James S. Ackerman, original member of Villa I Tatti's selection committee, dies on December 31, 2016

James S. Ackerman, original member of Villa I Tatti's selection committee, dies on December 31, 2016

January 4, 2017

Prominent architectural and art historian James Ackerman died on December 31, 2016. Born in San Francisco in 1919, Professor Ackerman was Arthur Kingsley Porter Professor of Fine Arts at Harvard until his retirement in 1990 and became a member of I Tatti’s Selection Committee during the early 1960s, remaining on the committee for nearly thirty years. 

The Walter Kaiser Reading Room Fund

A project to reevaluate and revitalise one of I Tatti's most significant spaces in memory of Walter Kaiser.

In honor of this Director to whom fellowship and the sharing of knowledge meant so much, the largest single space in our library will be renamed the ‘Walter Kaiser Reading Room’. Read more

The Granaio Project

A brighter and more digital future for I Tatti.

The renovation of the building on I Tatti’s property known as the Granaio (the barn) and its surrounding area is central to a vital project concerning our growing involvement in the Digital Humanities. Read more

What we do

what we doI Tatti is dedicated to advanced research in any aspect of the Italian Renaissance. Read more

Upcoming Events

2017 Feb 23

Thursday Seminar: "Translating Sex: The Long History of the 'One-Sex' Body"



Gould Hall

The contention that before the late eighteenth century learned opinion held that there was only one sex, famously proposed by Thomas Laqueur in Making Sex (1990), has achieved near-canonical status in the eyes of many historians and literary scholars.  In this seminar, Park will argue that this “one-sex” body was never hegemonic in Latin Europe and will propose an alternative narrative to describe evolving ideas of sex difference among European natural philosophers and medical men.

Click here for a full list of upcoming events

Recent Publications

Success and Suppression: Arabic Sciences and Philosophy in the Renaissance
Hasse, Dag Nikolaus. 2016. Success and Suppression: Arabic Sciences and Philosophy in the Renaissance. Harvard University Press. Publisher's VersionAbstract

The Renaissance marked a turning point in Europe’s relationship to Arabic thought. On the one hand, Dag Nikolaus Hasse argues, it was the period in which important Arabic traditions reached the peak of their influence in Europe. On the other hand, it is the time when the West began to forget, and even actively suppress, its debt to Arabic culture. Success and Suppressiontraces the complex story of Arabic influence on Renaissance thought.

It is often assumed that the Renaissance had little interest in Arabic sciences and philosophy, because humanist polemics from the period attacked Arabic learning and championed Greek civilization. Yet Hasse shows that Renaissance denials of Arabic influence emerged not because scholars of the time rejected that intellectual tradition altogether but because a small group of anti-Arab hard-liners strove to suppress its powerful and persuasive influence. The period witnessed a boom in new translations and multivolume editions of Arabic authors, and European philosophers and scientists incorporated—and often celebrated—Arabic thought in their work, especially in medicine, philosophy, and astrology. But the famous Arabic authorities were a prominent obstacle to the Renaissance project of renewing European academic culture through Greece and Rome, and radical reformers accused Arabic science of linguistic corruption, plagiarism, or irreligion. Hasse shows how a mixture of ideological and scientific motives led to the decline of some Arabic traditions in important areas of European culture, while others continued to flourish.