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Classics Professor Carmela Franklin to Direct American Academy in Rome
Professor Franklin was born in Calabria, in southern Italy, and immigrated to the United States in 1964, becoming a citizen shortly thereafter.
Photo Credit: Geraldine W. Visco

Carmela Vircillo Franklin, Columbia University associate professor of classics, has been named the 20th director of the American Academy in Rome. Professor Franklin's 3-year tenure begins in July 2005. She succeeds Professor Lester K. Little, who will retire during this summer.

"Carmela Vircillo Franklin will bring the same intellectual vigor, warmth and leadership to the role of director that she has to all the undertakings of her life and work," said Academy President Adele Chatfield-Taylor. "We are delighted that she will be in place in time to welcome our new class of fellows in September of 2005. This is the 110th year of the Academy's existence, and the 30 artists and scholars who embark on their Roman adventure will find her an inspiring and stimulating presence."

Franklin received her B.A. (1971) and Ph.D. (1977) in classics from Harvard University and has been a member of the faculty of the CU Department of Classics since 1993. Her research focuses on Medieval Latin texts and their manuscripts, and much of it is conducted in Europe's great manuscript repositories, including the Vatican Library. Among her recent publications is The Latin Dossier of Anastasius the Persian: Hagiographic Translations and Transformations (2004), which applies an interdisciplinary approach to early medieval culture, transcending traditional linguistic and geographical boundaries. Currently, she is completing a study of Latin poems with musical notations that are preserved on a parchment fragment in the Paris National Library.

Her most recent academic honors include the Henry Allen Moe Prize in the Humanities (American Philosophical Society, 2003), and appointment as Phi Beta Kappa Visiting Scholar (1998-99). She was a fellow at the American Academy in Rome in 1984 (Mellon Fellowship in Medieval and Renaissance Studies) and returned as the Lucy Shoe Meritt Resident in Classics in 2001.

The Academy is located on the crest of the Janiculum hill in Rome.

"I am greatly honored by the appointment to serve as director of the American Academy in Rome, an institution I have loved since I first became connected with it as a fellow in 1984," said Franklin. "The Academy's embrace of the arts and scholarship in one splendid edifice and within one of the great cities of the world is particularly enticing. The Academy plays an immensely important part in the intellectual and cultural life of Americans. Its effects are felt both by those who live in the community and by those who use the library, attend the concerts, conferences, lectures and exhibitions, and come to love the place."

The American Academy in Rome is one of the leading American overseas centers for independent study and advanced research in the fine arts and the humanities. It is the only privately funded academy of the 30 such institutions in Rome. Through its annual Rome Prize competition, the Academy supports up to 30 individual fellows working in ancient, medieval, Renaissance and modern Italian studies, as well as in architecture; design arts; historic preservation and conservation; landscape architecture; literature; musical composition; and visual arts.

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Published: Jan 11, 2005
Last modified: Jan 19, 2005

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