Berenson Fellowship

This Fellowship is designed for scholars who explore “Italy in the World”. Projects should address the transnational dialogues between Italy and other cultures (e.g. Latin American, Mediterranean, African, Asian etc.) during the Renaissance, broadly understood historically to include the period from the 14th to the 17th century.

It is named after Bernard Berenson, who in his 1956 statement ‘On the Future of I Tatti’ expressed the hope that not only would scholars come from many countries, but that they would also travel in “what was the ancient Oecumene, not going farther East than the Euphrates and not farther South than Egypt and the great desert of North Africa” and be intimately acquainted with the Mediterranean countries and their “Hinterland”. Taking a broad geographic view of the Renaissance more than half a century ago, Berenson was a pioneer of the geographically expansive approach to the early modern world that this Fellowship wishes to encourage. Scholars working in all the fields supported by I Tatti—architecture and the arts, history, philosophy, literature, music and history of science—are encouraged to apply.


Applicants must be conversant in English and have familiarity with Italian. At the time of application, a PhD is required. Priority will be given to early and mid-career scholars.  Projects can address the historiography or impact of the Renaissance on any field, including art and architecture, landscape architecture, history, literature, material culture, music, philosophy, religion, and science. It must be possible for applicants to carry out most of their research in Florence. I Tatti welcomes applications from scholars from all nations and gives special consideration to candidates without regular access to research materials and facilities in Italy. Applications are evaluated by international scholars. The selection committee aims to assess the ability of candidates to contribute in a collegial way to the intellectual life of the Harvard Center.

Short-term Fellowships at I Tatti can be held only once and cannot be deferred. Short-term Fellowships are intended for scholars who have not previously held appointments at I Tatti (with the exception of Graduate Fellows).


The stipend is $4,000 per month, plus a one-time supplement (maximum, $1,500) towards relocation expenses. When possible, a one-bedroom apartment will be set aside for the Fellow’s use, rent free, but with charges for utilities. If an apartment is not available, $1000 per month will be offered to help offset rental costs. In light of the residential nature of this fellowship, we actively discourage people from commuting and expect everyone to reside in the vicinity. The Fellowships are funded by a generous grant from The Lila Wallace – Reader’s Digest Fund.

Applicants should indicate their preference between fall (September through December) and winter-spring (January through June). Fellows are required to spend at least three days a week at the Villa and to live in Florence or the surrounding area. Fellows enjoy all the privileges of the Harvard Center, including use of the Biblioteca Berenson seven days a week and lunch with other Appointees from Monday through Friday. Short-term Fellows do not receive an office or study, but they will have their own desk or carrel in the Library itself. Fellows may not take on any other obligations such as teaching positions, even part-time ones, during any part of their Fellowship period.

The Fellow is responsible to obtain a visa, permesso di soggiorno, and health coverage (and, if appropriate, for accompanying family members). The Fellow must determine if a visa is required and, if necessary, obtain one before travel.


Applications can be written in English or Italian and must be submitted electronically by midnight (Cambridge, MA time) on November 15, 2017. Scholars can apply to only one type of I Tatti Fellowship at a time. 

Letters of Recommendation

Applicants must have two scholars who know their work well submit recommendations online by November 20, 2017. These recommendations can be written in English or Italian. In order to give your referees adequate time to submit letters of recommendation, click the reference tab and register them as early as possible. Referees will receive an email explaining how to access the system and submit their letters electronically. It is the applicants’ responsibility to inform the scholars writing on their behalf of the nature of the project and the deadline for submission.

The application link will be available by mid-August 2017