Algoma University is pleased to announce that English faculty member Dr. Michael DiSanto has been awarded a prestigious Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Insight Grant, valued at $157,379.
SSHRC Insight Grants help support research excellence in the social sciences and humanities, and funding is made available to both emerging and established scholars for long-term research initiatives of three to five years. These grants help build knowledge and understanding; support new approaches to research on complex and important topics; provide high-quality research training experience for students; fund research expertise; and mobilize research knowledge with the potential to lead to intellectual, cultural, social, and economic influence, benefit, and impact.
DiSanto’s Insight Grant will be used to help continue his research efforts on George Whalley (1915-83), an eminent and accomplished Canadian scholar, poet, naval officer, secret intelligence agent, CBC script-writer and broadcaster, musician, biographer, and translator. The $157,379 will be allotted over five years and will provide funding for three research students annually, and to help make readily available Whalley’s profound life while filling in a gap in the literary, cultural, and military history of 20th century Canada. DiSanto aims to elevate Whalley’s reputation both nationally and internationally, ensuring that his works are widely recognized. DiSanto has already made public some of Whalley’s works through his website www.georgewhalley.ca.
“This long-term study of the life and writings of George Whalley, whose manifold activities reveal a person of extraordinary ability and intelligence, and whose distinct and original writings reveal language as the instrument of our selfhood and literature as the embodiment of our humanity, will advance our knowledge of the history of criticism, the process of writing poems that reflect on war, and the lives of veterans who returned from World War II. My work with Robin Isard on digital humanities technologies may inspire others to pursue similar projects on important but neglected Canadian writers. Most importantly, through new collections of his poems and essays, and the perennially best-selling genre of biography, I will bring renewed attention to Whalley’s extraordinary life and accomplishments,” said DiSanto.
DiSanto’s work has been aided by Robin Isard, Algoma University’s Systems Librarian in the Wishart Library. A collaborator in the project, Isard is currently building a digital interface to display scans of poetry manuscripts and typescripts as well as letters. Isard is responsible for all of the technical aspects of this project.
DiSanto’s work on Whalley is pursued in collaboration with Editing Modernism in Canada (EMiC).