Events

Calendar

March 2018

Fellow Shoptalks

Jessica Gabriel Peritz - Domesticating the Tenth Muse: Sublime Suffering, the Good Mother, and Luigia Todi's Voice

  • Thursday, 1 March 2018 - 6:30pm
AAR Lecture Room
Rome
Antoine-Jean Gros, “Sappho at Leucate,” 1801, oil on canvas, 122 x 100 cm. Musée d’art et d’histoire Baron-Gérard, Bayeux, France (artwork in the public domain)

This talk interprets the unusual reception of opera singer Luigia Todi through the lens of shifting discourses around female voices, bodies, and subjectivities in late eighteenth-century Italy. By reading Todi’s singing against contemporary representations of female genius and debates about women’s “social utility,” it argues that vocal sounds, and the knowledge they seemed to reveal about a (gendered) self, were mediated through the twin fantasies of female suffering and maternal voice. The presentation opens up one piece of the broader narrative traced through Peritz’s dissertation project, which is entitled “The Lyric Mode of Voice: Song and Subjectivity in Italy, 1769–1815.”

Jessica Gabriel Peritz is the Marian and Andrew Heiskell Pre-Doctoral Rome Prize Fellow in Modern Italian Studies at the American Academy in Rome and a PhD candidate in Music History at the University of Chicago.

The event will be held in English. You can watch it livestreamed at https://livestream.com/aarome.

Please note: valid photo ID is required for entry into the American Academy in Rome. Backpacks and luggage with dimensions larger than cm 40 x 35 x 15 (inches 16 x 14 x 6) are not permitted on the property. There are no locker facilities available.

Fellow Shoptalks

Anna Majeski - Cosmos and Community at the Palazzo della Ragione in Padua

  • Monday, 5 March 2018 - 6:30pm
AAR Lecture Room
Rome

The fresco cycle at the Palazzo della Ragione reveals the personalities, occupations, and actions of the citizens of Padua not as the products of chance, but as particular instantiations of the influence of celestial bodies. The cycle is the most encyclopedic visualization of astrological knowledge produced in late medieval Italy, yet despite its extraordinary richness, the frescoes remains marginal within the field of late medieval Italian painting. Indeed, the cycle poses serious methodological difficulties: originally painted by Giotto di Bondone between ca. 1309 and 1312, the cycle was repainted and expanded after a fire in 1420. In this talk, Anna Majeski argues that we should consider the relationship between the two versions of the cycle within a larger history of astrological imagery and their evolving political and social function. In addition, she positions the frescoes in relation to a new form of astrological imagery that uses astrology as a framework for ordering the social body.

Anna Majeski is the Donald and Maria Cox/Samuel H. Kress Foundation Pre-Doctoral Rome Prize Fellow in Medieval Studies (year one of a two-year fellowship) at the American Academy in Rome and PhD candidate at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University.

The event will be held in English.

Please note: valid photo ID is required for entry into the American Academy in Rome. Backpacks and luggage with dimensions larger than cm 40 x 35 x 15 (inches 16 x 14 x 6) are not permitted on the property. There are no locker facilities available.

Conversations/Conversazioni

Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim and Nico Muhly - Contrapuntalism

  • Tuesday, 6 March 2018 - 6:00pm
AAR Lecture Room
Rome
Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears in Bali

This event is part of the series New Work in the Arts & Humanities: East and West.

Ever since Edward Saïd, scholars have alerted listeners to the ways in which composers of Western classical music have dipped into other traditions in order to dress up a musical Other with which to converse and compete. This can range from the use of formulaic exotic signifiers to direct quotation, but also includes the more diffuse assimilation of styles, ideas, and genres.

With every successive generation of composers untangling the counterpoint of musical signifiers, our readings of them become more complex: how do we hear, for instance, a twenty-first-century work alluding to Benjamin Britten’s infatuation with Balinese music? And how do composers today negotiate concerns regarding cultural appropriation?

Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim is the Critic in Residence at the American Academy in Rome and music critic for the New York Times. Nico Muhly is the Paul Fromm Composer in Residence at the American Academy in Rome.

The event will be held in English. You can watch this event livestreamed at https://livestream.com/aarome.

Conversations/Conversazioni series is sponsored by the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation.

Please note: valid photo ID is required for entry into the American Academy in Rome. Backpacks and luggage with dimensions larger than cm 40 x 35 x 15 (inches 16 x 14 x 6) are not permitted on the property. There are no locker facilities available.

Conference

Trans Bodies: Race, Gender, Myth, and Performance

  • Thursday, 8 March 2018 - 3:00pm to 6:00pm
AAR Lecture Room
Rome
Allen Frame, “Swimmer, Mississippi,” 1997 (photograph © Allen Frame and provided by Gitterman Gallery)

As part of the exhibition Cinque Mostre 2018 – The Tesseract, the American Academy in Rome is pleased to announce a day of encounters between artists, critics, and scholars dedicated to the history, mythology, and contemporary significance of transsexuality in western painting, sculpture, film and performance. Inspired by the work of current fellows and important figures in Italian art from the Cinquecento until the present, this series of presentations and screenings will explore how evolving representations of transfigured, transgender, or nonbinary bodies have created discursive links between bodily hybridity, creativity, and power.

Speakers: Leslie Cozzi, Jessica Gabriel Peritz, and Alessandro Bava. The presentations will be conducted in English.

Screening: A. L Steiner and A. K. Burns, Community Action Center, 2010.

Exhibition: Cinque Mostre 2018 – The Tesseract will be open on 8 March from 4pm to 8pm.

Please see full program in attachment.

The project is made possible by the Adele Chatfield-Taylor and John Guare Fund for the Arts and the Fellows’ Project Fund of the American Academy in Rome.

Please note: valid photo ID is required for entry into the American Academy in Rome. Backpacks and luggage with dimensions larger than cm 40 x 35 x 15 (inches 16 x 14 x 6) are not permitted on the property. There are no locker facilities available.

Fellow Shoptalks

Kevin E. Moch

  • Monday, 12 March 2018 - 6:30pm
AAR Lecture Room
Rome
Vincent van Gogh, detail of “Cypresses and Two Women,” 1890, oil on canvas, 43.5 x 27.2 cm (artwork in the public domain)

In 2 BCE, the emperor Augustus was granted the title pater patriae, “father of his country,” by the Roman Senate. That this was an honor that the Senate had awarded only four times in Rome’s seven-hundred-year history, always to men who had saved the Roman state or the city itself from destruction, makes it clear that the patria (“fatherland”) referenced in the title was Rome as the common legal and political state shared by its citizens. This would seem as clear in Augustus’s own commemoration of the event in his Res Gestae, where the final section of autobiographical inscription remembers that “the Senate, the equestrian order, and the people of Rome universally named me pater patriae.”

As straightforward as this would seem, in reality the referentiality of the term patria in the first-century BCE was a much more complex issue than such a memorializing inscription would suggest. This is most clear in first-century authors such as Cicero, Propertius, and Vergil, whose writings show a tendency to align the term patria not with the idea of Rome as shared state but with an individual’s place of origin. That these authors would have a developed cognizance of the peculiar interaction between local affiliation and Roman state identity is quite understandable, considering that each man originated from a different Italian locality with a different history of rights and conflict with the Roman state. Moreover, the potential separability of these two aspects of identity is confirmed by Cicero’s explicit claim that all Romans originating from Italian municipalities had two fatherlands, two patriae: the one, their “true fatherland,” and their place of origin, with the other, the “common fatherland,” equal to the Roman state they held in common with other Romans as citizens.

In this context, this paper sets out to study the specific alignments of perspective attached to various instances of the term patria in the work of the poet Vergil. Using methods inspired by linguistic anthropology and psychological studies of biculturalism, this paper proceeds through a semantic study of the indexicality of the work patria in Vergil’s three surviving works: the EcloguesGeorgics, and Aeneid. In the course of analysis, it emerges that Vergil’s tendency is to use patria to refer not to larger political entities that are the sum of heterogeneous populations, but instead in its local sense to reference the specific region an individual originates from. Against this tendency, the few cases in which patria is used in Vergil’s poetry to refer to Italy or Rome as collective or adoptive “fatherland” become textually significant moments—moments which reveal not only the loss and violence that precipitate broader Italian unity in the poems, but also the more subtle political motivations behind Augustus’s promotion of the idea of a unified Italy and its coextensiveness with Rome.

Kevin Moch is the Arthur Ross Pre-Doctoral Rome Prize Fellow in Ancient Studies at the American Academy in Rome and a PhD candidate in the Department of Classics at the University of California, Berkeley.

The event will be held in English.

Please note: valid photo ID is required for entry into the American Academy in Rome. Backpacks and luggage with dimensions larger than cm 40 x 35 x 15 (inches 16 x 14 x 6) are not permitted on the property. There are no locker facilities available.

Fellow Shoptalks

Beverly McIver - Moving from Behind the Mask: Owning Who You Are

  • Wednesday, 14 March 2018 - 6:30pm
AAR Lecture Room
Rome
Detail of a painting from Beverly McIver’s “Doll Series”

We all wear a mask; some wear multiple disguises. Beverly McIver’s talk will discuss the impact of place and time and its shaping of one’s true self-discovery.

Beverly McIver is the Joseph H. Hazen Rome Prize Fellow in Visual Arts at the American Academy in Rome and Esbenshade Professor of the Practice of Art, Art History, and Visual Studies at Duke University.

The event will be held in English. You can watch it livestreamed at https://livestream.com/aarome.

Please note: valid photo ID is required for entry into the American Academy in Rome. Backpacks and luggage with dimensions larger than cm 40 x 35 x 15 (inches 16 x 14 x 6) are not permitted on the property. There are no locker facilities available.

Performance

“Gossip, Scandal and Good Manners” Revisited

  • Thursday, 15 March 2018 - 6:30pm
AAR Cryptoporticus
'Gossip, Scandal and Good Manners' Revisited, installation detail by Tricia Tracy and Johanna Londell. Photography by Altrospazio.

A performative gathering organized by Arnisa Zeqo, as part of the exhibition Cinque Mostre 2018 – The Tesseract.

Gossip as a form of communication and political action is the attitude, rather than simply the topic, of this event. This talk show takes place within the display of the work of Mexican artist Ulises Carrion (1949–1989), Gossip, Scandal and Good Manners (1981), an installation included in the ongoing exhibition Cinque Mostre – The Tesseract, curated by Ilaria Gianni. (The installation was created in collaboration with Suzanne Farrin, Ashley Fure, Tiziana del Grosso, T. Geronimo Johnson, Johanna Lobdell, Tricia Tracey, and Joseph Williams.)

For Carrion’s “conceptual performance,” which took place between March and June 1981, a small group of people in the city of Amsterdam spread several semi-fictional rumors about Carrion’s work and life. Almost three decades later, gossip is brought back to life in the infra-mince space of private conversations among friends and colleagues at the American Academy in Rome. Is gossip a form of art, music, and literature? Can gossip become a performative tool for artistic reproduction and narrative? Stolen kisses, night walks, or small glances while waiting for the bus open up towards a broader artistic weaving of the world. Through the various interventions presented at this event, gossip emerges as an undulating reference at the intersection between literature, performance, conceptual art, and life.

Arnisa Zeqo was the Mondriaan Fonds/Dutch Affiliated Fellow at the American Academy in Rome in fall 2017. The event will be held in English. You can watch this event livestreamed at https://livestream.com/aarome

Program:

An introduction by Arnisa Zeqo
A presentation by Joseph Williams and Tiziana del Grosso on a gossip campaign within AAR
A reading on gossip in antiquity suggested by Kevin Moch
A sound pause by Susanne Farrin
A poetry reading by Uljana Wolf
A screening by WU Tsang
A performative movement by Ashley Fure, Aroussiak Gabrielian, and Alison Hirsch

The project is made possible by the Adele Chatfield-Taylor and John Guare Fund for the Arts.

The exhibition Cinque Mostre 2018 – The Tesseract is open on March 15 from 5:00 to 8:00pm.

Please note: valid photo ID is required for entry into the American Academy in Rome. Backpacks and luggage with dimensions larger than cm 40 x 35 x 15 (inches 16 x 14 x 6) are not permitted on the property. There are no locker facilities available.

Fellow Shoptalks

Liz Ševčenko - Historic Preservation for a Post-Truth Era: Accepting Denial

  • Monday, 19 March 2018 - 6:30pm
AAR Lecture Room
Rome
Camp X-Ray, Guantánamo Bay Detention Center, 2007 (photograph by Michael J. Strauss)

We’re nearly two decades into what political commentators call the “post-truth era.” Distinct from political traditions of lying or propaganda, the term describes a culture in which truth is entirely beside the point. The post-truth era poses new challenges to public historians and historic preservationists. With little public faith in facts—especially those that challenge existing beliefs—historic fabric no longer provides forensic evidence of what happened in a place. This has particular implications for how people understand places of past violence, trauma, or struggle, places that invite collective reckoning with contested histories and establish the moral foundation from which to address their contemporary legacies.

This talk will explore “sites of conscience” around the world, from apartheid-era prisons in South Africa to memorials to the disappeared in Argentina. It will also share examples of collective, movement-based, dialogue-driven memory projects in the United States, including the Guantanamo Public Memory Project and a national memory project on mass incarceration. Using these as starting points, Liz Ševčenko hopes to get ideas from colleagues about the questions she is grappling with during her fellowship: How does public memory shape public policy? What are the new opportunities and obligations of preservationists in a post-truth era?

Liz Ševčenko is the Booth Family Rome Prize Fellow in Historic Preservation and Conservation and director of the Humanities Action Lab , a coalition hosted by the New School in New York and Rutgers University in Newark.

The event will be held in English. You can watch it livestreamed at https://livestream.com/aarome.

Please note: valid photo ID is required for entry into the American Academy in Rome. Backpacks and luggage with dimensions larger than cm 40 x 35 x 15 (inches 16 x 14 x 6) are not permitted on the property. There are no locker facilities available.

Fellow Shoptalks

Suzanne Farrin - Finding Music in the Visual City

  • Wednesday, 21 March 2018 - 6:30pm
AAR Salone

With seemingly endless opportunities to learn human history through painting, sculpture and architecture, Rome is a city for the eyes. What does it mean to be a composer immersed in this profoundly visual experience? What are the territories that open as a result of translating art into the language of music? Suzanne Farrin will discuss how Michelangelo’s subtractive process shaped her approach to composing while writing an opera on his texts, and how this sculptural mindset may have further led her uncovering sounds in the piano.

Suzanne Farrin is the Frederic A. Juilliard/Walter Damrosch Rome Prize Fellow in Musical Composition at the American Academy in Rome and the Frayda B. Lindemann Professor of Music at Hunter College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York.

The event will be held in English.

Please note: valid photo ID is required for entry into the American Academy in Rome. Backpacks and luggage with dimensions larger than cm 40 x 35 x 15 (inches 16 x 14 x 6) are not permitted on the property. There are no locker facilities available.

Patricia H. Labalme Friends of the Library Lecture

Mary Roberts - East of West: Edward Said, Melancholy Time, and the Orientalist Interior

  • Thursday, 22 March 2018 - 6:00pm
Villa Aurelia
Rome
George Aitchison, west elevation of the Arab Hall, Leighton House, ca. 1877. Drawings and Archives Collection, RIBA Library (artwork in the public domain)

This event is part of the series New Work in the Arts & Humanities: East and West.

Horological inventions such as the marine chronometer (the technological breakthrough enabling accurate global navigation), and the transplantation of metropolitan time marking practices to colonial outposts were a fulcrum of the empire building of European nation states in the nineteenth century. Western progress and its counterpoint, the non-west as a repository of premodernity, were part of the telos of modern colonialism and orientalism. As Edward Said put it in the opening paragraph to his seminal book Orientalism, the Orient of European invention is defeated by time: “its time was over.”

The recent global turn in our discipline resituates European orientalism within a broader, more politically contested cultural geography. It’s a move east of west. How is the temporal logic of modernity differentially articulated across this expanded cultural geography of the visual? Analysing the interiors of two nineteenth-century British orientalist artist-collectors in the imperial capitals of Istanbul and London, and the Islamic and European art displayed there, discloses their entanglements within British, Ottoman, and Sicilian orientalism. In doing so, this lecture reveals the ways the aesthetics of these spaces were inflected by the heterochronicity of Ottoman and European modernity. Focusing on the temporal logic of these sites enables us to elaborate the transcultural and transhistorical complexities of art’s time.

Mary Roberts is John Schaeffer Professor of Art History at the University of Sydney in Australia. She is the author of Istanbul Exchanges: Ottomans, Orientalists, and Nineteenth-Century Visual Culture (Oakland: University of California Press, 2015), which maps patterns of transcultural exchange between Europe and the Ottoman Empire in the nineteenth century. Istanbul Exchanges won the 2016 Art Association of Australia and New Zealand prize for best book and was translated into Turkish that same year. Roberts also wrote Intimate Outsiders: The Harem in Ottoman and Orientalist Art and Travel Literature (Durham: Duke University Press, 2007). Her current book project, Artists as Collectors of Islamic Art, extends her inquiry into the temporality of modernity forged through visual exchange across cultures.

The event will be held in English. You can watch this event livestreamed at https://livestream.com/aarome.

Mary Roberts’s lecture, along with the exhibition Yto Barrada, The Dye Garden, opening on May 10, and the international symposium, Islamic Art and Architecture in Italy: Between Tradition and Innovation on May 17-18, are the culminating events of the East and West thematic program at the AAR for 2017-18.

Please note: valid photo ID is required for entry into the American Academy in Rome. Backpacks and luggage with dimensions larger than cm 40 x 35 x 15 (inches 16 x 14 x 6) are not permitted on the property. There are no locker facilities available.

Fellow Shoptalks

Diana Garvin - The Bean in the Machine

  • Monday, 26 March 2018 - 6:30pm
AAR Lecture Room
Rome
Sugar packet reading “Discorso del Duce al Teatro Lirico Milano 1944”

Italian coffee culture grew up with Fascism: new commercial trade routes linked East African farmers to Northern Italian vendors, establishing transnational commercial imbalances writ in beans and machines. To demonstrate how dictatorial politics transformed caffè culture, this talk will use colonial commodities (coffee beans) to examine how artistic aesthetics (Futurism and Primitivism) shaped industrial design (espresso machines and ceramic cups). At stake in this research is a larger question: How do you study far-right politics without reifying their discriminatory power structures? In other words, how do you research something ugly?

Diana Garvin is the Paul Mellon/Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Post-Doctoral Rome Prize Fellow in Modern Italian Studies and assistant professor in the Department of Romance Languages at the University of Oregon.

The event will be held in English.

Please note: valid photo ID is required for entry into the American Academy in Rome. Backpacks and luggage with dimensions larger than cm 40 x 35 x 15 (inches 16 x 14 x 6) are not permitted on the property. There are no locker facilities available.

Fellow Shoptalks

Ishion Hutchinson - The Mariner's Progress: A Listening

  • Tuesday, 27 March 2018 - 6:30pm
AAR Lecture Room
Rome

A self-reflexive listening to the sea, this talk is a lyric view and an elegy to progress in the Caribbean where one is perpetually placed in relation to outside imperial powers. These powers are not only economical, but also narrative—the power of voice which chronicles the islands’ history as they are been bought and sold.

Ishion Hutchinson is the recipient of the Joseph Brodsky Rome Prize in Literature (a gift of the Drue Heinz Trust) and professor in the Department of English at Cornell University.

The event will be held in English.

Please note: valid photo ID is required for entry into the American Academy in Rome. Backpacks and luggage with dimensions larger than cm 40 x 35 x 15 (inches 16 x 14 x 6) are not permitted on the property. There are no locker facilities available.