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Vico Lecture

The wide-ranging ideas of Italian philosopher Giambattista Vico (1668-1744) on history, culture and myth have had a profound influence on the humanities and social sciences.

In 2000, Canadian Senator Jerry Grafstein donated to York two rare, Italian volumes of Vico’s works that were originally published in 1746. Senator Grafstein garnered the support of Elvio DelZotto (LLB Osgoode and senior partner of DelZotto, Zorzi) who rallied Italian-Canadian business leaders to fund an annual lecture at York in memory of his law partner Fred Zorzi. This lecture series remains an important link between York University and the community, and particularly the Italian-Canadian community.

2019 Vico Lecture

Amore in the City: A purpose driven approach to public life

November 7, 2019

Last year's keynote address by Mayor of Vaughan, Maurizio Bevilacqua discussed his commitment to public service and the role of political leaders in shaping society. Over his 30-year career in politics, Bevilacqua has occupied several prominent positions at the federal level and municipal level, which gives him a unique perspective on public life, and political philosophy in action.

Past Events

Matters of the Heart: Is there hope?

September 25, 2017

York University welcomed internationally renowned cardiac surgeon, Dr. Robert James “RJ” Cusimano, for his special lecture on life, death, faith and the wonders of the living, beating human heart. Dr. Cusimano’s engaging talk looks the importance of hope and compassion while engaging patients and their families. The full lecture can be viewed on YouTube.

Click here to read more about the event.

Democratic Deficit: Universities and the Future of Democracy

February 15, 2011

Universities can play a critical role in confronting the democratic deficit pervading politics at every level, York’s George Fallis argued in the 2011 Giambattista Vico Lecture.

During his presentation, he argues that the problem must be confronted not just by political parties and parliaments but by universities. Universities are not just institutions of teaching and books, not just institutions of the economy, but institutions of democracy.

Marketization, Social Protection, Emancipation: Toward a Neo-Polanyian Conception of Capitalist Crisis