Glendon Principal Kenneth McRoberts and Teodor Baconschi, the Romanian minister of foreign affairs, toasted the official launch of the first Romanian lectureship in Canada on March 25 at Glendon.
“This is an historic moment for Glendon,” said McRoberts. “We are deeply honoured to welcome such a large delegation of important dignitaries from Romania.”
Right: Teodor Baconschi (left), Romanian minister of foreign affairs, and Glendon Principal Kenneth McRoberts
The Romanian lectureship was created when a collaboration agreement between Glendon and the Institute of Romanian Language, part of the Romanian Ministry of Education & Research in Bucharest, was signed on July 12, 2010.
Valentin Naumescu, consul-general of Romania in Toronto, first contacted Glendon’s French studies Professor Dorin Uritescu and Professor Françoise Mougeon, Glendon’s associate principal academic & research, who then guided the project to a successful start-up.
“As this is the first Romanian university program in Canada, we hope that in the future Glendon will become a centre which attracts students interested in pursuing in-depth studies in fields such as Romance and Balkan linguistics,” said Uritescu.
The first holder of the lectureship is linguistics Professor Ioana-Cristina Pîrvu (right), who comes to Glendon from the Romanian Language Department of the University of Bucharest. Currently, she is teaching two 2000-level courses as part of the Program of Linguistics & Language Studies in Glendon’s Multidisciplinary Studies Department – Romanian Language: A Linguistic Introduction and Romanian Culture from a Semiotic Perspective. Professor Pîrvu’s term runs for three years with a possibility of renewal.
“The new courses are an excellent fit with our language programs […] and there is an obvious interest in these courses. Professor Pîrvu’s contribution is very significant in motivating students. We hope to continue the program for many years to come,” says McRoberts.
Before coming to Glendon, Pîrvu taught the courses in Zagreb, Croatia, to students from first year to the master’s level. “I am eager to promote the culture and language of my country and its significance in Europe and the world,” she said. “My teaching interests extend beyond language learning to geography, history, literature, music, the cinema and sports. There is so much that can be done.”
|From left, front row: Professor Jerzy Kowal, chair of the Glendon Hispanic
Studies Department; Dorin Uritescu; York film studies Professor Tereza Barta;
Françoise Mougeon, associate principal, academic & research; Ivisiting Professor Ioana-Cristina Pîrvu of the University of Bucharest; Professor Ian Martin, coordintaor of the Glendon Linguistics & Language program. Back row: York information technology Professor Radu Campeanu; Glendon Principal Kenneth McRoberts; Teodor Baconschi, Romanian minister of foreign affairs; Romanian ambassador to Canada Elena Stefoi; Valentin Naumescu, consul general of Romania.
Romanian is the fifth major language of the Italic language family taught at Glendon – where courses in French, Spanish, Catalan and Latin already exist, continuing the linguistics program’s objective of offering courses in all the major Romance languages. In addition, growth potential for the lectureship can be found among first- and second-generation Romanian-speaking students, who are an increasing presence at Glendon and York, since the Romanian-speaking community in the GTA is estimated at around 70,000.
Right: Dorin Uritescu, McRoberts, York information technology Professor Radu Campeanu and Elena Stefoi, Romanian ambassador to Canada
The Romanian ambassador to Canada, Elena Stefoi, Doru Liciu, vice-consul of the Consulate General of Romania in Toronto, and Adrian Papahagi, advisor to Romania’s minister of foreign affairs, were also at the launch.
“We hope that this added presence of Romanian language and culture will strengthen the links between our two societies, which have many commonalities, as well as a long history of immigration and participation in the Francophonie,” said Baconschi.
For more information on the courses for the Romanian lectureship, contact Glendon’s Linguistics & Language Studies Program.
Article submitted by Marika Kemeny, Glendon communications officer