What’s new at RU? Classics Dept sends its first Affiliated Fellow to the American Academy in Rome

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The 17th century Villa Aurelia of the American Academy in Rome, as seen from the AAR’s principal building, designed by McKim, Mead & White and opened in 1914

Well, this counts as major news. November 2015 saw us send a recent doctorate from our program—Benjamin Hicks, PhD 2011—to hold the first-ever Rutgers University Classics Affiliated Fellowship at the American Academy in Rome (AAR).

And now applications are invited for the next iteration of this dedicated fellowship in Rome, for academic year 2016-17.

We aim to send one or two members of the Rutgers Department of Classics community to the American Academy to conduct research that is connected to the city of Rome—its ancient material culture, ancient history and culture, and their reception.

Priority will be given to current Rutgers Classics PhD students, though current faculty in the Department of Classics and graduate alumni/ae of the Department are also eligible to apply.


Ben Hicks (PhD 2011, AFAAR 2016) on the steps of the AAR’s McKim, Mead & White building

Our inaugural AAR Affiliated Fellow, Benjamin Hicks, teaches Classics at Birmingham-Southern College in Alabama. We caught up with Ben to hear his impressions of his November-December 2015 stay at the Academy.

“Those six weeks at the AAR have been absolutely crucial to my work”, reports Ben. “I’m attempting to create an electronic visualization of Pliny the Younger’s correspondents—and those correspondents’ connections amongst themselves. It goes well beyond just a prosopographical list. Who Pliny talked to is interesting, but figuring out who among his connections likely knew one another and had some degree of interaction is equally so.”

The duration of the Rutgers Classics Affiliated Fellowship at the AAR is normally six weeks. In principle, it can be held at any time between mid-September and April of a given academic year. Affiliated Fellows have the cost of their flights, room and board covered by the Department. Modest stipends may also be available.

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The Bass Garden of the AAR. This grassy expanse has a double distinction: as the site in Rome where Galileo first demonstrated his telescope, in April 1611; and where defenders of the short-lived Roman Republic of 1849 fought a bloody battle of resistance against French troops backing the Vatican forces of Pope Pius IX

Affiliated Fellows work on their research while in residence, either writing and/or visiting sites, libraries, museums, etc. They also participate fully in the life of the Academy, where they live in the same Janiculum Hill complex and enjoy the same resources as regular Rome Prize Fellows and AAR Residents.

“Being able to have easy and quick access to the standard reference corpora for Roman prosopography all in one location, time to write, and the Academy community to share ideas with has been just irreplaceable”, says our inaugural Affiliated Fellow Ben Hicks. “This has let me jumpstart my project in a way that I couldn’t virtually anywhere else, to say nothing of the many places to explore in Rome and bring back photos for my own teaching collection.”


Ben Hicks in the inscription-filled cortile of the AAR’s McKim, Mead & White building

Hicks continues: “it was also fantastic to have the opportunity to be part of the community, both for Academy excursions and holiday celebrations. It also has been felicitous to overlap with another Rutgers connection here at the AAR—Professor Paola Gambarota from the Department of Italian.” Gambarota received a 2015-2016 ACLS Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowship for Recently Tenured Scholars at the Academy.

Applicants for the Rutgers Classics Affiliated Fellowship should submit a C.V. and a one-page statement outlining their current research and explaining in detail how this opportunity in Rome will contribute to it, as well as contact details of two referees. All application materials should be emailed to gdclass@rci.rutgers.edu by Friday 1 April 2016.

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The AAR’s McKim, Mead & White building on Rome’s Janiculum Hill

2 responses to “What’s new at RU? Classics Dept sends its first Affiliated Fellow to the American Academy in Rome

  1. Pingback: RU’s David Wright traces the origins of the new Multiculturalism, Race & Ethnicity in Classics Consortium (MRECC) |

  2. Pingback: Nicole Nowbahar is RU Classics’ 2018/9 Affiliated Fellow of the American Academy in Rome |

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