About Us
Gabriel Niccoli
Gabriel Niccoli
Professor Emeritus
Department of Italian & French Studies

PhD, University of British Columbia

MA, University of British Columbia

BA, University of British Columbia


Professor Gabriel Niccoli

I hold a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of British Columbia.  I taught Italian language, culture, and literature at the University of Victoria and the University of Washington before coming to St. Jerome’s University in the University of Waterloo where I became Full Professor in Italian and French Studies and Chair of the Department for seventeen years.  I have published extensively on 16th-century Italian and French dramatic theory, a volume on Baroque comparative pastoral drama, as well as on women writers of the Italian Renaissance.  I have edited three volumes and published a number of essays on Italian-Canadian Immigration Studies, a field in which I am currently editing a collection of critical contributions on the concept of Nostos.  I am also looking forward to a forthcoming monographic study on a Venetian poet and courtesan.


I have been the recipient of various awards, both in Italy and Canada, including a Major External Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Grant and a Major Canadian Government Heritage Grant, both resulting in published work.  I also received (as Secondary Researcher) a Major AIÉQ International Congress Grant. I was delighted to be awarded the premier University of Waterloo’s Distinguished Teacher Award in recognition of my “continued record of excellence in teaching” and of the “concern for and sensitivity to the students.” Because of this concern I have also been able to establish, with the assistance of the Italian-Canadian community, a number of Bursaries/Scholarships and awards intended for meritorious and needy university students.  But over some forty years of pedagogy and dialogue in the Humanities it is indeed my students who have enriched my life immeasurably. I was honored to have received both the “Premio della Riconoscenza” from the Provincial Government of Calabria and the “Solemn Encomium” plaque from my hometown in Italy for “instilling in the world of culture a unique Italianist spirit”.  I was particularly honored by the Order of Academic Senator bestowed on me by the Accademia Medicea of Firenze, Italy.


Having served on various Editorial Boards of literary journals both in Canada and Italy, and having over the years organized or co-organized, and participated in myriad conferences from Vancouver to Venice to Hangzhou, China, I have arranged academic accords, on behalf of St. Jerome's University and University of Waterloo, with Language and Literature departments both at the University of Calabria (the “Waterloo in Calabria” project as well as the Dipartimento di Lingue e Scienze dell’educazione, directed by Prof. Francesco Altimari) and at the University of Firenze’s Centre for Medieval and Renaissance Studies.  I have represented UW president David Johnston and SJU president Michael Higgins on visits to Magna Graecia University and the ancient University of Bologna to promote and pursue potential academic agreements with them.  My ground work was deemed pivotal, along with that of former Supreme Court of Canada Justice Frank Iacobucci and the late entrepreneur Mimmo Sisca, in establishing a tripartite exchange agreement with the University of Calabria (University of Waterloo / St. Jerome’s University / Unical) of which I became Administrative Coordinator.  At the University of Firenze I have also had the pleasure of co-founding, with my Italian colleagues Profs. Concetta Bianca and Enzo D’Angelo, the Conferenza Internazionale sulla Conservazione e la Preservazione.


Since my university years as a student at my memory laden UBC Alma Mater, and especially throughout my entire academic career as a professor, I have been, and continue to be, an avid and dedicated supporter of and constant cultural operator for the Italian-Canadian and broader communities in which I have lived.  Perhaps because of my own personal background as a community leader I have always firmly believed in the importance of taking the academy out of its campus confines and into the community.  Because of my engaged commitment, both academically and socially, to a proper and unvitiated image of Italy and Italian culture abroad I have been honored by the Italian Government to represent it in Canada as Honorary Vice-Consul of Italy.  

Students or colleagues interested in any particular area of my scholarly contributions and research are welcome to contact me.