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Guido Pugliese was born on 1 October 1940 in Malito, Consenza, Italy and in 1954 immigrated with his family to Toronto, Canada. He studied at the University of Toronto, graduating with a BA in English, French & Italian in 1965; an MA in Italian & French in 1966; and a PhD in Italian Language & Literature in 1974. Pugliese began his academic career at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario in 1968, where he established the Italian section of the Department of Romance Studies.
While on sabbatical in 1975, Pugliese was called to join the Department of Italian Studies at Erindale College (now University of Toronto Mississauga or UTM) to design academic programs in response to an increase in Italian immigration to Mississauga. He remained at UTM until his retirement in 2011, serving as Discipline Representative for Italian (1975-1986) and Associate Chairman of Italian (1986-1988), and was responsible for teaching Italian literature, film, theatre and language. His areas of expertise were Dante, Boccaccio, Conti, Goldoni, Leopardi, Manzoni, Verga and questions relating to pedagogy, especially the use of theatre as a vehicle for teaching and learning language. For almost two decades, Pugliese directed or co-directed 23 Italian comedies performed by UTM students under the group name of Maschere Duemondi, including two scripts written by Pugliese himself. Throughout his career and together with his wife Prof. Olga Pugliese, he established, contributed to, and raised funds for a number of scholarships to support students studying Italian at the University of Toronto.
Pugliese was also active in local community and professional associations, including serving in executive roles for The Dante Society of Toronto and the Canadian Society for Italian Studies. Guido Pugliese died in Toronto on 12 January 2016.