In June 2023, the Canadian Catholic Historical Association (CCHA) presented Luca Codignola, the Cushwa Center’s senior fellow in Rome, with the G. E. Clerk Award. Named in honor of George Edward Clerk (1815–1875), a Montreal Catholic and editor of the city’s True Witness and Catholic Chronicle, the prize honors outstanding historians who have followed Clerk in using the written word to illuminate Canadian Catholic history. The CCHA especially commended Codignola’s regular contributions to its annual conferences and his critical role in the opening of the Vatican and Propaganda Fide archives to transnational researchers. Since the award’s inception in 1973, the organization has honored fewer than 20 prizewinners for their exceptional achievements in Catholic studies, publishing, teaching, archival work, or administration.
A historian of the early modern era, Codignola is former professor of Early North American History at Università di Genova (Italy), where he served on the faculty for 25 years. His career also includes four years as head of the Istituto di Storia dell'Europa Mediterranea, a unit of Italy’s National Research Council, and recent affiliations with the University of Toronto, Université de Montréal, and Saint Mary’s University (Halifax), where he currently is adjunct professor. The author of 10 books and editor of more than a dozen other volumes, Codignola most recently published Little Do We Know: History and Historians of the North Atlantic, 1492–2010 (CNR-ISEM, 2011) and Blurred Nationalities across the North Atlantic: Traders, Priests, and Their Kin Travelling between North America and the Italian Peninsula, 1763–1846 (University of Toronto Press, 2019).
Since joining the Cushwa Center as a senior fellow in 2016, Codignola has mentored postdoctoral fellows and advised visiting researchers in Rome, chaired the center’s Rome Advisory Committee, moderated a variety of events in Rome and online, and provided editorial contributions to the American Catholic Studies Newsletter. The Cushwa Center thanks Professor Codignola for his continued service and joins the CCHA in celebrating his storied career.