In anticipation of the 200th anniversary of the birth of the Italian patriot and solider, Giuseppe Garibaldi, two special lectures were held at York University’s Keele campus on March 20. The lectures were part of a series of cultural activities that took place in Toronto and were organized by the Italian Cultural Institute in collaboration with the Departments of Italian Studies at the University of Toronto; University of Toronto, Mississauga; York University; and the Mississauga Italian-Canadian Association.
Right: Giuseppe Garibaldi
Born on July 4, 1807, Garibaldi was an important figure in the Risorgimento, which, in the history of 19th-century Italy, was a period of cultural nationalism and of political activism that eventually led to the unification in 1861. Esteemed by Italians as one of the makers of modern Italy, Garibaldi personally led many of the military campaigns that contributed to the Risorgimento. As a tribute to his military expeditions in South America and Europe, he has been dubbed the "Hero of the Two Worlds".
Giuseppe Monsagrati, professor of history, University of Rome La Sapienza, outlined Garibaldi’s life and contributions to the history of Italy in a special lecture delivered to students in the Introduction to Italian Literature course.
Right: Giuseppe Monsagrati delivers his presentation to York students
Edoardo Lebano, professor emeritus of Italian, University of Indiana, addressed the students enrolled in the Advanced Italian course on Garibaldi’s visit to the United States. The talk revealed many little-known facts about Garibaldi’s stay in the US, including the fact that then president Abraham Lincoln asked Garibaldi to lead the Union army against the Confederacy, an offer which Garibaldi declined.
"We are delighted to have two such eminent scholars come to York to talk about Garibaldi who is so respected and revered by Italians," said Professor Roberta Sinyor, coordinator of Italian Studies in York’s Faculty of Arts.
Left: Edoardo Lebano, professor emeritus of Italian, University of Indiana, addressed the students enrolled in the Advanced Italian course
Coincidently, Toronto’s OMNI Television was on campus to do a story about Italian Studies. The crew decided to cover the lectures and interviewed both speakers for their segment on York University. The crew also interviewed Professor Patrizia Di Vincenzo and Professor Roberta Sinyor, both of Italian Studies in York’s Faculty of Arts.
Story and photos submitted by Jessica Lamoglie, communications coordinator, Faculty of Arts.