Study Abroad

Faculty and Staff

Helena Fracchia (PhD, University of California Berkeley) Director of the University of Alberta School in Cortona; Professor Emeritus of Classics; Adjunct Professor of Italian; Scientific Director of the University of Alberta Archaeological Field School at Ossaia. Dr. Fracchia has authored and co-authored several books and numerous articles on the archaeology of pre-Roman and Roman Italy. Her current research focus is the Romanization of Italy in the regions of Tuscany and Basilicata. Dr. Fracchia has held numerous Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada grants for her work in Italy. She was the recipient of a McCalla Research Professorship and has been awarded a 2004 Killam Annual Professorship for excellence in teaching, research and service at the University of Alberta.

Maurizio Gualtieri
 (PhD, University of Pennsylvania) Professor Emeritus of History and Classics, University of Alberta, and Professor Emeritus of Greek and Roman Art and Archaeology at the University of Perugia. His main research interests are pre-Roman and Roman Italy. He has written numerous articles and several books on that topic, with grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. He has directed the University of Alberta Field School in Italy at Roccagloriosa and at Oppido Lucano, where work is still on-going.

Lianne McTavish (PhD, University of Rochester) is Professor in the History of Art, Design, and Visual Culture in the Department of Art and Design. She has published books and articles on early modern visual culture, the history of the body, and critical museum theory, receiving grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Killam Research Fund, Hannah Institute for the History of Medicine, and Canada Council for the Arts. Lianne is currently writing her fourth book, “Illness as Opportunity in Early Modern France,” which features analyses of King Louis XIV’s famous anal surgery of 1687, the embodied experience of tapeworms, and changing nature of fetal imagery during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. She also curates and writes catalogues for exhibitions of contemporary art. 

Edward Bishop (PhD, Queens University) – Professor in the Dept. of English and Film Studies.  Dr Bishop writes and teaches in the areas of Modernist literature, print-culture history, and creative non-fiction. He discovered travel writing with Eric Newby’s Short Walk in the Hindu Kush, tried it himself with “The Hawkman of Kandahar,” and has been hooked ever since. He has authored and edited books on Virginia Woolf, published articles on James Joyce, archives, and motorcycle travel. His Riding with Rilke: Reflections on Motorcycles and Books (Penguin 2005), was a finalist for Governor-General's Award in Nonfiction and received the MAX Award (Motorcycle Awards of Excellence) for best motorcycle book. His latest book, “The Social Life of Ink,” has taken him to Budapest and Buenos Aires in search of the ballpoint pen, to China for traditional ink sticks, and to Uzbekistan where he encountered the world’s oldest Qur’an – the blood-soaked Samarkand Codex.

Dean Spaner (PhD, McGill University) Professor, Plant Breeding, Genetics and Organic Agriculture in the Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences. Dr. Spaner has authored and co-authored numerous articles on agronomy, organic agronomic systems, plant breeding and genetics. His background includes work in tropical and international settings. He presently breeds wheat for conventional and organic systems in Alberta and teaches historical and modern aspects of crop production, and some ethical issues in food production. Dr. Spaner has held numerous research grants, including Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada grants for work on organic agriculture. He was the recipient of a McCalla Research Professorship and has generally stayed out of trouble.

Local Faculty

Roberto Bondi (MA in Foreign Languages, University of Siena) holds a Certificate in “Second level DITALS – Didactics of Italian as Foreign Language” from the University for Foreigners in Siena and can teach advanced Italian language and literature (in addition to English, German and Spanish) and is also certified to test students who want to obtain a Certificate of Italian as a Foreign Language at the University for Foreigners in Siena.

Alessandro Celani (PhD, University of Perugia) Taught art history at Richmond College, Rome; U of A alumni in Cortona; and at the University for Foreigners in Perugia. Author of numerous books and papers on topics in ancient, medieval and renaissance art, including his most publication: "A Certain Natural Pain: Helenistic Sculptures Between Sense and Meaning."

Valentina Raparelli (LLB, University of Rome “La Sapienza”; PhD, University of Naples) has published articles on multicultural society and immigration, and has lectured at the University of Perugia on Italian Constitutional History (“The Italian Political Parties and the Democratic State”, “The Welfare State”, “The Republican Constitution of 1948 and the Resistenza”, “Globalization and Crisis of the National State”, etc.). She is now a researcher at the following institutions: University of Rome “La Sapienza”, University of Perugia and University for Foreigners in Perugia.

John Lawrence Dennis (PhD, University of Texas at Austin) has, for the last 15 years, been doing research on the mechanisms that underlie self-regulation and motivation in general, primarily in the domains of goals, ownership, morality and culture and is currently funded by the EU and the Templeton Foundation. He currently teaches at Catholic University of the Sacred HeartUniversity of Perugia, and The Umbra Institute. In his "spare time" he also runs Melioravit, a scientific communication company that helps researchers and Fortune 500 companies better communicate science and  does psychological consultations utilizing Cognitive Behavior Therapy techniques.


Edmonton-Based Staff

Jessica Leonard and Andrei Tabirca 
Phone: (780) 492-4297 or 1-888-533-5735 (in Canada)
Fax: (780) 492-6325