Doctoral and Postdoctoral Fellowships on National Churches in Rome, Bibliotheca Hertziana, Rome

Roma communis patria: the National Churches in Rome from the Middle Ages to the Modern Era

The Bibliotheca Hertziana, Max Planck Institute for the History of Art have announced a one-year doctoral fellowship and a one-year postdoctoral fellowship, both starting in January 2012, both with the possibility of extension for a second year. Candidates must be in possession of an upper level university degree (in the first case, an M.A.; in the second, a Ph.D), good working knowledge of German, Italian, and English, and a research project proposal consistent with the aims and objectives of the Minerva research group. The recipients of these fellowships are also expected to participate with constancy in the activities of both the group and the Institute.

About the project

Capital of the Empire, residence of the Papacy, destination of pilgrims, and metropolis of art, Rome since Antiquity maintained political, religious, and economic contacts with every region of the known world, and was a hub for foreigners from all over the globe. From the Middle Ages on, groups of compatriots met in the Eternal City and founded confraternities, churches, and hospices that mirrored linguistic, ethnic, and cultural groupings. These groups maintained fluctuating relations with each other, with the Curia, the municipality, and with their own home regions, appearing as representative bodies of real nationes even before the idea of a nation state had established itself on a continental scale. Dependencies, alliances, and conflicts between these small groups often reflect in a nutshell the power games being played contemporaneously in Europe, and for this reason they appear particularly appropriate for an inquiry into the historic presuppositions behind modern processes of globalization. Essential to the representation strategies of the nations was the siting of their institutional headquarters within the topography of the city as well as the architectural and urbanistic operations they promoted, but also their appropriation of urban space for religious and charitable activities and the relative political

Up to now research has focused on the national churches in Rome, offering mainly monographic contributions dedicated to the building phenomena and their impact on the urban fabric. The objective of the Minerva research group, in the ambit of a five-year project, is a comprehensive analysis of the historical-artistic phenomena related to these foreign communities as an expression of their cultural identity. A large and multi-faceted field of inquiry is thus revealed, one that includes within the spectrum of artistic production not only painting, sculpture, and architecture, but also prints, commodities, and the vast world of ephemera for religious festivals and processions. The objective is to emphasize the unifying elements of the individual nationes and to show how these elements – for example, language, religion, values, and customs –  found expression in the visual culture, or in other words, how a sense of belonging to a specific cultural community could arise through the use of recognizable semantic formulae. The study will also seek to verify to what degree the art patronage of foreigners resident in Rome was on the one hand the product of “self” presentation as distinct from the “other”, or on the other, of the penetration and cross-fertilization between imported artistic phenomena and local working procedures consolidated over the course of centuries.

Applications must include the following documentation:

–    Curriculum vitae
–    Photocopies of university (M.A. or Ph.D) diploma
–    Description of the research project (max 2 pages)
–    Summary of Master’s thesis or Doctoral dissertation (max 2 pages)
–    List of publications (if any)
–    Letter of recommendation from a prominent academic in the field

The Max Planck Society is an equal opportunity employer. Applications from physically disabled persons are encouraged.

Applications may be submitted via post or email and must be received by 18 November, 2011 at the following address:

Dr. Susanne Kubersky-Piredda
Minerva Research Group
Bibliotheca Hertziana
Max-Planck-Institut für Kunstgeschichte
Via Gregoriana, 28
00187 Roma

For further information please consult the following internet website: