Faculty News

Faculty News 2013-14

In PrintIn PrintCaroline Castiglione was a Faculty Fellow at Brown's Cogut Humanities Center in fall 2013, during her sabbatical semester.  She published “Peasants at the Palace:  Wet Nurses and Aristocratic Mothers in Early Modern Rome,” in Medieval and Renaissance Lactations –Images, Rhetorics, Practices, ed. Jutta Sperling (Burlington, Vt, 2013), 79-99.  She began a new project in collaboration with art historian Suzanne Scanlan on female commemoration in Rome and together they delivered a paper on the their findings:  “Death Did Not Become Her:  Memorializing Women in Early Modern Rome” at the University of California Center in Rome in October 2013.   Her book manuscript Accounting for Affection:  Mothering and Politics in Rome, 1630-1730 was submitted to reviewers at Palgrave Macmillan and accepted for publication in 2014.   

The Pope and MussoliniThe Pope and MussoliniDavid Kertzer’s primary research focus this past year was completing his book on the relations between Italian dictator Benito Mussolini and Pope Pius XI, both of whom came to power in 1922.  Based on the newly opened Vatican archives for this period (1922-39) and on various Fascist archives, it offers new insight into this dramatic period.  The book, The Pope and Mussolini, is being published in early 2014 by Random House in the U.S. and Canada, by Rizzoli in Italy, and by Oxford University Press in the UK.   During the summer of 2013 Kertzer, together with Professor John Davis of the University of Connecticut, led a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar for College and University Teachers.  Held at the American Academy in Rome, it focused on New Perspectives on the Risorgimento.  Fourteen American college and university professors, along with two advanced doctoral students, were selected for the intensive seminar.  Among the guest speakers at the seminar was Massimo Riva, who spoke on digital resources in Risorgimento scholarship.  While in Rome, Kertzer began work in the archives for his new historical project on the revolution that drove Pope Pius IX from Rome in 1848 and on the pope’s subsequent attempts to reestablish the papal states.  Kertzer also served in 2013 as the chair of the American Academy in Rome jury for the Rome Prizes in modern Italian studies, as well as serving on the AAR’s strategic planning task force.

E. LincolnE. LincolnEvie Lincoln's book, Brilliant Discourse:  Pictures and Readers in Early Modern Rome,  will appear in April, 2014 from Yale University Press. It discusses the technical treatises and learned discourses written in the vernacular that covered topics as diverse as the cultivation of silkworms, the lives of the saints, and the order of the cosmos, making esoteric knowledge accessible to a broad spectrum of readers. Many of these books were illustrated with beautiful etchings, engravings, or woodcuts, and some were written in the form of theatrical and engaging dialogues. For writers, publishers, printers, and artists, bringing such books into the world changed the lives of those involved in their production. The process of publication, a risky business in itself, forged lively social networks centered on making and reading these treatises.

ParadisoParadisoFor R.L. Martinez 2013 was a year to celebrate, along with colleagues both far away and close to home, the 700th anniversary of the birth of Giovanni Boccaccio, with papers delivered at conferences in Philadelphia, Binghamton, NY., Berkeley/Stanford, California and, in November, here at Brown, where Martinez was one of a panel judging the contestants in the Boccaccio Afterlife competition. To cap off the year, in December the University of Chicago Press published the volume Boccaccio: A Critical Guide to the Complete Works, edited by Victoria Kirkham, Michael Sherberg and Janet Levarie Smarr, with an essay by R.L. Martinez on the Decameron. Also published in 2013, by Oxford Press, was the paperback version of Dante’s Paradiso, with introduction, commentary and notes by R. M. Durling and R. L. Martinez.   

Garibaldi Panorama on the MS SurfaceGaribaldi Panorama on the MS SurfaceMassimo Riva curated an installation of the Garibaldi on the Microsoft Surface project in the Italian pavilion at the 23rd General Conference of the  International Council of Museums held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He lectured on Boccaccio, Pico della Mirandola, the Garibaldi panorama and the digital humanities at the University of Manchester (UK), the University of Toronto (CA), the Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos in Lima (Peru), the Italian Cultural Institute in Rio de Janeiro and the American Academy in Rome. He was also a speaker at various intra-moenia events, including the inaugural lecture series of the Patrick Ma Digital Scholarship Lab.  His video-blog, Humanities Lab, is now a regular feature on the Italian online magazine TechnoNews. He published an essay on the panorama and continued to work on a new book, tentatively entitled Italian Shadows: Casanova's Polemoscope and Other Tales of Imaginary Media, about the interplay of writing and optical devices in 18th- and 19th-century literature.

Faculty News 2011-12

Cristina Abbona-Sneider organized and chaired the panel “Booting the 'Boot': Teaching Contemporary Italy with Technology” at the 2011 NEMLA convention in New Brunswick, NJ. Building on her interest in technology and second language acquisition she has begun to work on e-portfolios and recently presented a paper entitled “Digital Portfolios and Other E-tools for Alternative Assessment in the Italian Language Curriculum” at the 2012 NEMLA convention in Rochester, NY. She is currently working on an article on the same subject. Cristina continued to train new teaching assistants and mentor graduate students on the job market. Her passion for teaching her native language and culture to Brown undergraduates was recognized with the John Rowe Workman Award for Teaching Excellence in the Humanities for 2011-2012 .

Caroline Castiglione continued her research in the politics of motherhood in seventeenth-century Rome and the impact of changes in medical practice on the rearing of children and the nature of family life in Rome. In April 2011 she gave an invited lecture on the topic at the University of South Florida: “At the Nexus of Impossibility: The Medical and the Maternal in Seventeenth-Century Rome.” Forthcoming on a related theme is the article: “Peasants at the Palace: Wet Nurses and Aristocratic Mothers in Early Modern Rome,” to appear in Medieval and Renaissance Lactations –Images, Rhetorics, Practices, edited by Jutta Sperling. In June 2012, she won the Wendy J. Strothman Faculty Research Award from Brown University in support of her project on the intersection of medical practice and family life in seventeenth-century Rome. 

David Kertzer completed his five-year term as Brown University provost in 2011 and spent 2011-12 on sabbatical writing his book on the relationship between Benito Mussolini and Pope Pius XI (see interview about the book here). The book will be published, most likely in early 2014, by Random House in the U.S. and Rizzoli in Italy. While in Italy for his sabbatical year he spent time in Bologna, as well as at the Rockefeller Foundation Study Center in Bellagio and the American Academy in Rome. Together with John Davis (UConn, Storrs), he was awarded a five-week NEH Summer Seminar for College Teachers at the American Academy in Rome on New Perspectives on the Risorgimento, to be held in the summer of 2013.

Evie Lincoln has completed a book on sixteenth-century Roman book illustration which is wending its way through the publication process. She is now working on Arabic illustrated gospels printed in Rome, and other unlikely printed matter of the early modern period, such as the 18th-century Roman Chinea prints, which will be the focus of an exhibition at the RISD Museum in the Spring of 2013: "The Festive City," co-curated with RISD curator Emily Peters. She recently spoke about the concept of this exhibition through the lens of her own education at UC Berkeley at a conference at the Warburg Institute, "The Intellectual Legacy of Michael Baxandall."

Massimo Riva published a collection of essay entitled Pinocchio digitale. Postumanesimo e Iper-romanzo (Franco Angeli, 2012) and two co-edited books: Renato Poggioli: An Intellectual Biography (Olschki, 2012), co-edited with Brown Ph.D. Roberto Ludovico (UMass, Amherst) and Lino Pertile (Harvard); Pico della Mirandola. Oration on the Dignity of Man. A New Translation and Commentary (Cambridge University Press, 2012), co-edited with Michael Papio and Francesco Borghesi. While on sabbatical leave for 2011-12, thanks to a ACLS digital innovation fellowship, he curated exhibits of the Garibaldi panorama on the Microsoft Surface in Siena, Bologna, Padua and at the Italian Senate in Rome, and gave several talks in Italy and the UK about his current research in the digital humanities.

Suzanne Stewart-Steinberg published two books: an Italian translation of The Pinocchio Effect (L’effetto Pinocchio, Elliot Edizioni, presented in the Italian Senate library in October 2011); and Impious Fidelity: Anna Freud, Psychoanalysis, Politics (Cornell UP, 2012). She was Acting Director of the Pembroke Center during the academic year 2010/11 and Chesler-Mallow Senior Faculty Research Fellow at Pembroke in 2011/12, when she directed a year-long research seminar entitled "The Question of Consent." She lectured extensively in the US, Italy (including a week-long seminar at SUM, the Institute of Advanced Studies in Naples), Great Britain and Israel. In April 2012, she gave the Ringrose Lecture at Berkeley.

Affiliated Faculty

Tara Nummedal (Early Modern History) spent the 2011-12 academic year as a Guggenheim Fellow writing her book, The Lion's Blood: Alchemy, Gender, and Apocalypse in Reformation Germany. Her article out of this project, "Anna Zieglerin's Alchemical Revelations," appeared in Secrets and Knowledge in Medicine and Science, 1500-1800, edited by Elaine Leong and Alisha Rankin (Ashgate, 2011). She looks forward to offering a new course in Fall 2012, "The Philosophers' Stone: From Antiquity to Harry Potter," as well as beginning a term as the Director of Brown's Program in Science and Technology Studies. She continues to serve as the President of the New England Renaissance Conference, as well as a member of the editorial board of the journal Osiris and the Council of the History of Science Society.