Celebrating our Associate Members

The School of Religious Studies is celebrating the renewal of Professor George di Giovanni's appointment and the new appointment of Professor Robert Wisnovsky as Associate Members. We look forward to outrange of extant and new collaborations with our Associate Members across the next several years.

Professor George Di Giovanni

George di Giovanni did his classical studies in Rome, at the Ginnasio Torquato Tasso (http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liceo_Torquato_Tasso ), and his university studies in Toronto and occasionally in Germany. He received his PhD from the University of Toronto with a thesis on Hegel’s concept of contingency, under the direction of Emil Fackenheim. His areas of interest include the history of nineteenth-century philosophy and the philosophy of religion; however, his research has concentrated on the late German Enlightenment and the early German Romantic period. Kant’s critical philosophy, and especially its aftermath in Fichte, Schelling and Hegel, have been the focus of his attention, but he has also done extensive work on such until recently neglected figures as Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi, Solomon Maimon, and Karl Leonhard Reinhold, contributing to the dissemination of their works with English translations. His 2005 book, subtitled The Vocation of Humankind(Cambridge UP), traces the development of the theme of “the vocation of humankind” from the theologian J. J. Spalding’s 1748 essay of that title to Fichte’s 1800 tract of the same name. He is now working on a book that traces this theme up to 1832, with special attention to the early Romantics and Hegel. His most recent publication (2010) is a translation into English of Hegel’s “Greater Logic,” with an introductory study and critical notes.

Professor di Giovanni is a co-supervisor of several doctoral students in Philosophy of Religion, including Marco Dozzi, Hadi Fakhoury, Paolo Livieri, and Matthew Nini. He will be hosting a SSHRC-funded conference on the philosophy and philosophy of religion of F.H. Jacobi with Alex Hampton of the University of Toronto and Paolo Livieri in Fall 2019.

Professor Robert Wisnovsky

Robert Wisnovksy received his BA (1986) in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from Yale, and his MA (1990) and PhD (1994) in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton, where his supervisor was Prof. Hossein Modarressi. He then took up a Postdoctoral Research Assistantship (1994-1996) in Prof. Richard Sorabji’s Ancient Commentators on Aristotle project, in the Philosophy Department of King’s College London. Professor Wisnovsky's first teaching job was in the Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations Department at Harvard, where he was an Assistant Professor (1996-2002) and then Associate Professor (2002-2004) of Islamic Intellectual History. In 2004, he came to the Institute of Islamic Studies at McGill, where he is currently a James McGill Professor of Islamic Philosophy. He also served two terms as Director of the Institute, 2005-2008 and 2016-2018.

Professor Wisnovsky is co-directing with Professor Armando Salvatore two projects: the first project concerns the 14th century Muslim polymath, proto-sociologist and civilizational theorist Ibn Khaldun; the second project explores the theoretical and methodological implications of the legacy of Toshihiko Izutsu, a linguist and scholar of Islamic and comparative philosophy of religion who also taught at McGill in the 1960s and 1970s. 

The School looks forward to continuing collaborating with both Professors as Associate Members.