Digital Curation
Director of Research

Academic Profile

Dr Toni Sant has lectured about performance and creative technologies at the University of Malta, Adelphi University, and New York University. He has also worked as broadcaster, theatre director, and musician in Malta, Italy, England, Germany, and the USA. He was trained in radio production by the BBC, graduated B.A. (Hons) first class in Theatre Studies at the University of Malta, and holds a M.A. and a Ph.D. in Performance Studies from New York University.

He is the author of a book about Franklin Furnace, a New York-based avant-garde arts presenter established since 1976. The book is called Franklin Furnace & the Spirit of the Avant-Garde: A History of the Future (Intellect - University of Chicago Press, 2011). He is now working on two books: Remember Rediffusion in Malta (forthcoming from Midsea Books - Malta in 2015) and Documenting Performance: On the Context and Processes of Digital Curation and Archiving (contracted with Bloomsbury Methuen for 2015 manuscript submission - 2016 publication).

His writings on performance and the new media have appeared in TDR: Journal of Performance Studies, the Washington Square News, Leonardo, The Encyclopedia of Politics, The Dictionary of Literary Biography, and the International Journal of Performance Arts & Digital Media, among others.

Dr Sant is the co-convener of the working group on Documenting Performance of TaPRA (Theatre and Performance Research Association), and co-founder of the Eurovision Research Network. He is also the founder and creative director of the MaltaMedia Online Network,  executive editor of the Applied and Interactive Theatre Guide, and book reviews editor for the International Journal of Performance Arts & Digital Media.

Since 2013 he is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, and Education Organiser for Wikimedia UK.

Current research development revolves around a collaborative multimedia database of Maltese music and associated arts at and the University of Hull's Media and Memory Research Initiative (MaMRI).


Dr Sant teaches across all the subject areas in the School of Arts and New Media. He has designed and coordinated modules on Performance and Creative Technologies Collaboration, which are offered to students in Creative Music Technology, Digital Media and Theatre & Performance. He developed the department's interdisciplinary BA (Hons) in Media Performance and teaches various core modules for students on that course, as well as Psychology of Internet Behaviour for Digital Media students, Film and the Moving Image to students in English, Applied and Interactive Theatre 2 to students in Theatre & Performance. He also contributes to other modules across the School of Arts and New Media.

On the postgraduate level, Dr Sant created the module Performance in Digital Environments and is also involved in the delivery of Digital Media Management.  He supervises dissertations and final projects for students from both undergraduate as well as postgraduate courses in the School of Arts and New Media. Postgraduate research proposals in his areas of expertise are always welcome.

Research Interests:

  • Histories of Live Art
  • Documenting Performance
  • Applied & Interactive Theatre
  • Socio-cultural aspects of new media, particularly in marginalised communities.
  • Digital Curation and Preservation 
  • Uses of the Internet in/for performance


  • Franklin Furnace & the Spirit of the Avant-Garde: A History of the Future (Intellect - University of Chicago Press, 2011)
  • Remembering Rediffusion in Malta: A History Without Future Midsea Books - Malta, 2015 forthcoming)

Other Recent Peer-Reviewed Publications:

  • Towards a comprehensive catalogue of Maltese music CDs in Do It Yourself, Do It Together: Preserving Popular Music Heritage edited by Sarah Baker: Routledge: London and New York; forthcoming.
  • The Social Media Handbook edited by Jeremy Hunsinger and Theresa M. Senft. (Routledge: London and New York, 2014) pp. 45-58. 
  • Artist-run Spaces edited by Gabriele Detterer and Maurizio Nannucci. (JRP/Ringer: Zürich 2013) pp.132-154 (co-author: Martha Wilson)
  • "Theatrical performance on the Internet: How far have we come since Hamnet?." International Journal of Performance Arts and Digital Media 9.2 (2013): pp.247-259.

  • 'Colonn` Mediterranea' + ' Simon's Pub' in Shooting Society: Photographic Essays; edited by Carmel Borg and Raphael Vella. Midsea Books: Malta. 2012

  • 'A Long Conversation With Martha Wilson'  in Martha Wilson Sourcebook: 40 Years of Reconsidering Feminism, Performance, Alternative Spaces; edited by Kate Fowle and Moira Roth; Independent Curators Inc.: New York; pp. 201-223.

  • "Initial Work on the Malta Music Memory Project–and its connections with Oral History." Journal of Maltese History 2 (2011): pp. 42-50.
  • Addressing the Need for a Collaborative Database of Maltese Music in Journal of Music, Technology & Education Vol. 2, No. 3, May 2010.
  • Growing up in a Global Village: Young People and the Internet in Malta in Exploring the Maltese Media Landscape edited by J. Borg, M.A. Lauri, & A. Hillman. (Malta: Allied Publications, 2009) pp. 51-61.
  • Performance in Second Life: Some Possibilities for Learning and Teaching in Learning and Teaching in the Virtual World of Second Life edited by J. Molka-Danielsen & M. Deutschmann. (Norway: Tapir Academic Press, 2009) pp. 145-166.
  • A Second Life for Online Performance: understanding present developments through an historical context in International Journal of Performance Arts & Digital Media Vol. 4,  No.1, May 2008, pp. 69-79.
  • Eric Bogosian entry in The Dictionary of Literary Biography: Twentieth-Century American Dramatists, Vol. 341, 2008. pp. 3-10.
  • Rape, Murder and Suicide Are Easier When You Use a Keyboard Shortcut: Mouchette, an On-Line Virtual Character co-written with Manthos Santorineos in Leonardo: The Journal of the International Society of Arts, Sciences and Technology Vol. 38, No. 3, June 2005, pp. 202-206.
  • Martha Wilson & Franklin Furnace: on a mission to make the world safe for avant-garde art in The Drama Review 49 (1) pp. 29-35, 55-59, 80-85, 104-110.
  • Changing Spaces: Galinsky and the Virtual Furnace in The Drama Review 49 (1) pp. 86-93.
  • Protests in The Encyclopedia of Politics Vol. 1 edited by R.P. Carlisle (Sage Publishing: 2005).
  • Tadashi Suzuki & The Shizuoka Theatre Company in The Drama Review 47 (3) Fall 2003. pp. 147-158
  • Two Hundred Years of Colonial Laughter in Malta: Carnival and Pantomime in Malta Under British Rule co-written with Vicki Ann Cremona in Comedy, Fantasy and Colonialism edited by G. Harper (London & New York: Continuum, 2002) pp. 175-188.

Current and Recent Postgraduate Research Students:

Neville Borg
Research Topic - Exploring Legacy in Digital Curation Through a Cities of Culture Knowledge Exchange Network

Stephen Borg
Research Topic - Recovering, Preserving and Disseminating Maltese Folk Music

Karl Galea
Research Topic - When 'Hello' Is Not Enough: An analysis of the shifting behaviour of Smart phone users related to interpersonal conversation in public

Alex Grech
Research Topic - Blogging as a Disruption and Renegotiation of Hegemony in Malta: A hyperlocal study

Martin Debattista
Research Topic - Curating Online News Through Facebook

Anthony Micalled-Grimaud
Research Topic - Strategies for Nurturing Online Communities of Practice: The M3P approach

Rebecca O'Neill (recipient of a 2013 University of Hull Doctoral Scholarship)
Research Topic - The Rise of the Citizen Curator

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