Articles by author: ealdridgelow

  • CALL FOR PAPERS – The Italian Canadian Archives Project, A National Conference at Brock University (October 25-27, 2019)

    The Italian Program of the Department of Modern Languages, Literature, and Cultures at Brock University is hosting the Ninth National Italian Canadian Archives Project (ICAP), on the theme:  Italian-Canadian Experiences in Canada’s Work Force.

    Papers focusing on industrialization and contributions by Italians in the Niagara Region will be given special consideration. ICAP’s ninth conference will feature the history and the many contributions of the Italian worker to their local community and in particular to the Niagara Region. Archival evidence (such as letters, family photographs) of Italians in Canada during any of the waves of immigration that demonstrate their contributions to industrial projects, loss of work during WWII, or as fallen workers are welcomed. We also invite students, local community groups, artists, authors, poets, and archivists to share their perspectives and stories of Italian immigration and work experience in Ontario and across Canada.

    The organizing committee invites paper proposals on the following topics, although proposals on other areas of research are also welcome:

    • Italian workers and early settlements in industrial projects across Canada;
    • Rome’s General Commissariat for Emigration and reports about working Italians in Canada;
    • Immigration of Italian Labourers and Practices of Employment Agencies;
    • Restriction of Italian workers by the Italian and Canadian governments;
    • Discrimination of Italian workers and labour disputes;
    • Changing Face of a Nation: Builders, Entrepreneurs and Trend setters;
    • Contributions of the Italian community to the construction of the Welland Canal, paper mill, textile industry, power plants, rail and mining, and the establishment of wine industry etc;
    • The Italian fallen worker and memorials in Niagara and across Canada;
    • Social assistance organizations (Sons of Italy, the Catholic Church, Italian Immigration Aid Society, COSTI) who supported Italian immigrants and Italian-Canadian workers;
    • Cultural development of Italian communities around industrial projects 1800s to the 1960s;
    • Memory, cultural heritage, or archives related to the Italian-Canadian work force and their families

    Please send a 200-250 word abstract and a 50-word CV to the organizing committee at this email address: by Friday June 7, 2019.  Confirmation of acceptance will be communicated by June 28, 2019.  Click here for a copy of the Call for Papers.

    The organizing committee is also pleased to announce the photography exhibit of Vincenzo Pietropaolo, titled The Italian Immigrant Experience Revealed, to be held at the Marilyn I Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts Gallery in St. Catharines, next to the site of the conference.

    Pre-Conference Tour of the Brock Archives with the Ziraldo Papers and other collections in this area of research will be offered with Brock University’s Archivist of Special Collections.

    Several waves of Italian immigration came to the Niagara Region to work on industrial projects and to build Canada’s infrastructure: an initial seasonal and permanent wave of migration (1800s-1924); another phase between the two World Wars; and the Post-World War II “boom” of Italian immigration to Canada (following the lifting of the Enemy Alien Act).

    During early settlements, in the Niagara Region, Italians built the Welland Canal and worked in the Paper Mill, forming settlements and cultural centers around the canal and other industrial projects in the region. The Welland Canal, a ship canal in Ontario, connects Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. The canal forms a key section of the St. Lawrence Seaway and transverses the Niagara Peninsula from Port Weller to Port Colborne, enabling ships to ascend and descend the Niagara Escarpment and bypass Niagara Falls. The canal was built in three phases between the late 1800s and early 1900s. Near the banks of the canal a paper mill was constructed and designed to be powered by hydroelectricity from Niagara Falls. In 1913, the Paper Mill’s No. 1 Paper Machine began production of newsprint for The Tribune. This entailed shipping pulp wood to Southern Ontario from Lake Superior and Quebec’s North Shore. Employees of the mill formed the first papermaker’s union in Canada, Local 101. The area saw a growth of a broad range of ethnic groups living near and around the canal and paper mill. By 1931, Crowland township according to Jackson, was “one of the most ethnically heterogeneous communities in southern Ontario.

    More than two-thirds of the 5,000 inhabitants were continental European immigrants, belonging to no less than 18 ethnic groups” with various minority languages and diverse cultures around the canal and in neighboring cities (The Welland Canals and Their Communities: Engineering, Industrial, 349). Italian was – and remains – a prominent language and culture not only in the cities surrounding the Canal and the Paper Mill (St. Catharines, Thorold, Welland, Port Colborne), but also in Fort Erie and Niagara Falls.

    Historians and records reveal that many casualties occurred during the construction of the canal due to language barriers and harsh working conditions. In addition, Italian immigrants were discriminated against when looking for work on the canal and in other industrial projects in Ontario. As early as 1917, engineers wrote to company owners urging them “to reduce using Italians”. Strayan and Taylor state: “…local people were alarmed at the arrival in the neighbourhood of workers speaking with strange accents or not speaking English at all.” (This Colossal Project: Building the Welland Ship Canal, 1913- 1932). Prior to WWII, Italian immigration to Canada was halted by both Italy and Canada. Canada passed the Enemy Alien Act that interned many Italian and Italian-Canadian men, leaving their families without monetary support. When the Act ended in 1947, Italian-Canadian men returned home to unemployment. From 1951 to1961, Italian immigration to Niagara contributed to the wine industry, agriculture, and hospitality. In the 1970s, the Niagara Region experienced a new era in winemaking with Donald Ziraldo and his partner, Karl Kaiser. Ziraldo, born to Italian immigrants, founded the Vintner’s Quality Alliance (VQA), and in 1996 helped establish the Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) at Brock University, an internationally recognized research institute on cool climate viticulture, oenology, wine business and wine culture.

    CONFERENCE ORGANIZERS: Carmela Colella, Teresa Russo and Ernesto Virgulti, Department of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at Brock University

  • Marilyn Rose Lecture Series presents Award Winning Author Maureen Jennings

    The third annual Marilyn Rose Lecture Series, in tribute to our friend and dear colleague Dr. Marilyn Rose, is proud to present It’s in the Details: How to Make a Crime Story Believable, by award-winning author Maureen Jennings, author of The Murdoch Mysteries series.

    March 5, 2019 from 11 AM – 12:30 PM

    Sankey Chambers, Brock University

    A selection of books will be available for purchase/signing at the event.

    No cost to attend, light refreshments served.  All welcome.

    Maureen Jennings is not only just about the best crime novelist in Canada, she’s among the best writers anywhere – a national and international treasure. – LONDON FREE PRESS

    To read the Brock News article about this event, please click here.

  • Our CDAM students will participate in the upcoming FGS Research Café “Humanities in a Digital World”

    The Faculty of Graduate Studies will host a Research Café entitled Humanities in a Digital World featuring two of our current Canadian-American Studies MA students – Sydney Forde and Bertram Darko.  Please consider attending the event to support them!

    RSVPs are required by January 31, 2019.

    See click here for more information.

  • Holiday Wishes from all of us in CANA

  • Brian deRuiter receives Clarke Thomson Award for Excellence in Sessional Teaching (2018)

    This award is given in recognition to a sessional instructor who contributes significantly to student learning at Brock University.  Clarke Thomson is a professor emeritus who, throughout his university career, promoted the support, development and recognition of university teaching and was Brock University’s first recipient of a national 3M teaching award (1989).

    A sessional instructor since 2008, de Ruiter has been teaching across multiple academic units at Brock, including the Centre for Digital Humanities, Department of History, the Centre of Intercultural Studies, the Centre for Canadian Studies and the Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. As the instructor of the online content credit course, Being Human in a Digital World, with enrolments of up to 700 students, students praise de Ruiter for helping them to realize their individual impact and contributions to a variety of global issues.

    Brian and the other winners were recently recognized at an event hosted by the Centre for Pedagogical Study, click here for the Brock News story.

    Congratulations Brian!

    Read more

  • Royal Ontario Museum – Being Japanese Canadian: reflections on a broken world

    Explore a series of artworks interspersed throughout the Sigmund Samuel Gallery of Canada, and encounter the personal perspectives on the exile, dispossession, and internment of Japanese Canadians during the 1940s. This exhibition features contemporary artists who experienced this history first hand, and those who grapple with their parents and grandparents’ experiences. Being Japanese Canadian prompts us to reflect on the long-lasting ramifications of this historical Canadian injustice, and what it means to be Canadian today.

    A new exhibit, opening at the ROM in February 2019.

  • Literary Tourism and the British Isles: History, Imagination, and the Politics of Place

    Brian deRuiter, one of our CANA instructors, has collaborated on this book which is now available through

    Literary Tourism and the British Isles: History, Imagination, and the Politics of Place explores literary tourism’s role in shaping how locations in the British-Irish Isles have been seen, historicized, and valued. Within its chapters, contributors approach these topics from vantage points such as feminism, cultural studies, geographic and mobilities paradigms, rural studies, ecosystems, philosophy of history, dark tourism, and marketing analyses. They examine guidebooks and travelogues; oral history, pseudo-history, and absent history; and literature that spans Renaissance drama to contemporary popular writers such as Dan Brown, Diana Gabaldon, and J.K. Rowling. Places discussed in the collection include “the West;” Wordsworth Country and Brontë Country; Stowe and Scotland; the Globe Theatre and its environs; Limehouse, Rosslyn Chapel, and the imaginary locations of the Harry Potter series. Taken as a whole, this collection illuminates some of the ways by which “the British Isles” have been created by literary and historical narratives, and, in turn, will continue to be seen as places of cultural importance by visitors, guidebooks, and site sponsors alike.

    For more information or to order, click here.


  • Canadian Studies sponsors latest Italian Canadian Diaspora Speaker event

    All are welcome to attend the next Italian Canadian Diaspora Speaker Series event on November 19 at 5 p.m. in Plaza 600F.

    GIANNA PATRIARCA – My Voice in Three Languages

    Gianna Patriarca is an  award winning author of 8 books of poetry , a children’s book and a collection of short fiction.  Her work is extensively anthologized in Canada, Italy and the USA and appears on University courses in all three countries.  Her work has been adapted for Canadian Stage and CBC radio drama and featured in numerous documentaries.  Italian Women and Other Tragedies, is in its 4th printing, translated into Italian and launched at the University of Naples Orientale and Bologna. Gianna is featured at the museum Pier 21 in Halifax.  She is the first recipient of the Science and Cultural Award from the Italian Chamber of Commerce, awarded the Farfalla D’Argento from Rome in 2016,  and in 2017 was awarded the Spirit of Ontario medal from the Congress of Italian Canadians.    Her collection of short fiction All My Fallen Angelas, was long listed for the Griffin prize in 2016.   She has read her work at Yale, Purdue, Paterson New Jersey and numerous universities and cities in Canada.  She is currently working on a collection of poems, Time to be Old, and a novel, The Sicilian’s Bride.

    To read the complete Brock News article, click here.

    Click here for event information.



  • Refusing to Fight Keynote Events

    Brock University will host the Refusing to Fight: Reimagining War in Global Perspectives interdisciplinary Conference from October 11 to 13 at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, 15 Artists’ Common, Downtown St. Catharines.

    The following keynotes are open to the public and free of charge:

    October 11  |  6:00-7:30  p.m.
    To Fight or Not to Fight: Reflections on Objectors and Dissenters by Dr. Jonathan Vance, Western University

    Dr. Vance is Canada’s pre-eminent historian of the First World War.  He is most well known for his book Death So Noble: Memory, Meaning and the First World War, which was awarded the Sir John A. Macdonald Prize and the CP. Stacey Award in 1998.

    October 12  |  4:30-6:00 p.m.
    War Resistance in Canadian History by Dr. Lara Campbell, Simon Fraser University

    Dr. Campbell is a leading expert on Canadian women’s history, the history of social protest in the 1960s, and has written on the history of the Vietnam War and the transnational and gendered politics of draft resistance and anti-war movements in North America.  She is the co-author of Worth Fighting For: Canada’s Tradition of War Resistance from 1812 to the War on Terror.

    More information available at refusing to fight. ca



    The 2019 Crossing Borders Student Conference will be held at Niagara University on March 1 and 2, 2019.  The keynote is Sara Capen, Executive Director of the Niagara Falls National Heritage Area

    Click here for more information