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Institutional Chairs

The Robarts Centre supports various research chairs held by its Faculty Associates in order to heighten the visibility of the important work they do, and to find ways to connect this scholarship with the interests of the Robarts community.

The Avie Bennett Historica Canada Chair in Canadian History

The Avie Bennett Historica Chair in Canadian History was established at York University in 2004 by the Historica Foundation of Canada, endowed by York Chancellor Emeritus Avie Bennett. Its purpose is to promote the study of Canada’s heritage and ensure the academic vitality of the discipline.

Chair Holder: Marcel Martel,


Mariano A. Elia Chair in Italian-Canadian Studies

This Chair was established in 1984 with an endowment from the Mariano Anthony Elia Charitable Foundation and matching funds from the Department of the Secretary of State of Canada. It was created to promote knowledge of the Italian-Canadian experience and its contribution to the development of Canada through teaching, research and publication, public forums, conferences, and community outreach.  

Chair Holder: Abril Liberatori, Assistant Professor, Department of History  


York Research Chair in Linguistic Diversity and Community Vitality 

This Chair investigates the recognition and language rights of non-official language communities in Canada within the context of multiculturalism, white settler colonialism and language policy.

Chair Holder: Eve Haque, Professor, Department of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics


York University Hellenic Heritage Foundation Chair of Modern Greek History

The Hellenic Heritage Foundation is a charitable, non-profit organization established in Toronto in 1996, to raise funds dedicated to the preservation, promotion, advancement and integration of Hellenic education, culture and heritage in Canadian society. This Chair is part of the Hellenic Heritage Foundation’s efforts to encourage and provide higher education in Hellenic Studies. 

Chair Holder: Athanasios (Sakis) Gekas, Associate Professor, Department of History   


York Research Chair in Populism, Rights and Legality

This Chair examines the relationship between emerging right-wing populism and the changing landscape of rights and legality in Canada. It includes launching of an Observatory of Populism in Canada to connect researchers with policymakers and advocacy groups concerned with understanding the causes, manifestations, and implications of right-wing populism in Canada and beyond.

Chair Holder: Emily Laxer, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology (Glendon)

Read about it in YFile: 

York Research Chair in Policy Analysis for Democracy

This Chair will lead an ambitious program of knowledge creation and exchange to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on education privatization in Canada. It includes comparing policy change, enactment, and effects during and after the pandemic across multiple scales, and the creation of new knowledge about how privatization impacts socially-disadvantaged groups, teachers’ work, and democracy.

Chair Holder: Sue Winton, Professor, Faculty of Education