Dr. Jessica Leonora Whitehead holds a PhD from York University. Her dissertation, Cinema-Going on the Margins: The Mascioli Film Circuit of Northeastern Ontario was funded by a SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship, and explored the regional movie theatre chain built by Italian labour agent Leo Mascioli, who was sent to an internment camp during the Second World War. This work was nominated for both York University’s Dissertation Award and the Barbara Godard Dissertation Award.
Jessica currently works on the history of Italian-Canadian film exhibition and distribution in post war Toronto and was awarded the Arts and Science Postdoctoral Fellowship at the University of Toronto for her project. Her research is also supported by the Italian American Studies Association Memorial Fellowship, which she was awarded in 2018.
She has published articles in the journals Transformative Works and Cultures, Italian Canadiana, the Canadian Journal of Film Studies and chapters in the books Cinema Outside the City: Rural Cinema-going from a Global Perspective and Mapping Movie Magazines. In addition, she is the co-editor of an upcoming collection in the journal Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis/Journal for Media History. Her research has also been featured on the CBC’s radio show Up North and in the Timmins Daily Press.