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SC Wednesday Talk: Speaker:  Konrad Eisenbichler, Italian, Renaissance Studies, U of Toronto Title: “A Different Sort of Italian: Julian-Dalmatian Immigrants in Canada”

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March 22, 2023 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

March 22, 2023 

Speaker:  Konrad Eisenbichler, Italian, Renaissance Studies, U of Toronto

Title: “A Different Sort of Italian: Julian-Dalmatian Immigrants in Canada”

Introducer: Giuliana Katz

Abstract: Scholarship on Italian immigration to Canada has generally omitted the Julian-Dalmatians, a group of Italians from Istria and Dalmatia, two regions that, in the wake of World War Two, were ceded by Italy to Yugoslavia as part of its war reparations to that country. Though Italians by language culture, and traditions, it seems that this group has been conveniently excised from history, at least until the late 1990s/early 2000s. And yet, Julian-Dalmatians constitute an important element in twentieth-century Italian history and represent a unique aspect of Italian culture and emigration to Canada. This talk will provide a brief introduction to the history of this community and an overview of the cultural production that surrounds and represents it here in Canada. Some of the major Italian-Canadian figures to be presented will be the journalists Mario Duliani (1885–1964) in Montreal and Gianni Angelo Grohovaz (1926–1988) in Toronto, the novelist Caterina Edwards (b. 1948) in Edmonton), the poet Diego Bastianutti (b. 1939) in Vancouver, the graphic artist Vittorio Fiorucci (1932–2008) in Montreal, and the photographer and artist Silvia Pecota in Kingston. The presentation will end with a brief description of the “Arpa d’or” (Golden Harp) book series just launched by the Club Giuliano Dalmato of Toronto.

Bio: Konrad Eisenbichler teaches in the Department of Italian Studies at the University of Toronto. His research focuses on two very different areas of Italian culture and history. One is the intersection of literature, politics, and religion in fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Italy, with a special interest in how this intersection operates within early modern confraternities. The other is the history and literature of the immigration to Canada of Italians from the north-eastern Adriatic region, that is, from the region of Venezia Giulia, Istria, Dalmatia, and the city of Fiume (today, Rijeka, in Croatia)

He is the author, translator, or editor of more than 30 books, among which the monograph The Boys of the Archangel Raphael. A Youth Confraternity in Florence, 1411-1785, which received the Howard A. Marraro Prize from the American Catholic Historical Association for best book of the year, the monograph of The Sword and the Pen: Women, Politics, and Poetry in Sixteenth-Century Siena, which won the highly prestigious Ennio Flaiano International Prize for Italian Studies and also the “Outstanding Academic Title for 2013” awarded by Choice magazine. His scholarship has been recognized nationally by his induction as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and internationally by his appointment as a Knight Commander in the Order of Merit of the Republic of Italy.

One of his most recent books is Forgotten Italians: Julian-Dalmatian Writers and Artists in Canada (University of Toronto Press, 2019), a collection of articles on the Italian-Canadian population originally from Istria, Dalmatia, and Fiume/Rijeka, territories that are no longer part of Italy. It is on this group of Italians and their immigration to North America that he will be talking to us.

The link to register is https://forms.office.com/r/WLFt5w3ZYS

The deadline to register is the Monday before the event at noon. The Zoom link will be sent to registrants only.


March 22, 2023
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Category:


Zoom AND The Faculty Club, UofT, 41 Willcocks Street Toronto, ON M5S 1C7