Allison Emmerson Appointed Interim Mellon Humanities Professor

Color photograph of the head and torso of a light skinned woman wearing a gray blazer; she stands with her arms crossed and smiles slightly at the camera

The American Academy in Rome has selected Dr. Allison L. C. Emmerson (2019 Fellow) as Interim Andrew W. Mellon Humanities Professor, starting in January 2024. The appointment was announced by AAR President Peter N. Miller. Emmerson will succeed Marla Stone, who has served in this role since August 2021.

“Allison Emmerson is an excellent choice for Interim Andrew W. Mellon Humanities Professor,” said Miller. “Her work in Pompeii, for example, and on Roman archaeology more generally puts her squarely in the historical commitment of the institution, while the fact that she was a Rome Prize Fellow in 2018–19 will enable her to step into the job and immediately set to work.”

“I am grateful to Marla Stone for her years of service to the Academy, and her contributions to advancing modern Italian studies at AAR,” he added.

Emmerson is associate professor and director of graduate studies in the Classical Studies Department at Tulane University. A Roman archaeologist who specializes in the study of cities, Emmerson is particularly interested in the “marginal” aspects of ancient urbanism, not only literal city edges and the activities they attracted, such as waste management and the treatment of the dead, but also the people who have been marginalized both in ancient life and in modern reconstructions of it, including women, the enslaved, and the sub-elite.

Emmerson’s first sole-authored book, Life and Death in the Roman Suburb, published by Oxford University Press in 2020, was awarded the Archaeological Institute of America’s James R. Wiseman Book Award in 2022. She was field director of the University of Cincinnati’s excavations at Pompeii and has recently co-authored the first volume of the final publication of that work: The Porta Stabia Neighborhood at Pompeii, Volume I: Structure, Stratigraphy, and Space (Oxford, 2023; written with Kevin D. Dicus and Stephen J. R. Ellis).

“I am thrilled to serve as Interim Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Humanities,” said Emmerson. “My year as a Rome Prize Fellow was among the most transformative periods of my life. It will be an honor to mentor the current Fellows through their own transformations, continuing to build new ways of thinking about the past and the future with the exceptional AAR community.”

At Tulane, Emmerson directed the Pompeii I.14 Project, an international collaboration led by her university and the Parco Archeologico di Pompeii. She is a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome (2019) and the American Council of Learned Societies (2018), and has been awarded the highest honor in teaching given at Tulane University, the Suzanne and Stephen Weiss Presidential Fellowship for Undergraduate Education (2023). Emmerson earned an MA and PhD from the University of Cincinnati, both in classical archaeology, after receiving a BA from Denison University. In addition to her two books, she has written numerous articles, book chapters, and reviews, published in the American Journal of Archaeology, the Journal of Roman Studies, the Journal of Roman Archaeology, and Rivista di Studi Pompeiani, among others.

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