Fellows Illuminate Humanities Research at Open Stacks

Color photo of fifteen people standing and posing for the camera in rows

On June 4, thirteen Rome Prize and Getty Global Fellows in the humanities presented their work during the inaugural Open Stacks event. Designed to give scholars a platform like that of Open Studios, the event featured short lectures of no more than ten minutes a person that surveyed the questions that motivated Fellows’ research in Rome. Inquiries ranged widely, from ancient and modern diasporas, constructions of East and West, and religious expression in art, craft, and literature.

Allison Emmerson, the Academy’s interim Andrew W. Mellon Humanities Professor, introduced the event, saying that 2024 Fellows have “spent the past year tucked away in the back rooms of archives and museums, trudging across archaeological sites, diligently writing in their studios and under the beautiful windows of the Arthur & Janet C. Ross Library, presenting their research at prestigious Italian and international cultural institutions, and, of course, connecting with each other.”

The first grouping of talks, “Italy and the World,” featured presentations in which five scholars—Mary-Evelyn Farrior, John Delury, Nhung Tuyet Tran, Emre Gönlügür, and Jessica L. Harris—connected Greece, China, Vietnam, Turkey, and the United States to Rome, from antiquity to the twentieth century. For the second session, “Looking at Lawmaking,” Christopher Erdman explored “Voting Culture and Political Theater in Late Republican Lawmaking” and Sara L. Petrilli-Jones talked about the legal histories of art in florence and Rome between 1600 and 1800.

The third section, comprising Zakarya Khelif and Gabriella L. Johnson, addressed “Elite Architecture; The Art of the Sea,” while “Material and Textual Approaches to Religion” was the focus of a fourth grouping during which Mary C. Danisi addressed the ecology of wool and Dov Honick spoke about twelfth-century Christian anti-Jewish polemic sources. Finally, a fifth session—with Kate Meng Brassel and Anne L. Williams—was “Satire and Humor from Text to Art.”

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