April 2015

Fellow Shoptalks

Firat Erdim - Peregrine Projections

  • Wednesday, 1 April 2015 - 6:30pm
AAR Lecture Room

Firat Erdim, Founders Rome Prize Fellow in Architecture and Associate Professor in the Undergraduate Program in Architecture at IE University, will give his shoptalk entitled Peregrine Projections.

Fellow Shoptalks

Daniele Giorgi – Political images in Medieval and Early Reinassance Florence

  • Tuesday, 7 April 2015 - 6:30pm
AAR Lecture Room

Daniele Giorgi, AAR/Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa Exchange Fellow in Art History, will give his shoptalk entitled Political images in Medieval and Early Reinassance Florence.


Roman Concrete Engineering in the Sea: A 21st Century Perspective

  • Thursday, 9 April 2015 - 9:30am to 1:00pm
AAR Lecture Room

This conference will highlight the activities and results of the AAR Affiliated Project Roman Maritime Concrete Study (ROMACONS) during the years 2002-2009 along with subsequent laboratory studies recently published in a volume entitled Building for Eternity: The History and Technology of Roman Concrete Engineering in the Sea (Oxbow, 2014). Using a pioneering methodology for collecting concrete cores both on land and in the sea and for their subsequent analysis, ROMACONS amassed and studied samples from 11 archaeological sites in Italy, Greece, Turkey and Israel. The subsequent historical, archaeological and scientific analysis of these data has expanded our understanding of how the Romans constructed harbor installations both at the interface of land and sea as well as underwater and why their concrete structures have long endured. The four papers to be presented are based on new information provided by the ROMACONS project with the hope that they will inform and encourage other scholars to pursue investigations of one of the most amazing achievements of ancient Rome – concrete engineering in the sea. Participants include Marie Jackson, John Oleson, Chris Brandon and Robert Hohlfelder.

All lectures will be given in English.


Marie Jackson – Sea-Water Concrete Fabrics: Volcanic Ash, Cementitious Binder, and Material Characteristics

John P. Oleson – Where Did the Roman Expertise in Maritime Concrete Come from and How did it Spread throughout the Roman Empire?

Chris Brandon – Designs of Roman Concrete Structures in the Sea and on the Shoreline

Robert L. Hohlfelder – Building a Maritime Infrastructure in the Age of Augustus: The Role of Marine Concrete

This project had the generous support of the CTG Italcementi Group, Bergamo.

Thomas Spencer Jerome Lecture Series

Maria Wyke – Ancient Rome in Silent Cinema

  • Monday, 13 April 2015 - 6:00pm
  • Wednesday, 15 April 2015 - 5:30pm
  • Friday, 17 April 2015 - 6:00pm
  • Monday, 20 April 2015 - 6:00pm
AAR Lecture Room and Museo Nazionale Romano di Palazzo Altemps

In recent years, Hollywood has released a number of big-budget films set in antiquity, from Gladiator (2000) to Pompeii (2014).  Yet cinema has been fascinated with the ancient world – and with Roman history in particular – since it emerged as a new technology more than one hundred years ago. The persistent presence of ancient Rome in early cinema compels us to ask: why did so modern a medium have so strong an interest in antiquity right from its start? What did ancient Rome do for cinema? And what did cinema do for ancient Rome?

Maria Wyke, noted scholar of Latin literature, will address these questions and more in the 2015 Jerome Lectures, The Ancient World in Silent Cinema.  In the 43rd year of the Lecture series, this year will include three lectures, with introductions by Alessandro Schiesaro (La Sapienza Università di Roma) and Alessandra Capodiferro (SS-Col, Museo Nazionale Romano di Palazzo Altemps) and, for the first time, a screening of the silent film, The Last Days of Pompeii (1913), with intertitles in English and Italian and live piano accompaniment by Stefano Maccagno.  

The first lecture will set the scene for more detailed discussion of the three national film industries that reconstructed their own versions of ancient Rome on screen from the 1890s through the arrival of sound in the 1920s – France, Italy and the United States. Subjects addressed will include the relationship of early cinema’s Rome with the Rome of other nineteenth-century arts, both high (theatre, opera, dance, painting, the novel) and popular (circus shows, pyrodramas, puppetry and magic acts); the development of cinematic technologies for the reconstruction of Roman history; the use of Rome on film to stimulate a collective national and imperial consciousness; and the cinematic reconstruction of the Roman past to explore – and challenge – modern concerns about religion, politics, ethics, class, gender and sexuality, as well as the new medium itself.

All events are free and open to the public. All lectures will be given in English.


About Maria Wyke, 2015 Jerome Lecturer


Maria Wyke is Professor of Latin at University College London. She has written extensively on Roman love poetry and ancient gender and sexuality, on the reception of Julius Caesar in Western culture (Caesar: A Life in Western Culture, 2007; Caesar in the USA, 2012), and on ancient Rome in cinema (Projecting the Past: Ancient Rome, Cinema and History, 1997; ed., with P. Michelakis, The Ancient World in Silent Cinema, 2013). Most recently she has co-authored with Christopher Pelling a short work that explores why classical literature still has relevance today, Twelve Voices from Greece and Rome: Ancient Ideas for Modern Times (2014).


About the Jerome Lectures

Thomas Spencer Jerome (1864-1914) was an American lawyer and lover of Roman history who lived on Capri from 1899 until his death. In his will he endowed a series of lectures to be jointly administered by the University of Michigan and the American Academy in Rome, and delivered at both institutions. The Jerome Lectures have become one of the most prestigious international lecture series for the presentation of new work on Roman history and culture.  The revised lectures are typically published by the University of Michigan Press.



Monday, 13 April 2015
6pm, AAR Lecture Room
Lecture I
Introduction, Alessandro Schiesaro (La Sapienza Università di Roma)  
France 1890s to 1910s: experimentation and aesthetics



Wednesday, 15 April 2015
5:30pm, Museo Nazionale Romano di Palazzo Altemps
Via di Sant'Apollinare, 8
Lecture II - Film Screening
Introduction, Alessandra Capodiferro (SS-Col, Museo Nazionale Romano di Palazzo Altemps)
a screening of the silent film, The Last Days of Pompeii (1913), with intertitles in English and Italian and live piano accompaniment by Stefano Maccagno.  


Friday, 17 April 2015
6pm, AAR Lecture Room
Lecture III
Italy 1910s: national consciousness


Monday, 20 April 2015
6pm, AAR Lecture Room
Lecture IV
America 1910s to 1920s: morality and subversion

In collaboration with the Soprintendenza Speciale per il Colosseo, il Museo Nazionale Romano e l’Area
archeologica di Roma - Museo Nazionale Romano di Palazzo Altemps.


2015 Spring Gala - New York

  • Wednesday, 15 April 2015 - 6:30pm
Waldorf Astoria
New York City

JOIN US for the American Academy in Rome’s Spring Gala on Wednesday, April 15, 2015, at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.

SALUTE honorees Robert B. Silvers, James Turrell and Carrie Mae Weems, FAAR’06.

A Trustee Emeriti of the American Academy in Rome, Robert B. Silvers has served as editor of The New York Review of Books since 1963. He has edited or co-edited several essay anthologies including Hidden Histories of Science, The New York Review Abroad: Fifty Years of International Reportage, and The Legacy of Isaiah Berlin.

For over forty years James Turrell has created works that explore the effect of light within a created space. The recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including Guggenheim and MacArthur Fellowships, Turrell has had over 160 solo exhibitions worldwide. His work, often large-scale and architectural, engages viewers with the limits and wonder of human perception.

American artist Carrie Mae Weems, FAAR’06, has developed a complex body of art that employs photographs, text, fabric, audio, digital images, installation, and video over the last thirty years. Her work has led her to investigate family relationships, gender roles, and the histories of racism, sexism, class, and various political systems. Weems has exhibited widely at major national and international museums and is a recipient of several awards, including the Rome Prize and a MacArthur Fellowship.

Proceeds of the evening will provide vital support for the Academy’s mission of supporting and advancing the arts and humanities.

Cocktails begin at  6:30 p.m. and dinner at 7:30 p.m.

Black Tie

Seating is limited/ reservations required

Purchase Tickets

Further information on our Experience Packages.

For information please contact Isabel Orbon at 212-751-7200 ext. 348, or write to


2015 Rome Prize Ceremony

  • Thursday, 16 April 2015 - 6:30pm
Morgan Library and Museum
New York City

Each year the Rome Prize is awarded to emerging artists and scholars who represent the highest standard of excellence in the arts and humanities. 

Please join us as we announce the 2015-2016 Rome Prize Winners at the Arthur and Janet C. Ross Rome Prize Ceremony. 

The evening will feature a conversation between Carrie Mae Weems (FAAR'06) and Mark Robbins (FAAR'97). 


This event is free, but reservations are required.


Grear Patterson: Seek and Destroy

  • Tuesday, 21 April 2015 - 6:00pm
Depart Foundation
Los Angeles

This exhibition is curated by Peter Benson Miller, Andrew Heiskell Arts Director at the American Academy in Rome, in collaboration with Depart Foundation.

Location of event:
Depart Foundation
9105 West Sunset Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90069

Fellow Shoptalks

Paula Matthusen – Modern Soundscapes, Ancient Structures: Sonic Pathways Between the Ancient Aqueducts and Contemporary Rome

  • Wednesday, 22 April 2015 - 6:30pm
AAR Lecture Room

Paula Matthusen, Elliott Carter Rome Prize Fellow in Musical Composition and Assistant Professor of Music at Wesleyan University, will give her shoptalk entitled Modern Soundscapes, Ancient Structures: Sonic Pathways Between the Ancient Aqueducts and Contemporary Rome.


Steven Nadler - Why Was Spinoza Excommunicated?

  • Thursday, 23 April 2015 - 6:30pm
AAR Lecture Room

In July, 1656, the 23-year old Bento (Baruch) Spinoza was excommunicated by the Portuguese-Jewish community of Amsterdam. It was by far the harshest writ of herem (ban) ever issued by that community, and it was never rescinded. Pulitzer short-listed historian and American Academy in Rome Scholar in Residence Steven Nadler will consider the historical, religious, intellectual, and political circumstances around this seminal event in the life of the philosopher. Why was Spinoza ostracized with such extreme prejudice, and what can we know about the reasons for his punishment?

The lecture will be given in English.


National Narratives and the Medieval Mediterranean

  • Tuesday, 28 April 2015 - 9:00am to 6:30pm
AAR Lecture Room

“National Narratives and the Medieval Mediterranean” is a research seminar supported by the Getty Foundation as part of its Connecting Art Histories initiative. Held in three meetings over two years at the American Academy in Rome (2014-2015), the seminar program explores the impact of national discourses on the development of medieval art history and archaeology in the Mediterranean littoral.

The 11 participants will present final papers produced during the seminar. They address the role of nationalism in the preservation and presentation of medieval art and architecture in Croatia, Tunisia, Egypt, Spain, Cyprus, Albania, Israel and Italy. The periodization of material culture as “Ancient,” “Medieval”, “Byzantine”, “Ottoman”, and “Modern,” the characterization of religious change as positive or negative, even the visualization of the historical arc as one of progress or decline, will all be discussed.

The presentations will be given in English.

Seminar Website:

Contact: Kim Bowes, or William Tronzo,