2017-18: our year in events

This week we closed our 2017—18 events programme rounding off the rich programme of events curated by Assistant Director Tom True that we have proudly hosted here at the BSR over this academic year.  In this blog we look back over what has been a fantastic year, illustrated by snapshots that give just a taster of the varied, multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary programme we have presented over the past year.

We began the first term with the workshop Digital Humanities and the Roman Campagna, a study day uniting scholars working on the landscape of Rome, focusing on the use of new digital technologies for research and publication. With presentations by BSR staff (former Director Christoper Smith, Assistant Director Tom True, Librarian Valerie Scott and Archivist Alesandra Giovenco), this lively workshop set the year’s focus on the importance of Digital Humanities and the challenges of transforming our unique resources into digital assets.

Friday 27 October 2017 saw us host Lost and Found: Places, Objects and People, a workshop that formed part of the international Being Human Festival. The workshop brought together experts from various backgrounds to discuss the importance of cultural preservation. Below are links to the video recordings of the workshop, a collaboration between the British Council, the British Embassy in Rome and the BSR.

In November BSR Research Fellow Emily Michelson (St Andrews) presented the paper ‘Walking Conversionary Rome’, which was all the encouragement needed for award-holders and BSR staff to hit the streets of Rome on foot, in the company of Emily herself and expert alumnus Piers Baker-Bates (Rome Scholar 2002-3). Together we traversed the most celebrated pilgrimage route, the Giro delle Sette Chiese (link to blog written by Assistant Director Tom True), the route connecting the Seven Pilgrim Churches of Rome.

'The pilgrims'

As usual the term culminated with the December Mostra, the first exhibition showcasing the work of our resident artists and architect. This term we were even treated to a live re-enactment of the ancient festival of the Lupercalia on the steps of the BSR! The first mostra was a grand success and set the bar high for the forthcoming mostre.

The second term began with an inaugural lecture given by Director Stephen Milner, who became the BSR’s sixteenth Director in October. Stephen presented a paper entitled  ‘And did those feet in ancient time.’ Meditations on movement.’

The lecture perpetuated the themes of walking and movement in the forms of both literal and figurative feet, along with the associated practices of walking and narration, as a starting point for examining the generative power of movement in the production of culture. You can listen to Stephen’s lecture here. To listen to Stephen’s lecture click here.

It was with great excitement that at the beginning of February we welcomed Deborah Howard, Mary Laven and Abigail Brundin (Cambridge) to present their findings on on Domestic Devotions. The Place of Piety in the Italian Renaissance Home, 1400-1600, a special event to concluding their five-year European Research Council project. In the way of a three-part presentation comprising research from the Faculties of History, Architecture and History of Art at the University of Cambridge, this multidisciplinary presentation gave us a glimpse through the key-hole into the spiritual lives of Renaissance Italians.

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The term continued with a fantastic line up of a huge variety of events including Richard Wistreich from the Royal College of Music on fighting and singing in the Renaissance, the 2018 Felicity Powell lecture by BSR alumnus and artist Nicholas Hatfull, and conferences by John Harrison (Open) and Krešimir Vuković (BSR; Oxford), concluding with the March Mostra, a brilliant showcase of the second terms artists in residence.

As usual, Cary Fellow and director of the City of Rome Postgraduate Course, Robert Coates-Stephens curated a fantastic City of Rome lecture series. Over the duration of the programme, which saw eleven postgraduate students traverse and penetrate the topography of Rome, we were treated to six fantastic lectures on the ancient city.

 

Kicking off the City of Rome Lecture Series, was our very own Rome Fellow 2017–18 Fellow Krešimir Vuković (Oxford), a graduate of the City of Rome course himself! Kresho introduced us to ‘Early Rome: myth, history and the environment’,  providing the the ideal introduction to the early beginnings of the city.

The third term also saw the launch of our 2018–19 Architecture programme, entitled Brave New World: New Visions in Architecture. 

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This new programme, curated by Marina Engel (Architecture Programme Curator), will investigate the nature of some of the changes that are being brought about by the younger generation of architects and designers. The programme was launched in May by Reinier de Graaf who presented a paper entitled ‘The century that never happened’ . See below for Marina’s introduction to the programme.

June saw us host no less than four conferences and the end of fellowship presentations by our long term humanities fellows. Lavinia Maddaluno (‘Materialising political economy: olive oil, patronage and science in eighteenth-century Rome’), Niccolò Mugnai (‘Bridging the Greco-Roman Mediterranean: architectural, artistic, and cultural interconnections’) and Helena Phillips-Robins (‘Dante and medieval weeping: literary text and historical religious practice’).

 

On 15 June the last mostra of the academic year opened. The June Mostra as usual was a great success, a showcase of collaboration between our artists and the conversations between their works.

 

It is not possible to mention everybody in such a short space but thank you to every participant or visitor to each one of our events. More specifically thanks must to go Assistant Director Tom True for curating such a diverse and lively programme, and to all who helped with organisation of every event. We are already looking forward to a fresh set of events beginning in September! New programme coming soon…

Alice Marsh (Communications and Events).  Photos by Antonio Palmieri, Chris Warde-Jones and Roberto Apa.

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