Paolo Frascà, MA, PhD
Researcher and Educator
Certified Language Professional
Hello, I'm Paolo!
I was born in Italy and moved to Canada at 13.
I hold a Ph.D. in Italian Studies and Sexual Diversity Studies (Collaborative Program) from the University of Toronto. My work and teaching focus on sexuality and Italian cultural studies, migration, and pedagogy.
About me: I was born in dreamy Tropea, Calabria, Italy and moved to Toronto, Canada at the age of 13. My homeland has been the site of cultural and linguistic exchanges for millennia, and many peoples have left their mark on the culture and language of Calabria. Growing up in a bilingual (Standard Italian/Calabrian) environment at the very tip of mainland Italy, on the open Mediterranean sea, instilled in me a passion for language preservation and cultural diversity. The significant hardships and mass-emigration waves that my region has seen - and which involve my own family - have also made me perceptive to issues of mobility, movement, and transnational connections. These, along with experiences and struggles with my sexual identity, have shaped many of my academic and non-academic interests. As a scholar and teacher of the humanities, I strive to use my personal experience to relate to my objects of study and I always encourage my students to "begin with the self" whenever possible.
My work: I am currently Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream in the Department of Italian Studies at the University of Toronto. My doctoral research focused on Mario Mieli (1952-1983), a major figure of the sexual liberation movement in Italy and an important theorist. I have taught courses in modern languages and cultural studies at the University of Toronto (St. George and Mississauga campuses) and at Brock University. I am a recipient of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada's Doctoral Fellowship, the Ontario Graduate Scholarship, the Giovanni Caboto Fellowship in Italian-Canadian Studies, and various other awards and grants. I have published on Italian literature and cinema, sexuality studies, dialectology, migration, and language acquisition. I am a Project Assistant for the Endangered Language Alliance of Toronto and a certified interpreter (ILSAT/CILISAT).
Academia is not my entire life: I am also very passionate about social justice and diversity, and I enjoy meditation, theatre, singing and dancing, physical activity, and creative writing. I have also recently appeared on OMNI Television in reports about my course on the Italian-Canadian community at the University of Toronto Mississauga and in the series Youth Matters. I write sporadically for the Corriere Canadese Newspaper on their weekly cultural column.
For thousands of years, the place where I work and live has been the traditional land of Indigenous peoples, including the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca, and most recently, the Mississaugas of the Credit River. Today, these meeting places are still the home to many Indigenous people from across Turtle Island and I am grateful to have the opportunity to work on this land. Most importantly, I have a responsibility to continue learning about the histories of violence, genocide, and oppression that surround this place, to acknowledge the privileges I enjoy as a direct result of imperial and colonial processes, and to do my part in contributing to fair reconciliation and reparation. With this, I'd like to invite you to reflect on your relationship with the land on which you live.