Lynne C. Lancaster Is Appointed Andrew W. Mellon Professor-in-Charge of the Humanities

January 24, 2018
Lynne C. Lancaster (photograph by Tom Carpenter)

Archaeologist, architectural historian, and educator Lynne C. Lancaster (2002 Fellow) has been selected as the next Andrew W. Mellon Professor-in-Charge of the Humanities at the American Academy in Rome. The appointment was announced by AAR President Mark Robbins, and was based on the recommendation of a national search committee. Dr. Lancaster’s term in Rome begins August 1, 2018, and she succeeds art historian Lindsay Harris (2014 Fellow), who completes her fourth year in the position this summer.

“The Search Committee was impressed with Lynne’s scholarship and her potential in the role of Mellon Professor,” said Robbins (1997 Fellow). “The cross-disciplinary arc of Lynne’s academic career, along with her intellectual rigor and enthusiasm, will be an asset for the entire Academy community.”

Dr. Lancaster is currently Professor and Chair of the Department of Classics & World Religions at Ohio University. She received a B.Arch. (magna cum laude) from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, an M.Phil. in Classical Archaeology from Lincoln College at Oxford University, and a D.Phil. in Classical Archaeology from Wolfson College, also at Oxford. Known for her research and exploration of Roman architecture and technology, with a focus on concrete vaulted construction, Lancaster was the 2001–2002 Phyllis W. G. Gordan Rome Prize Fellow in Ancient Studies (formerly referred to as Classical Studies).

“Lynne brings a deep knowledge of Rome and its history through the ages, as well as a personal dedication to the broader community of the American Academy in Rome,” said Academy Director John Ochsendorf (2008 Fellow). “She is an ideal partner to help us build upon the humanities in the coming years.”

Dr. Lancaster is the author of Innovative Vaulting in the Architecture of the Roman Empire, 1st to 4th Centuries CE (Cambridge University Press, 2015), in which she used vaulted construction as a means of exploring issues of technology transfer and trade networks within the Empire. Her first publication, Concrete Vaulted Construction in Imperial Rome: Innovations in Context (Cambridge University Press, 2005), which she completed during her Rome Prize Fellowship, was awarded the 2007 James R. Wiseman Book Award from the Archaeological Institute of America. In addition to her numerous international collaborations, Dr. Lancaster currently serves as a member of the American Journal of Archaeology’s editorial board and on the Construction History Society’s Scientific Committee. She is chair of the Fellowships Committee of the Archaeological Institute of America, for which she also served as an Academic Trustee (2011–2016).

“I am truly honored to be chosen as Mellon Professor of the Humanities,” said Dr. Lancaster. “My time at the Academy, both as Fellow and a Visiting Scholar, has been critical in my own personal and intellectual development. I now look forward to helping our Fellows discover all that the city of Rome and its people have to offer.”