Febbraio 2019

Fellow Shoptalks

Shoptalks – Allison Emmerson and Michael Saltarella

  • Lunedì, 4 Febbraio 2019 - 6:00pm
AAR Lecture Room

Allison Emmerson
Pestilence, Paupers, and Puticuli: Reconsidering Rome’s Esquiline Suburb

Nineteenth-century excavations on the Esquiline Hill uncovered something truly shocking: puticuli, mass graves filled with the remains of Republican Rome’s poorest residents, who had been tossed out like garbage to pollute the suburb immediately outside the city walls. In the past century and a half, the idea of mass graves on the Esquiline has become canonical. This talk problematizes and reinterprets the finds, encouraging new understandings of Roman urbanism and infrastructure in the Republican period.

Allison Emmerson is the Emeline Hill Richardson Post-Doctoral Rome Prize Fellow in Ancient Studies and assistant professor in the Department of Classical Studies at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Michael Saltarella
Deviant Landscapes: Irregularity and the Formal Garden

The emotional resonance of gardens such as Bomarzo is uncanny, transcending genre and time, and reaching us on an intuitive level. Sinister monsters loom over the valley seemingly set on the destruction of order, a clear deviation from the rigid formality of the Renaissance garden. Today landscapes are supposed to “function” and “perform,” and there is not much talk of monsters or emotions. This talk will investigate the subtle and not so subtle irregularities in formal gardens throughout Italy, and how these irregularities can contribute to the emotional complexity and overall experience of the landscape.

Michael Saltarella is the Prince Charitable Trusts/Kate Lancaster Brewster Rome Prize Fellow in Landscape Architecture and an associate at Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The shoptalks will be held in English. Watch Allison Emmerson’s shoptalk live at

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

Fellow Shoptalks

Shoptalks – Mark Letteney and Renato Leotta

  • Lunedì, 11 Febbraio 2019 - 6:00pm
AAR Lecture Room and Studio 303

Mark Letteney

How Is Truth? The Christianization of Roman Knowledge

The rise of Christianity in Rome changed what people think. But it also changed how people think. This talk reexamines what it means for Rome to become a “Christian” society by tracing the movement of a peculiarly Christian structure of knowledge into the secular domain during the late fourth century, in the generations after Christians first came to hold significant political power.

Mark Letteney is the Paul Mellon/Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Pre-Doctoral Rome Prize Fellow in Ancient Studies and a PhD candidate in the Department of Religion at Princeton University in Princeton, New Jersey.

Renato Leotta
Infinite poetic space

How can the space dedicated to artistic process be described? In a landscape photograph, the coastline that divides the earth from the sea is imagined as an infinite poetic space. In this place full of temporality the theme of the Garden and of Adventure alternate, a story described in images and experiments.

The Turnin-based artist Renato Leotta is the Fondazione Sviluppo e Crescita CRT Italian Fellow in Visual Arts.

The shoptalks will be held in English. Watch Letteney’s shoptalk live at

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


CAA Annual Conference – Multiple Cosmologies: Celestial Imagery in the Medieval and Early Modern World

  • Giovedì, 14 Febbraio 2019 - 4:00pm
New York Hilton Midtown
New York

CAA Annual Conference
New York Hilton Midtown
2nd Floor, Bryant Suite

“What does it mean to orient oneself in space?” Aby Warburg sought to answer this question through images of the stars, planets, and cosmos. For Warburg, these images were spaces that mediated between individuals and a complex set of relationships, allowing viewers to place themselves psychologically in relation to multiple geographies, temporalities, and genealogies. Images of the cosmos did not reduce complexity, but dialectically negotiated pluralities.

Recent scholarship has enriched our understanding of the sociocultural and intellectual spheres in which medieval and early modern celestial imagery was produced. Yet, it often reduces the complexity of these images. For instance, in the persistent narrative of East/West knowledge “transfer,” images are read as embodiments of abstract ideas, while specific geographical and chronological points are selected to construct a Eurocentric narrative of scientific renaissance. Instead, we must acknowledge the image’s multiplicity: images as material objects, not essential ideas, produced for and by active agents, circulated along networks and part of complex power dynamics. Images of the celestial spheres emerge as dynamic spaces, through which viewers, patrons, and producers negotiated multiple sociocultural landscapes.

Among the topics this panel will consider include: images in motion; negotiating intercultural exchange in political and intellectual spheres; images constructing relations across multiple identities in a single place; images and their texts in translation, as well as the renegotiations that accompany such movement; rethinking narratives of image/knowledge “transfer.” Cosmic imagery offers new insights when considered as part of a complex constellation that is earthly as well as celestial.


Anna Theresa Majeski, American Academy in Rome and Institute of Fine Arts, New York University


Eric Ramírez-Weaver, University of Virginia
A Bohemian Vision of al-Sufi’s Astronomical Tradition: Clusters of Islamic Influence North and South of the Alps

Mari Y. Hara, Cooper Union and Columbia University (2014 Fellow)
Astronomy as Middle Ground: Jesuit Celestial Maps and Cross-Cultural Trust in Late Ming China

Anna Theresa Majeski, American Academy in Rome and Institute of Fine Arts, New York University
From Cethyn to Sicily: The Worlds of Georgius Fendulus’s “Liber astrologicae”


Benjamin Anderson, Cornell University
Multiple Cosmologies: Comparison Beyond Culture

Registration for the CAA Annual Conference is required to attend this session. AAR recommends purchasing a “pay as you wish” day pass. Please visit the CAA website for more information.

This panel is made possible in part by the Fellows Project Fund of the American Academy in Rome.


Cinque Mostre 2019 - Δx Displacement

  • Mercoledì, 20 Febbraio 2019 - da 6:00pm a 9:00pm
McKim, Mead & White Building

CINQUE MOSTRE 2019: Δx Displacement
Mostra annuale di opere d’arte e progetti curatoriali dei Rome Prize e Italian Fellows e di artisti invitati.
Guest curator: Ilaria Gianni
Inaugurazione: 20 febbraio

Ila Bêka e Louise Lemoine, Erin Besler, Carola Bonfili, Joannie Bottkol + Allison Emmerson + Zaneta Hong + Karyn Olivier, Michael Ray Charles, Invernomuto, Sze Tsung Nicolás Leong + Judy Chung*, Renato Leotta, Michelle Lou + Marcel Sanchez Prieto + Adriana Cuéllar, Jessie Marino + Michael Leighton Beaman, Helen O’Leary + Joannie Bottkol, Gabriele Silli, Basil Twist + Kirstin Valdez Quade + Kenneth Ard, Francesco Zorzi

Con il titolo collettivo di Δx Displacement, Cinque Mostre 2019 presenta le opere degli attuali Rome Prize Fellows e Italian Fellows, insieme a quelle di altri artisti invitati, installate in vari punti del McKim, Mead & White Building all’American Academy in Rome, includendo anche una serie di performance che si svolgeranno in occasione della serata inaugurale del 20 febbraio e in un evento collaterale il 7 marzo.

Nota bene: i posti per assistere alla performance di Basil Twist, Kirstin Valdez Quade e Kenneth Ard sono molto limitati. E' possibile prenotarsi all'entrata dell'Accademia la sera dell'inaugurazione. Orari performance: 18.30 - 19.30 - 20.30. La performance dura 10 minuti.

Riunendo i lavori di artisti visivi, architetti, designers, scrittori, archeologi, storici dell’arte e conservatori, in una gamma di linguaggi e dimensioni che si relazionano ai vari significati del termine displacement (dislocamento), Δx si concentra su quelle condizioni che mettono in discussione la poetica dell’ordinario, sovvertendo un senso di appartenenza e disgregando i rapporti convenzionali.

Il titolo della mostra, che riassume i temi esplorati, sotti diversi punti di vista, da tutti i partecipanti, prende spunto dal progetto dei borsisti Michelle Lou (compositrice) e Marcel Sanchez Prieto (architetto), che si chiedono: “Gli spazi/ambienti come rinforzano il nostro senso di appartenenza nel mondo, e l’atto del dislocamento come influenza la percezione di noi stessi?”

Un punto di riferimento è un elemento riconoscibile, fondamento per il nostro senso del luogo, sia in senso materiale che astratto. Per descrivere qualsiasi tipo di moto è necessario indicare una posizione iniziale, una che condividiamo con altri individui, o più intima. Una cornice di riferimento può essere, pertanto, geografica, architettonica, storica, esperienziale o persino emotiva, e uno spostamento da questa posizione iniziale, sia essa fisicamente oggettiva o soggettiva e personale, è definito dislocamento (displacement), non solo dalle teorie politiche, filosofiche o psicologiche, ma anche dalla matematica.

L’equazione Δx = xf ​− x0 (dove Δx indica il dislocamento, xf il valore della posizione finale e x0 il valore della posizione iniziale) è inequivocabile: il dislocamento è la differenza di posizione di due segni ed è indipendente dal percorso seguito quando ci si sposta dall’uno all’altro. In base a questa logica, l’American Academy in Rome è essa stessa una comunità “dislocata”, seppure integrata nel contesto cittadino circostante.

Δx esamina l’ideazione e la rappresentazione della stabilità, riflettendo su stati di permanente sconvolgimento sociale, politico, emotivo. Le opere in mostra, caratterizzate da molteplici dialoghi tra ambiti di ricerca, offrono uno scambio di opinioni dinamico. Ognuna intende rovesciare immagini convenzionali di un ambiente naturale o costruito di ricordi, rappresentazioni storiche, percezioni emotive o fisiche, rendendo indistinti i confini tra realtà e finzione, tra un “oggi” e un “allora”, tra un “qui” e un “là”.

Attraverso l’interazione di diversi media, mutando i modelli tradizionali della produzione di immagini e della costruzione narrativa, Δx riflette il rapporto tra l’uomo e la vita, la storia, la visione, lo spazio e la natura, creando un’esperienza in cui l’impatto di ogni singolo elemento riverbera in tutta la mostra. Nell’insieme, le opere stimolano una discussione vivace sulle idee di dislocamento e decentramento, attingendo dalla partecipazione del pubblico per arricchire ulteriormente la lettura dei due termini, sottolineando come l’atto di dislocamento, ricercato o imposto, abbia un impatto costante su tutti i movimenti fisici, sociali e spirituali che ci circondano.

Inaugurazione: 20 febbraio dalle 18.00 alle 21.00
Orari di apertura: sabato e domenica dalle 16.00 alle 19.00
In mostra fino al 21 marzo 2019
Ingresso libero

La mostra è stata realizzata grazie al sostegno dell'Adele Chatfield-Taylor and John Guare Fund for the Arts. Si ringrazia Cernit e ROSCO, sponsor tecnici del progetto "Macula" di Francesco Zorzi.

* Mary Beard, Carmen Belmonte, Michelle Berenfeld, Liana Brent, Thomas Carpenter, Jim Carter, Lan Samantha Chang, Judy Chung, Alessandra Ciucci, Talia Di Manno, Allison L. C. Emmerson, Louisa Ermelino, Maria Ida Gaeta, Vincent Katz, Karen Kevorkian, Eric J. Kondratieff, Lynne C. Lancaster, Mark Letteney, Anna Majeski, Francesca Marciano, Peter Benson Miller, Victoria Moses, John Ochsendorf, Austin Powell, Kirstin Valdez Quade, John F. Romano, Bennett Sims, Sean Tandy, Virginia Virilli, Lauren K. Watel, William N. West

I visitatori dell’American Academy in Rome sono pregati di mostrare un documento d’identità all’ingresso. Non è possibile accedere con bagagli o zaini di dimensioni superiori a cm 40 x 35 x 15. Non sono disponibili armadietti né guardaroba.

Fellow Shoptalks

Shoptalks – Amy Franceschini and Austin Powell

  • Lunedì, 25 Febbraio 2019 - 6:00pm
AAR Lecture Room

​Amy Franceschini
Situational Intelligence

Amy Franceschini will introduce her work within the international artist group Futurefarmers. She will focus on an unconventional public artwork initiated in Abruzzo in 2010, which continues and grows today. Situated in the rural setting of a small village below the Gran Sasso in Abruzzo, Futurefarmers has been working with a community of ancient grain farmers as a lens into the ever-closing of the commons—biological, knowledge, land, and the electromagnetic spectrum.

The San Francisco–based artist Amy Franceschini is the Mark Hampton Rome Prize Fellow in Design.

Austin Powell
Cultivating Communities of Reform: Reading Letters in Fifteenth-Century Italy

The Observant movement was a religious reform that swept Italy and much of Western Europe in the late fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. In this presentation, Austin Powell will explore some ways in which reform was cultivated in fifteenth-century religious communities. He will propose that certain patterns of reading and thought can be identified by examining the marginal notations in manuscripts of devotional literature.

Austin Powell is the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Pre-Doctoral Rome Prize Fellow in Medieval Studies and a PhD candidate in the Department of History at the Catholic University of America.

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