I Tatti/DHI Rom Joint Fellowship for African Studies

Illuminated Gospel late 14th–early 15th century, Amhara peoples (detail)

I Tatti – The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies and the German Historical Institute in Rome (Deutsches Historisches Institut in Rom) offer a joint residential fellowship for the 2021-2022 academic year. With this fellowship, I Tatti and the DHI Rom seek to stimulate and support increased scholarship on cultural exchange with and within the African continent during the period c. 1250-1750 by creating and promoting opportunities for cross-disciplinary collaboration, particularly between scholars from African regions and those working in European and North American institutions. The fellowship offers post-doctoral scholars working on African studies (or topics that closely consider Africa) a ten-month position to conduct historical research in Italy supported by two institutes with dynamic academic communities.

Fellows will spend five months (September 1, 2021 – January 30, 2022) in Rome at the DHI and five months (February 1 – June 30, 2022) in Florence at I Tatti. The fellowship is designed for scholars in fields related to the study of precolonial and colonial African history c. 1250-1750, including art history, the history of expressive cultures, musicology, economic history, intellectual, political, and religious history, as well as literature and languages. Preference will be given to advanced research projects that address the relationship between the African continent and the Mediterranean world during the early modern period, broadly understood historically to include the period from the 14th through the 17th centuries. 

Eligibility

We welcome applications from scholars of all nationalities. Special consideration will be given to scholars from the African continent. Applicants must have their PhD certificate in hand by the time they apply and will be asked to upload a scan of it when submitting their application. (If the certificate is not in English, please include a translation.) Applicants must be fluent in English, Italian, German, or French, and proficient in an additional one of these languages. Each successful candidate must be approved by both institutions. It must be possible for Fellows to carry out most of their research with the resources available in the city where they are resident. The Fellow will be expected to carry out original research on the topic for which they have been awarded their fellowship. Priority will be given to applicants with no previous association with the two institutes.

Terms and details relating to the DHI

  • Fellows will spend five months at the DHI Rom (September 2021 – January 2022).
  • Fellows are required to spend their research period in Rome except for research-related trips, and to participate in and contribute to the activities of the DHI Rom.
  • The Fellowship may not be held concurrently with another fellowship or award.
  • The Fellow is responsible for obtaining health coverage with an Accident and Health insurance policy.
  • The Fellow is responsible for obtaining 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.
  • The Fellow must determine if a visa is required and, if necessary, obtain one before travel.
  • Fellows are given a space to work within the DHI for the duration of their stay.
  • Fellows enjoy the use of the DHI library, archive, and collections.
  • The stipend is Euro 2,500 per month, plus a monthly supplement of Euro 1,000 to offset rental costs.

Terms and details relating to Villa I Tatti

  • Fellows will spend five months at I Tatti (February – June 2022), made possible by a generous grant from The Lila Wallace – Reader’s Digest Fund.
  • Fellows may not take on any other obligations such as teaching positions, even part-time ones, during any part of their fellowship period.
  • The Fellowship may not be held concurrently with another fellowship or award.
  • This is a residential fellowship. Fellows must live in the Florence area, spend at least three days a week at I Tatti, and participate in and contribute to the activities at the Center.
  • Fellows enjoy all the privileges of I Tatti, including use of the Biblioteca Berenson seven days a week and lunch with other Appointees from Monday through Friday.
  • Fellows are offered a reserved desk or carrel in the Biblioteca Berenson.
  • The stipend is USD 4,200 per month, plus a one-time supplement (maximum USD 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, a housing subsidy will be offered to offset rental costs.
  • The Fellow is responsible for obtaining 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.

Application

Applications must be written in English and must be submitted electronically by midnight (Cambridge, MA time) on November 16, 2020. Scholars can apply to only one type of fellowship at I Tatti per academic year.

Letters of Recommendation

Applicants must have two scholars who know their work well submit recommendations online by November 20, 2020. These recommendations must be written in English. 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.

Click here to apply.

About

Villa I Tatti, The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies is a center for the study of early modern culture with a focus on Italy, defined historically as the period ranging from the 14th to the 17th centuries and geographically to include transnational dialogues between Italy and other cultures (e.g. Latin American, Mediterranean, African, Asian, etc.). The historic villa contains a unique collection of Renaissance and Asian art, and also houses the Biblioteca Berenson, one of the over seventy libraries that make up the Harvard Library system. In addition to its holdings of nearly 185,000 volumes, an extensive and historically important photograph collection and archive, and the Morrill Music Library, the Biblioteca Berenson also provides access to a vast range of online journals and other electronic resources, offering Fellows comprehensive interdisciplinary resources for the study of late medieval and early modern Italy. The most important goals of I Tatti are to advance the understanding of the Italian Renaissance, to encourage the fruitful interchange of ideas, and to create an atmosphere conducive to research and writing. I Tatti offers Fellows the precious time they need to pursue their studies with a minimum of obligations and interruptions together with a maximum of scholarly resources. Subjects covered include art and architecture, history, literature, material culture, music and performance, philosophy, religion, and science.

The German Historical Institute in Rome (DHI Rom) is the oldest German historical research institute abroad, with a tradition of more than 130 years of research. Since 2002 it has been a member of the Max Weber Foundation (MWS). As part of an international network of research centers focused in the field of humanities, the Institute is guided by a wealth of resources spanning eras and regions. The Institute’s library holds more than 240,000 volumes with important collections in the field of history and musicology. In addition, the proximity of the Vatican and Italian archives and libraries gives our researchers the ability to study Italian history and musicology from the early Middle Ages to the present day. The DHI Rom aims to foster international dialogue and exchange, and is particularly eager to promote young scholars in their PhD and post-doctoral research.

Image credit: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York