Rome Prize Fellows

The American Academy in Rome awards the Rome Prize to a select group of artists and scholars, after an application process that begins in the fall of each year. The winners, announced in the spring, are invited to Rome to pursue their work in an atmosphere conducive to intellectual and artistic freedom, interdisciplinary exchange, and innovation. Rome Prize winners are listed here with a brief project summary in their own words.

Ancient Studies

Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Rome Prize

Daniel P. Diffendale

Research Fellow, Department of Ancient Mediterranean Studies, University of Missouri
Quarry provenance and Archaeological Dating of the Roman-Area Tuffs in Antiquity (QUADRATA)

Ancient Roman architecture has a global legacy, but its early development was shaped by highly specific local factors. A crucial feature in this development was exploitation of the various volcanic stones (tuffs) found within a twenty-five-kilometer radius of the center of Rome. Already in the Archaic period, the tuff bedrock of Rome’s seven hills was being quarried for architectural use; by the Late Republic at the latest, Roman architects were building with a variety of tuffs quarried well beyond the city’s limits, some from the territories of bested former rivals. Macroscopic identification is insufficient to distinguish between the various varieties of tuff; only geochemical analysis can reliably pinpoint provenance. Trace elements with a relatively low mobility can be successfully used to recognize eruptive products and their provenance. A campaign of sampling buildings and quarry locales in Rome and environs followed by chemical analysis will offer a new picture of early Roman architecture.

Arthur Ross Rome Prize

Brian McPhee

PhD Candidate, Department of Classics, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Blessed Heroes: Apollonius’ Argonautica and the Homeric Hymns

The close engagement of Apollonius’s Argonautica with Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey has been much studied. My project extends the field by examining its allusions to another body of poetry attributed to Homer in antiquity, the Homeric Hymns. Through a series of close readings informed by theories of intertextuality and narratology, I argue that Apollonius’s poem blends the two branches of Homeric poetry, his epics and hymns, into a unique generic hybrid, a hymn that celebrates the deeds of epic heroes. This blurring of secular and religious categories has special relevance to Apollonius’s sociopolitical environment, in which the Ptolemies assumed the office of Pharaoh and began to be worshipped as gods. Because the closest Greek analogue for the concept of king as god-man was the mythic hero divinized after death and worshipped in cult, Apollonius’s blending of epic and hymn takes part in a larger political project that sought to translate Egyptian Pharaonic ideology into familiar Greek terms.

Samuel H. Kress Foundation/Helen M. Woodruff-Archaeological Institute of America Rome Prize

Victoria C. Moses

PhD Candidate, School of Anthropology, University of Arizona
The Zooarchaeology of Early Rome: Meat Distribution and Urbanization (8th–6th Centuries BCE)

My dissertation uses zooarchaeological analysis (the study of animal bones from archaeological contexts) of five sites from the eighth to sixth centuries BCE in and around Rome to investigate urbanization, power, and religion through access to meat in public and private spaces. During this period, the food system in Rome and nearby urban centers would have been completely reorganized because of urbanization. At large-scale animal sacrifices, elites would have been tasked with providing the animals, thus establishing their status and using the food distribution as a form of social control. This research investigates the nature of these sacrifices as well as how meat reached private contexts during urbanization to understand the supply of meat in public and private settings as Rome formed. The sites include the Area Sacra di Sant’Omobono, the Regia, a small excavation at the Quirinal Hill, Veii, and Gabii.

Emeline Hill Richardson/Millicent Mercer Johnsen Rome Prize

Jeremy A. Simmons

PhD Candidate, Classical Studies Graduate Program, Columbia University
Beyond the Periyar: A History of Consumption in Indo-Mediterranean Trade

My doctoral research explores transoceanic trade between the Roman Mediterranean and Indian subcontinent. My project aims to go beyond the iconic moments of exchange in Indo-Mediterranean trade, such as that of Roman gold coins for black peppercorns on the Periyar River in Malabar, and to investigate the consumption of such commodities in new environments. My dissertation considers several commodity cases—Indian spices and gems in the Roman Mediterranean and Roman coins and wine in India—as well as the agents involved in the transport and distribution of these goods throughout the Eurasian world. Through a blend of economic and anthropological approaches, my research seeks to demonstrate how Indian Ocean products adapt to or create new webs of social meaning, induce the formation of imitative industries to meet consumer demand, and articulate the urban environments in which they are consumed. The tastes of consumers, the often-forgotten efforts of human agents, and newfound industries dependent on Indian Ocean imports all interlock to facilitate the ancient consumer experience.

Andrew Heiskell/Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Rome Prize

Christopher van den Berg

Associate Professor, Department of Classics, Amherst College
Critical Matter: Performance, Identity, and Object in Greco-Roman Criticism

My project offers a new theoretical framework for understanding the social and aesthetic stakes of literary criticism in Greco-Roman antiquity. My interdisciplinary approach considers how reception of the spoken word is inherently linked to the reception of visual media. The book analyzes a range of Greco-Roman texts of criticism but does so by paying serious attention to the material contexts of these discussions, drawing on fields such as art history, archaeology, numismatics, and epigraphy. “Critical Matter” argues for a broad rethinking of ancient criticism and literary history and thus aims to reshape the canon of classical criticism as it examines the nexus between literary creation and evaluation, political identity, and the textual life of material objects.

Samuel H. Kress Foundation Rome Prize

Parrish Elizabeth Wright

PhD Candidate, Interdepartmental Program in Greek and Roman History, University of Michigan
Competing Narratives of Identity and Urbanism in Central and Southern Italy, 750 BCE–100 BCE

My research is a holistic examination of the emergence and articulation of civic identity in southern and central Italy from the eighth to first centuries BCE. Most of these cities, both those founded by Greek migrants but also native Italic settlements, trace their origins to Greek heroes and divinities, such as Hercules or Aphrodite, in stories preserved in literary texts and the material record. These types of myths can serve to create political and economic bonds through a practice known as kinship diplomacy, where networks of alliance develop alongside mythological identities in Italy. I examine how these stories reflect the values of these settlements and have their own agency, influencing other means by which identity is created, such as religion, architecture, and social structures. By decentering Roman and Athenian narratives and incorporating the perspectives of non-Roman and non-Greek Italians, I offer an alternative narrative of the traditional development of urbanism and identity on the Italian peninsula.


Rome Prize in Architecture

Christine Gorby

Associate Professor, Department of Architecture, Pennsylvania State University
Writing, Inherited Tradition, and Design: Robert Venturi’s “Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture”

Although the eminent architectural historian Vincent Scully famously called Robert Venturi’s 1966 book Complexity and Contradiction in Architecture “the most important writing on the making of architecture since Le Corbusier’s ‘Vers une Architecture,’ of 1923,” the story behind Complexity and Contradiction remains an enigma. No historian has yet probed beneath the surface of Venturi’s manuscripts, his own projects published in it, or the rich post–World War II cultural context in which it was written over ten years. I propose to uncover these and other issues by writing a book, enhanced by building studies research in Rome and Europe critical to Complexity and Contradiction, to understand how this book informed Venturi’s architecture. It will enable others to know the multidisciplinary method he forged between art and science and bridge the common disconnect between theory and building practice.

Arnold W. Brunner/Katherine Edwards Gordon Rome Prize

Michael Young

Assistant Professor, Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture, Cooper Union
Partner, Young & Ayata, New York
The Labor within the Image of the Poché

As a paradigmatic disciplinary issue, poché has undergone several transformations. It can be understood as the gap between what is visible and what is physical; the tension between material reality and its abstract representation. As new technologies scan, survey, and encode our world, architectural representation shifts again. The medium distinctions between painting, drawing, modeling, and photography have become blurred within the digital image. Poché has a history that loops between mediums, as it is a rendering technique, a conceptual abstraction, a physical construction, and a political tool. Crossing the trajectories of the digital image with the traditions of poché can challenge our assumptions regarding the aesthetics of abstraction and realism. My proposal is to produce a series of speculative representations that seek to articulate an alternative aesthetic for the contemporary poché. Rome has challenged and reimagined conceptions of this paradigm before. I am certain it can again.


Rolland Rome Prize

Marsha Ginsberg

Performance Designer, New York
The Dreamworlds of the Utopian Future of the Past

As a maker of spaces, environments, and clothes for live performance, I have expanded my practice to develop experimental music works in which visuals and environment are initiating elements and theme. In Rome I will conduct research for the second of a trilogy on contemporary urban space. Using the framework of “dreamworlds” of modernity (Walter Benjamin), I will focus on how people in the past imagined their utopian architectural future (in concept and actuality). I will trace the legacy behind modernist and rationalist architecture in Rome and surrounding areas in the prewar period: how it ultimately served the Fascist regime in the creation of new towns and public gathering arenas. I intend to research multiple historic moments in the status of specific buildings with an observing eye to their performability in the present. Adalberto Libera’s and Luigi Moretti’s Rome projects and the new towns of the Agro Pontino are of special interest. This project is creative and generative.

Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon Polsky Rome Prize

Roberto Lugo

Artist, Philadelphia
Valor in Vandalism: A Revolutionary Triptych

I will create an immersive installation in Paris, examining the immigrant experience through creation of a 178-piece dinner service recalling the Sèvres commission for the wedding breakfast of Napoléon and Habsburg archduchess Marie-Louise in 1810. While the court of Louis XIV had no need of explanation to justify its existence, Napoleon and post-Revolutionary Sèvres resorted to the powers of persuasion—retelling history on soup tureens and salad plates in order to visually reinforce their power. Despite their historical colonization, today’s immigrants feel a similar urgency to justify their presence on French soil. By contrasting the familiarity of classical Sèvres forms with the unfamiliarity of foreign design, I want to pose the question of whether France still aspires to the ideals of its revolution. The dinner service will be used for two events: one hosted by Parisian immigrants and another hosted by the city’s elite.

Historic Preservation and Conservation

Booth Family Rome Prize

Matthew Brennan

PhD Candidate, School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering, Indiana University Bloomington
3D Digitization of the Accademia at Hadrian’s Villa and Its Digital Preservation

Hadrian’s Villa is a large complex located in Tivoli. A UNESCO World Heritage site since 1999, in 2006 it was placed onto the World Monuments list of endangered sites. In 2011, the threat worsened when the Regione Lazio proposed to situate Rome’s new garbage dump nearby. Though blocked in 2012, it was revived in 2018. This project proposes a new three-dimensional survey of the Accademia of Hadrian’s Villa using photogrammetry, yielding a highly detailed and accurate 3D model of the site. The results will be added to the existing and freely available Digital Hadrian’s Villa website. Technologies such as UAVs, digital cameras, and 3D modeling make documentation and preservation of monuments such as Hadrian’s Villa more feasible than ever before. Our generation has a unique opportunity to employ these tools for purposes of preserving and providing free public access to precious cultural-heritage remains before they are further damaged or destroyed by natural disaster or human folly.

Adele Chatfield-Taylor Rome Prize

Ashley J. Hahn

Writer, Philadelphia
Preserving the Life between Buildings

Preserving a place is about more than conserving the physical fabric of a building. It requires deliberate care for the life between buildings as well. The technical conservation of Rome’s monuments and buildings, while abiding and largely successful, stands today in stark contrast to the dire condition of its equally historic public spaces. Threading these conditions together are Rome’s enduring traditions of public life. I see these collectively as preservation challenges in dialogue, rooted in questions of equity, public memory, and civic identity. I will explore lessons from successful and failed efforts to treat Rome’s historic urban complex holistically, in search of expansive approaches to preserving the commons. I will produce a series of essays based on ethnographic research, analysis of practices and policies shaping Rome’s historic public spaces, and deep interviews with Roman heritage professionals, civic leaders, and advocates.

Landscape Architecture

Prince Charitable Trusts/Kate Lancaster Brewster Rome Prize

Brian Davis, PLA

Associate Professor, Department of Landscape Architecture, School of Architecture, University of Virginia
The Aesthetics of Risk Equipment

The form of coastal and fluvial landscapes is shaped using computational models and software packages—hec-ras, Delft 3D, genesys, CMS. The list of risk equipment goes on for a while. Buried in these instruments is a sensibility that values prediction and control as a means of minimizing the perception of risk and communicating certainty. My work on ports and rivers has made me certain that these instruments deserve to be valued for their aesthetic properties as much as their certitude. In the words of Matthijs Kouw, “the risk equipment deserves more credit.” In Rome I will combine these tools with field observations and analogue techniques to probe the past of Portus. Mine is not an effort to simulate the expertise of other fields. Rather, by exploring the aesthetic potential of risk equipment I hope to draw upon not only the rich history of measurement, precision, and prediction, but also exaggeration, complexity, and ambiguity in landscape, to better grapple with muddy terrain.

Garden Club of America Rome Prize

Kate Thomas

K. Laurence Stapleton Professor of English, Bryn Mawr College
Nymphaeums, Grottos, and the “Pink Lily”: Lesbian Gardens in Fin-de-Siècle Italy

This project is on the expatriate lesbian gardens of fin-de-siècle Italy. Focusing on the garden of the Villa Gamberaia during the time it was owned by Princess Ghyka and her American lover, Florence Blood, I will analyze the architecture of this garden, theorizing its physicality in relationship to lesbian subjectivity. The American Academy itself houses archival material essential to this research, and a residency in Rome would also put me within reach of the Villa Gamberaia and& other important archives at I Tatti, Il Palmerino, and Le Pietra. Professionally, this project allows me to turn my literary study to the material and botanical, a gesture newly understood in my field as attention to “vibrant matter”—but it is a turn already taken more than a century ago by the authors I study, and these authors understood that turn to be enabled specifically by the culture of Italy. During a residency I could complete both a stand-alone article and a book proposal for an edited volume.


Joseph Brodsky Rome Prize, a gift of the Drue Heinz Trust

Samiya Bashir

Associate Professor, Creative Writing Program, Department of English, Reed College
MAPS :: a cartography in progress

What does it mean to simultaneously create and be created? MAPS :: a cartography in progress explores these questions as well as the interrogative cilia which burst from their branches. This work reflects our current moment forward to the next generation and back through those who brought us safely forth. Engaging questions of diaspora and movement, wrestling with my own familial history and the interlocking cultural and geographic threads of Motown, Mogadishu, and Rome, I am working to write and build a multimedia poetry, steeped in East African diaspora, which can be reshaped like culture to stretch across multiple platforms, a house made of poetry which can be moved and carried.

John Guare Writer's Fund Rome Prize, a gift of Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman

Nicole Sealey

2019–2020 Hodder Fellow at Princeton University
Instigation of Dement

Instigation of Dement is an epic erasure of the United States Department of Justice’s one-hundred-plus-page Ferguson report, documented evidence of racially bias policing and court practices in Ferguson, Missouri. The book-length poem follows black teens on their epic journey from Ferguson to the fictional city of Freedom. Unlike background music intended to be an unobtrusive accompaniment, the report as backdrop is meant to be meddlesome, serving to contextualize the journey in the present moment. The report in relief of the poem creates an inescapable double interiority that forces entry into worlds both real (the report) and imagined (the erasure).

Medieval Studies

Marian and Andrew Heiskell Rome Prize

Joel Pattison

PhD Candidate, Department of History, University of California, Berkeley
Trade and Religious Boundaries in the Medieval Maghreb: Genoese Merchants, their Products, and Islamic Law

My research examines the presence of the Genoese and other Ligurians in the Maghreb during the thirteenth century, and the consequences of their activities for Islamic law. To do this, I bring two very different source bases together. I have read cartularies from two dozen Genoese notaries, spanning the years 1203–1300, seeking evidence of trade and travel in the Maghreb, and for Maghrebi Muslims and Jews active in Genoa. I have built a database to track and analyze the 1,600 acts in which such travel or trade appears. I have also read several dozen legal opinions (fatwas) in Arabic by Islamic legal scholars in the late-medieval Maghreb responding to questions about Christian-made products, worship, and pollution caused by trade items involving wine and other goods. My research shows the high degree to which Islamic legal norms shaped the conditions of Genoese trade and settlement in the Maghreb during the thirteenth century, as well as how important the Maghreb trade was for a wide swathe of Genoese society.

Donald and Maria Cox/Samuel H. Kress Foundation Rome Prize

Alexis Wang

PhD Candidate, Department of Art History and Archaeology, Columbia University
Intermedial Effects, Sanctified Surfaces: Framing Devotional Objects in Italian Medieval Mural Decoration

My doctoral research examines embedded devotional objects in medieval mural decoration. These objects—relics and icon panels—defy easy categorization into the conventional groupings of icons and narratives. While embedded objects participate as narrative elements in the pictorial cycles in which they appear, they simultaneously assert their visible difference from them. My dissertation is the first to analyze these mixed media, mixed-image type ensembles. Tracing exemplary cases in Rome, Naples, and Padua, I argue that distinct framing strategies were deployed to impart an aesthetic of materiality and portability on the embedded object, thereby authenticating it as sacred matter. I complement this formal analysis with the evidence of medieval miracle stories that describe the transfiguration of mural decoration. As such, areas of intermediality index the medieval understanding that mural decoration had the potential for miraculous manifestation. By elucidating the changing role of materiality in signaling sacred presence, my project sheds new light on the nuanced ways in which medieval designers negotiated icon and narrative, cult object and didactic picture, in monumental mural decoration.

Modern Italian Studies

Rome Prize in Modern Italian Studies

Fiori Berhane

PhD Candidate, Department of Anthropology, Brown University
Italo-Eritrea: Tracing a Postcolonial Italy in the Contemporary Migration Crisis

This project looks to emerging political practices around shared experiences of forced migration, refugeehood, and collective and nationalist memory for recent Eritrean refugees in Bologna, Italy. Since the mid-2000s, Eritrea’s young have left in numbers as high as two to seven thousand people monthly in response to the political and human rights crisis in the country. I examine the role of the Italian left in Bologna in its role as a partner to the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF) during the nationalist war between Eritrea and Ethiopia from the 1970s until 1991 and how memories of this nationalist past affects intracommunal politics in response to the migration crisis. In particular, I focus on the experiences of recent Eritrean refugees in relation to the established Eritrean diaspora to examine national history, identity, and politics as it is experienced and practiced within this critical juncture. My work engages theories on forced migration, refugeeism, crisis and conflict, and collective memory to understand how communal bonds are reconstituted following experiences of protracted political violence within conditions of exile, historical amnesia, and coloniality.

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation/National Endowment for the Humanities Rome Prize

Angelo Caglioti

Assistant Professor, Department of History, Barnard College, Columbia University
The Climate of Fascism: Science, Environment, and Empire in Liberal and Fascist Italy (1860–1960)

I intend to complete my book project titled The Climate of Fascism: Science, Environment, and Empire in Liberal and Fascist Italy (1860–1960). The book is the first history of Italian imperialism from the perspective of environmental history and the history of science. It examines the logic of Italian colonialism through the lens of explorers, geographers, agronomists, and meteorologists concerned with water resources. Additionally, I intend to begin research for my next research project, tentatively titled Fascist Legacies: Italian Imperialism, Climatology, and the Origins of the F.A.O. (1905–1960), which investigates the continuities between Italian imperialism, colonial climatology, and the origin of international development. I ask how Italian agronomists, climate scientists, and members of the International Institute of Agriculture evolved from colonial officials into experts in international development in the postwar period. Did the legacy of Fascist imperialism continue in the scientific practices of the F.A.O., the institution that replaced the International Institute of Agriculture, as more countries followed the decolonization process that began in Africa with the Italian colonies of Ethiopia, Libya, and Somalia?

Musical Composition

Samuel Barber Rome Prize

Courtney Bryan

Assistant Professor, Newcomb Department of Music, Tulane University
Caracalla: Inner Monologue of an Emperor, a Melodrama

I will compose Caracalla: Inner Monologue of an Emperor, a melodrama inspired by the history of Emperor Caracalla that will delve into the imagined emotional space of this tyrannical emperor during a time of conflict following the golden age of Roman emperors. The infamous Emperor Caracalla (188–217 AD), who reigned alone from 211 until his assassination in 217, is known for the baths he built in Rome, the Edict of Caracalla, and other contributions to policy and currency. He is mostly remembered, however, for being one of the most tyrannical emperors of ancient Rome, including the murder of his brother Geta, the ordered massacre of Geta’s supporters, and violence against people of the Roman empire and abroad. This melodrama will be a full concert-length composition for male voice and string quartet.

Frederic A. Juilliard/Walter Damrosch Rome Prize

Pamela Z

Composer and Performer, San Francisco

I will compose an intermedia song cycle with the working title Simultaneous. Comprising several short pieces, each exploring the concept of simultaneity in some way, the work will make use of voice, gesture control, real-time electronic processing, language, and projected video—some of which will be reactive to sound and motion. The work’s content will stem from a range of ideas including the process of simultaneous translation, the mysteries of synchronicity, and the folly of this culture's preoccupation with “multitasking.”

Renaissance and Early Modern Studies

National Endowment for the Humanities Rome Prize

Evan A. MacCarthy

Assistant Professor of Musicology, School of Music, West Virginia University
Ugolino of Orvieto and the Encyclopedic Study of Music in Fifteenth-Century Italy

My research project concerns the encyclopedic treatise on music written by Ugolino of Orvieto (ca. 1380–1452), a composer, music theorist, and archpriest of the Cathedral of Ferrara. His summa on all aspects of musical learning situates ancient and medieval writers alongside his contemporary commentators. Celebrated in his own day as one who would surpass all other musicians, Ugolino bridged a long-established divide between abstract, speculative musical thought about the harmony of the spheres and the practicalities of musical notation, composition, and singing. During my time at the American Academy in Rome, I will complete a new and more accessible edition, first-ever translation, and monographic study of Ugolino’s Declaratio musice discipline. My edition proposes new readings of the text based on a close reexamination of the fifteen manuscript sources, including three major sources held in Roman libraries, as well as the treatise’s many unacknowledged intertextual references.

Paul Mellon/Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Rome Prize

Alana Mailes

PhD Candidate, Department of Music, Harvard University
Musica Transalpina: English Musicians in the Italian Peninsula, ca. 1580–1660

My project is a study of musical life in English expatriate and diplomatic communities throughout the Italian peninsula ca. 1580–1660, primarily the English College in Rome and English embassy in Venice. My project examines the many complex, diverse ways in which transnational networks of students, ecclesiastics, merchants, tourists, diplomats, spies, and other travelers facilitated the transmission of music across borders. As one of the first histories of music and migration in early modern Europe, my project draws on multidisciplinary theories of cultural mobility. Eschewing a traditional focus on a few famous composers, I instead contextualize their activities in an account that includes professional performers and pedagogues, amateur musicians, and women musicians, thus broadening out from individual biography to the social systems through which individuals and repertoires moved.

Rome Prize in Renaissance and Early Modern Studies

Corey Tazzara

Assistant Professor, Department of History, Scripps College
Baroque Pilgrimage: The World of Pietro della Valle

This project explores how Italians during the long seventeenth century explored, understood, appropriated, and intervened in the larger world. It focuses particularly on the activities of the Roman patrician Pietro della Valle (1586–1652). Della Valle was famed for his travels to Turkey, Persia, and India, which he wrote about at length in his celebrated travel letters. As a scholar and academician he was a central cultural figure in Rome at the height of the Baroque papacy. He offers a compelling glimpse into the Catholic Reformation in Italy, as well as how Italians—who operated on the margins of the imperial powers—sought to understand the larger world in the absence of the colonial projects so typical among other Europeans of the day.

Visual Arts

Philip Guston Rome Prize

Garrett Bradley

Artist, New Orleans
Public Symbols and Singular Identities

My proposal for the American Academy of Rome looks at the cities talking sculptures—a series of historical objects which represent both singular mythologies and contradictory, public discourse. I am interested in these sculptures as icons, or objects in juxtaposition to the Confederate-era statues recently removed in my current residence of New Orleans, Louisiana, and which have left behind, now vacant spaces throughout the city. My project begins with a series of questions aimed at the plausibility of creating singular images and objects that can encompass multiple narratives. How do we understand the role or effectiveness of iconography as a successful embodiment of contradictions, one which embraces a diverse set of mythologies and representations? I am interested in Roman sculpture and its physicality within urban space, as a means of proposing new objects which may be considered or adapted within the widely conservative, American South.

Rome Prize in Visual Arts

David Brooks

Artist, Brooklyn
Rome’s Future Ruins in Reverse

I will be developing a project that I refer to as livable mappings: multidimensional mapped situations that engage the flow of life itself or passage of time. With Rome’s archive of three millennia of artifacts borne of cultural ambitions, it is the prototypical case study for this work, and exists as a veritable roadmap on how to regard future climate changes. Of special concern to this work is how climate change affects our relationship to the built environment and sense of community. Italy has become one of the main routes into Europe for refugees fleeing war and social persecution, but also for severe environmental degradation in northern Africa. This is an unfolding newfound relationship between the human and nonhuman living worlds (i.e., climate change). Through an active dialogue with the city’s inhabitants, the fellows of the American Academy, and archival materials, these mappings will consider both human and nonhuman life—past, present and future—as the climate continues to change in all meanings of the word.

Abigail Cohen Rome Prize

James Casebere

Artist, Canaan, New York
On the Waters’ Edge

I plan to continue a series of photographs, On the Waters’ Edge, in which I postulate a new form of public architecture, which is a combination beach house, lifeguard station, bathhouse, and changing room. In the images, I juxtapose these structures with the threat of rising sea levels, and severe storms associated with climate change. I plan to build scale models, light and photograph them, and make prints at the Academy. In addition, I would design similar life-sized pavilions for the future, based on this new hybrid form of modifiable public accommodation, beginning with singular units and building up interlocking modular structures that make larger labyrinthian configurations. Central to my process is access to the American Academy library and institutional archives, as well as the unique resources of the larger city, to research, better understand, and apply ancient proportional systems and modular mathematical relationships in architecture.

Joseph H. Hazen Rome Prize

Sarah Crowner

Artist, Brooklyn
Building into Painting

My project in Rome is to study and research the mosaics and tile work in ceramic, stone, and terrazzo in the city itself, and in various cities in Italy outside Rome: Padua, Venice, and Palermo. Geometric patterning, heraldic motifs, botanical shapes, and color combinations seem to weave through these cities. I’d like to learn how these surfaces were made many ages ago and look for ways to incorporate those methodologies into my current art practice. I’m interested specifically in the mid-twentieth-century terrazzo techniques used by Carlo Scarpa, with elements of glass tiles and wide spaces of aggregate “grouting,” as well as the graphic black-and-white mosaic floors of the Baths of Caracalla in Rome. I would research these techniques and ideally find a tile setter or mason locally and work together to create large-scale architectural sketches using those ancient methods. Time in Rome would be so beneficial for this project, as I would draw on the city and the environment itself.

Nancy B. Negley Rome Prize

John Jesurun

Playwright, Director, and Media Artist, New York

My focus would be an investigation of circular and curved structures in Rome from Roman times to the present. I plan to work on a multidimensional piece based on curved space. By space I also refer to space as it manifests itself on many levels including interior, mental, emotional, and virtual. Conceptually I would like to manage the movement of circular, spherical elements of video projection, live positioning, and language simultaneously throughout a playing space. My interest in this comes through my increasing involvement with the interrelationship of curved structures in the disciplines that define and expand my work. Much of my past work has been connected to straight lined structures. Through the use of the camera I have moved in the more complicated direction of curved sensibilities in the spatial, conceptual, physical, verbal, and visual content of my work.