Frank Iacobucci Centre for Italian Canadian Studies

The Department of Italian Studies hosts the Frank Iacobucci Centre for Italian-Canadian Studies, a research centre with the mandate to study the cultural and social life of the Italian Canadian community, viewed in the context of multiculturalism and related to the evolving themes that inform research and writing on Canadian history generally.  It is a multi-disciplinary centre that aims to foster the activities of academics, artists, professionals, and community activists working on topics related to all aspects of culture, experience, and history of the Italian diaspora in North America.  In pursuit of this mandate, the Iacobucci Centre offers fellowships, supports research projects, hosts on-line research tools, publishes monographs and the journal Italian Canadiana, and hosts socially relevant and community-driven public lectures, workshops, and conferences.

The Centre honours the many contributions of Mr. Justice Frank Iacobucci in the areas of law, education, social justice, and public service.  It was established in 1995 with the generous support of the Italian Canadian community in celebration of Iacobucci’s appointment as Supreme Court Justice.  In the course of a distinguished career, Iacobucci served in many key roles at the University of Toronto.  Before his tenure on the Supreme Court he had served as Dean of the University of Toronto Faculty of Law and then as Vice President and Provost; upon retirement from the Supreme Court he returned to the University of Toronto as Interim President.  The Canadian Italian Development Association which first raised the funds to allow the opening of the Centre continues to support and participate in its work.    

Research Tools & Collaborations

The Digital Archives for the Italian Canadian Studies documents the history of Italian Canadians in the cultural, political and economic life of Canada. Canadian and foreign scholars as well as other parties interested in language and history have been consulting the archives regularly for information on Italian-Canadian studies in Canada, personal interests, theses, class assignments, scholarly research, etc. Graduate students are active participants in the Centre’s activities, as well as in several research projects conducted by members of the Department.  As of January 18, 2020, the Digital Archives for Italian Canadian Studies had 3802 entries, including 864 books, 118 book reviews, 229 media files, and 2591 articles. Of these entries, 1598 may be directly consulted online (37 book files, 120 book reviews, 1212 articles, 229 media files). There are currently over 400 registered users, the majority of them scholars or university students taking courses in Italian Canadian Culture.

Research & Community Activities

A major research, media, and publication project that documents the stories of those who belong to both the Italian-Canadian and LGBTQ2SI+ communities. This is the first such project.

The project began with an initiative to publish a volume of creative writing by those who belong to both the Italian-Canadian and LGBTQ2SI+ communities, and is expanding into a more ambitious multi-year, multi-disciplinary, and multi-media project developed through the Frank Iacobucci Centre for Italian Canadian Studies.

The volume Here and Now: An Anthology of Queer Italian-Canadian Writing, edited by Licia Canton, will be published by Longbridge Books in 2021. Beyond the publication of the volume, there will also be a series of public events, a larger student research project, and a community-oriented campaign. This project aims to innovate research in Italian-Canadian Studies by opening the field up to conversations on sexual diversity.

On 3 March 2021 we screened the new documentary Creative Spaces: Queer and Italian-Canadian. The discussion that followed the screening drew 150-160 participants from Canada, US, Italy, Ireland, Spain, UK, France, Egypt, and Austria. In the film, a wide range of voices address the questions “What does it mean to be queer and Italian-Canadian? And what experiences do queer Italian-Canadians have when their sexual orientation and gender identity come in contact with their cultural heritage and traditions?” For further information and media coverage, please see the press releases in English and in Italian.  It was also featured in University of Toronto's Faculty of Arts & Science Newsletter as well as on OMNI News.

Some of the research projects associated with this initiative include:

1. A qualitative research project on Queer Italian-Canadians (involving student research assistants) and their relationship to Italian culture, family dynamics, relationship with larger community, cultural production.

2. Interviews & media and documentary research project. This project will lead to a community knowledge-dissemination campaign through:

a. The creation of a trilingual (English, French, Italian) booklet on Queer Italian-Canadian experiences

b. A digital media platform: video interviews and profiles to be displayed in a digital archive connected to the Frank Iacobucci Centre’s website, with excerpts published in a variety of media outlets.

For more information on this project, contact: Prof. Paolo Frascà at: paolo.frasca@mail.utoronto.ca

This initiative consists of an event series and a documentation project that brings together scholars and community leaders to focus on the current state of discussions around two issues that have been critical to the Hon. Frank Iacobucci’s judicial work: Indigenous relations and police violence.

The Hon. Frank Iacobucci has played a major role in Crown-Indigenous Relations (particularly as a key member of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee) and in police reform (particularly through his reviews and his often-mentioned 84 recommendations in the investigation around the death of Samy Yatim). Since both issues are very much on the public agenda in the wake of Black Lives Matter, they are particularly timely subjects for public discussion in a year when the Centre marks its 25th anniversary. At this stage, the Frank Iacoubucci Centre is launching a series of three conferences and a documentation project, which will allow the Centre to contribute to public discussions and research on current social issues of great importance, thus highlighting the role of Italian-Canadian Studies and of the Italian-Canadian community in conversations on Indigenous rights, police violence, and the legacies of colonization.

The event series will run from February to September of 2021 and is comprised of three events: an initial roundtable, a discussion panel, and a larger conference.

The initial roundtable on 24 February 2021 brought together eight speakers to explore Indigenous-Italian-Canadian connections, with a focus on the literary, artistic, social, experiential, and historical dimensions of this intersection. The participants included individuals who are both Indigenous and Italian-Canadian, Indigenous individuals who have connections with Italy or the Italian-Canadian community, and Italians or Italian-Canadians who are connected to Indigenous communities.  We invite you to take a look at the PDF icongraphic recording (PDF) of this event.  For media coverage, please see The Bulletin Brief (Indigenous-Italian-Canadian).  

A workshop in late May 2021 on: Indigenous-Italian-Canadian Connections: The Land We Are On with a focus on the treaties that cover Italian-Canadian enclaves in Southern Ontario. This event will include presentations that review the settlements of Italians in (Southern) Ontario, and discussions of the Dish with One Spoon and Niagara Treaties, and the Treaty 13/Toronto Purchase and Williams Treaty. It will also involve treaty-based activity with audience members.

The discussion panel in September 2021 will include a series of presentations linking Iacobucci’s work on the Yatim investigation to current discussions on police violence and Black Lives Matter, and calls for police defunding and abolition.

The larger conference in spring 2022 will explore the history of Italian presence in Canada with a decolonial approach, and is tentatively titled Italians: Colonizers, Immigrants, Both.

The documentation project will aim to record these stories and conversations through transcripts, excerpts of presentations or creative writing, images, artifacts, and interviews (pending Ethics Review approval). These will be published in the Centre’s Digital Archive and through media outlets, such as the Italian-language daily Corriere canadese, where the Department of Italian Studies curates a cultural column, Accenti Magazine, OMNI News Italian, and others.

For more information on this project, contact: Prof Paolo Frascà at: paolo.frasca@mail.utoronto.ca

Research Support

A fellowship to support researchers working in the area of Italian Canadian studies. The Emilio Goggio Research Fellowship 2021-2022, valued at $5000, is for one academic year (September 1 – April 30).

Researchers must hold a doctorate or equivalent terminal degree by the time the fellowship begins on 1 September 2021. Applications in Humanities and interpretative Social Science disciplines are welcome.

The Emilio Goggio Research Fellow will be expected to engage with students and the larger intellectual community in the Department of Italian Studies at the University of Toronto and to present a lecture or seminar related to their research. The successful candidate will have a strong academic record and show potential for research excellence as well as the ability to contribute to the priority areas of the FIC and the Department of Italian Studies.

Applications must include:

 

  • a one-page cover letter outlining your qualifications for the Emilio Goggio Research Fellowship and noting the connection of your research to the mandate of the Frank Iacobucci Centre for Italian Canadian Studies.
  • a current curriculum vitae
  • a one-page summary of your research project, including plans for dissemination of findings.
  • a letter of recommendation (submitted directly to: Chair.italianstudies@utoronto.ca noting your name and “Goggio Research Fellowship” in the subject line) 

Please submit applications by email attachment, noting your name and “Goggio Research Fellowship” in the subject line.Deadline to submit applications: 19 May 2022

 

A fellowship for students registered in a graduate program at the University of Toronto.  This Emilio Goggio Doctoral Fellowship 2021-2022, valued at $5000, is for one academic year (September 1 – April 30).

Applicants must have completed course work and exams and will be in the writing stage of their dissertation by the time the fellowship begins on 1 September 2021.  Applications in Humanities and interpretative Social Science disciplines are welcome.

The Goggio Doctoral Fellow will be expected to engage with students and the larger intellectual community in Italian Studies and present a lecture or seminar related to their research. The successful candidate will have a strong academic record and show potential for research excellence as well as the ability to contribute to the priority areas of the Frank Iacobucci Centre and Italian Studies.

Applications must include:

 

  • a one-page cover letter outlining your qualifications for the Emilio Goggio Doctoral Fellowship noting the connection of your research to the mandate of the Frank Iacobucci Centre for Italian Canadian Studies.
  • a curriculum vitae and a transcript
  • a one-page summary of your doctoral thesis and progress to date
  • a letter of recommendation from your dissertation supervisor (to be submitted separately by email attachment, noting your name and “Goggio Doctoral Fellowship” in the subject line.)

Please submit applications by email attachment, noting your name and “Goggio Doctoral Fellowship” in the subject line.Deadline to submit applications: 19 May 2022.

 

One Working Group is funded annually.  Groups can focus on any aspect of Italian culture, literature, language, and history, with preference given to proposals related to mandate of the Iacobucci Centre to promote awareness, understanding, and research on Italian culture the Italian Canadian community. Members of the Working Group are free to shape their work within the parameters set out below. The Group is expected to hold a Goggio Colloquium at some point during academic year in order to present or share findings. Interested parties will be invited to submit proposals by 19 May for the coming academic year (September 1 – April 30).

Activities: Working Groups meet once monthly, eight times between September and April. The range of activities they pursue together is quite open: they may choose a series of readings to follow together or share the presentation of works-in-progress around a particular theme. They may organize larger conferences or a joint publication. They may choose to study the entire oeuvre of a particular author, artist, film-maker, or activist. They may also use the group to plan a conference or collaborate in framing a proposal for a larger research grant.

Size: Working Groups have at least six people, with at least three doctoral students and three faculty members from different disciplines; most are around 15-20 members. Groups can opt to include people outside the UofT if they wish, either from other universities or community groups.

Process: Working Groups originate in conversations among a group of interested people who prepare a proposal setting out the planned activity, structure, and membership; the Iacobucci and Goggio Committees of the Italian Studies Department adjudicate these each spring for the following academic year.

Organization: the Working Group must have a leader who handles organization and finance. The Group can use some of its funds to hire a graduate student Research Assistant for the Group’s basic administration (organizing meetings, booking spaces, arranging catering, etc). Beyond that, the group can be very flat or very hierarchical. Some may be graduate-student led operations (Graduate students can propose and lead working groups, but a faculty member must be responsible for managing the funds for the group.) Some rotate responsibilities. Some may have a core group of committed members who attend every meeting and an outer circle of people who may attend a meeting if it is specifically of interest.

Funding: Working Groups get $3000 to conduct their activities.  A broad range of expense categories are acceptable such as catering, workshops, travel & accommodations & honoraria for guests as per University financial guidelines. Up to $500 can be used to hire a graduate student Research Assistant for administrative help. Funds cannot be used to build websites or subsidize publications. Unspent money is returned to the Iacobucci Centre at the end of the year. Groups can apply for a 1-year renewal. Where possible, the Iacobucci Centre and Italian Studies Department will offer physical space, advice, and website/social media/newsletter advertising for events.

To apply for consideration as a Working Group, the designated Group leader should send an email with the following attachments to: chair.italianstudies@utoronto.ca

1. A description of the plans, rationale, and title for the Working Group (max. 500 words – FIRM limit on length). Please note how the Group’s planned activities relate to awareness, understanding, and research on Italian culture, literature, language, and history, and on Italian Canadian community in particular (if relevant).

2. A listing of all Working Group members and email contact information as an appendix to your description. Please identify members briefly by community role and/or academic affiliation. Identify clearly the faculty member who is responsible for the Group’s finances, and the Resarch Assistant who will be handling administration.

3. A proposed budget spreadsheet noting how the $3000 allowance will be spent.

Please adhere to length limits when providing reporting information. Deadline for submissions is 19 May.

Any faculty member in the Department of Italian Studies who receives an external research award (eg., SSHRC, NEH, European Research Council) may apply for a Goggio Research Internship to assist with organizing and executing the research work being funded by the grant. The Goggio Research Intern must be a student registered in an undergraduate or graduate program at the University of Toronto. The Goggio Research Intern does not undertake the primary research work associated with the project itself but assists the Principal Investigator in the practical administration and execution of the research project.

The value of a Goggio Research Internship is $1000, and there are up to two available in an academic year. The hours available will depend on the rate of pay, which in turn is determined by the nature of the work assigned; faculty should consult with the Business Manager of the Department before making their application.

Faculty members applying to hire a Goggio Research Intern must supply:

  • a copy of the full research proposal, together with a copy of the formal notice of award;
  • a description of the duties expected of the Goggio Research Intern, of the training to be offered them; and of the precise hours and terms as determined in consultation with the Business Manager.

Fellowships

Individuals who are pursuing academic or cultural projects related to the mandate of the Frank Iacobucci Centre for Italian-Canadian Studies (FIC) to promote awareness, understanding, and research on the Italian Canadian community may apply to become a Iacobucci Research Fellow. We invite applications from scholars, artists, writers, professionals, and activists. There is no stipend associated with this fellowship. Fellows have access to the intellectual community and library resources of the Italian Studies Department and the University of Toronto. Depending on the nature of a Iacobucci Research Fellow’s project and the resources available to the Centre in any particular year, it may be possible to provide shared office space as well.

A Iacobucci Research Fellowship lasts for one year and is renewable. Iacobucci Research Fellows are expected to engage actively with the community of the Iacobucci Centre and the Department of Italian Studies, and to offer at least one public lecture in the course of the year in order to share progress on or the results of their Fellowship.

Application Process:

Inquiries and applications are accepted year-round for the Iacobucci Research Fellowship program. To ensure prompt review by the Managing Committee, candidates wishing to join the Centre in any academic year (September 1 – April 30) are encouraged to apply by 1 September of that same year. Applications for the non-stipendiary Iacobucci Research Fellowship should be sent to the Director of the Iacobucci Centre (chair.italianstudies@utoronto.ca) and should include the following:

1. A covering email which includes the following information:

 

  • name, address, telephone number
  • academic affiliation (if applicable)
  • project title and whether it involves publication or some other form of public distribution
  • period for which fellowship status is required

2. A PDF attachment with a current curriculum vitae or resume, a brief description of the project to be undertaken at the Centre, and an explanation of how a Iacobucci Research Fellowship will assist in the project.

 

3. Two letters of reference (addressed to the Director of the FIC, the Emilio Goggio Chair in Italian Studies and emailed to chair.italianstudies@utoronto.ca)

Please ensure that all correspondence includes "Iacobucci Research Fellowship" and name of the applicant in the subject line.

Renewal:

Iacobucci Research Fellows may apply for a renewal on an annual basis, by submitting a covering email with updated information as well as a single .pdf attachment with an updated curriculum vitae and a brief (1 page) fellowship report that outlines the progress made on the fellowship project and any new developments anticipated in the next one-year term.

A fellowship for students registered in an undergraduate program (minor, major, or specialist) at the University of Toronto. The Frank Iacobucci Centre Undergraduate Fellowship, valued at up to $2000, is for one academic year (September 1 – April 30).

This fellowship is intended to support undergraduate research. Preference will be given to applications from candidates who work in the area of Italian Canadian studies.

The funds may be taken as a form of stipend while conducting research (ie: while performing archival research and writing or acting as a research assistant on a pre-existing project) or used to help cover a research trip. In each case, you must have a faculty supervisor who is willing to write a letter of recommendation on your behalf in which she/he comments on the project and approves the proposed budget if required.

If your proposal is successful, in addition to the research funds and mentoring, you will be given the title of “Frank Iacobucci Centre Undergraduate Fellow” and invited to participate in FIC activities during the academic year following conferral of the award. The Iacobucci Undergraduate Fellow will be expected to engage with students and the larger intellectual community in Italian Studies and make a presentation related to their research. The successful candidate will have a strong academic record and show potential for research excellence as well as the ability to contribute to the priority areas of the FIC and Italian Studies.

Applications must include:

  • a research proposal (1500 words maximum) that outlines the goals and methodology of the project, offers a timeline of tasks to be undertaken during the academic year, and a budget of up to $2000. Your proposal should note the connection of your research to the mandate of the Frank Iacobucci Centre for Italian Canadian Studies.
  • a current curriculum vitae and transcript
  • a letter of recommendation from a faculty member who is willing to supervise your project (to be submitted separately to chair.italianstudies@utoronto.ca, noting your name and “Iacobucci Undergraduate Fellowship” in the subject line.

Please submit applications by email attachment to chair.italianstudies@utoronto.ca, with “Iacobucci Graduate Fellowship” and name of the applicant in the subject line.

Deadline to submit applications: 1 September 2022

Value: up to $2,000

A fellowship for students registered in a graduate program at the University of Toronto. The Frank Iacobucci Centre Graduate Fellowship, valued at $5000, is for one academic year (September 1 – April 30).

This fellowship is intended to support graduate research at the MA or Doctoral level. MA students must be able to provide a thesis proposal. Doctoral students must have completed course work and exams by the time the fellowship begins on 1 September 2021. Applications in Humanities and interpretative Social Science disciplines are welcome, and preference will be given to applications from candidates who work in the area of Italian Canadian studies.

The Iacobucci Graduate Fellow will be expected to engage with students and the larger intellectual community in Italian Studies and present a lecture or seminar related to their research. The successful candidate will have a strong academic record and show potential for research excellence as well as the ability to contribute to the priority areas of the FIC and Italian Studies.

Applications must include:

 

  • a one-page cover letter outlining your qualifications for the Frank Iacobucci Centre Graduate Fellowship noting the connection of your research to the mandate of the Frank Iacobucci Centre for Italian Canadian Studies.
  • a current curriculum vitae and transcript
  • a one-page summary of your MA or Doctoral thesis and progress to date
  • a letter of recommendation from your thesis/dissertation supervisor (to be submitted separately to chair.italianstudies@utoronto.ca, noting your name and “Iacobucci Graduate Fellowship” in the subject line.

Please submit applications by email attachment to chair.italianstudies@utoronto.ca, with “Iacobucci Graduate Fellowship” and name of the applicant in the subject line.

Deadline to submit applications: 19 May 2022

 

Individuals who are pursuing projects related to the mandate of the Frank Iacobucci Centre for Italian-Canadian Studies (FIC) to promote awareness, understanding, and research on the Italian Canadian community may apply to become a Iacobucci Associate Fellow.  There is no stipend associated with this fellowship.  We invite applications from artists, writers, professionals, and activists. Iacobucci Associate Fellows are expected to engage actively with the community of the Iacobucci Centre and the students and faculty of the Department of Italian Studies. They are also expected to offer a presentation on their project in at least one public event in the course of the year. The nature of this event will vary with the type of project, and can be determined in conjunction with the Director of the Iacobucci Centre

Application Process:

Inquiries and applications are accepted year-round for the Iacobucci Associate Fellowship program. To ensure prompt review by the Managing Committee, candidates wishing to join the Centre in any academic year (September 1 - April 30) are encouraged to apply by 1 September of that same year. Applications for the non-stipendiary Iacobucci Associate Fellowship should be sent to the Director of the Iacobucci Centre (chair.italianstudies@utoronto.ca) and should include the following:

1. A covering email which includes the following information:

 

  • name, address, telephone number
  • project title and whether it involves publication or some other form of public distribution

2. A .pdf attachment with a current curriculum vitae, a brief description of the project to be undertaken at the Centre, and an explanation of how a Iacobucci Associate Fellowship will assist in the project.3. Two letters of reference (addressed to the Director of the FIC, the Emilio Goggio Chair in Italian Studies: chair.italianstudies@utoronto.ca)

 

Please ensure that all correspondence includes "Iacobucci Associate Fellowship" and name of the applicant in the subject line.

Italian Canadiana

Italian Canadiana is the journal of the Frank Iacobucci Centre for Italian Canadian Studies.  A refereed journal, it publishes scholarly research articles and reviews in English, French, and Italian devoted to research on all aspects of the lives of Italian Canadians.  Visit the dedicated Italian Canadiana section for more information.