Rebecca Messbarger, professor of Italian and founding director of the Medical Humanities program in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, and Lindsay Sheedy, a doctoral candidate in art history and archaeology in Arts & Sciences, have both been named 2021 Rome Prize Fellows by the American Academy in Rome.
Each will serve as a fellow in Renaissance and early modern studies. Messbarger will research a new project, “Ghostly Light: How Criminal Corpses Animated the Italian Enlightenment,” which explores how major political, religious, aesthetic and medico-scientific reforms across the Italian peninsula were shaped by proximity to the gallows and the criminal body.
Sheedy will conduct research toward her dissertation, “Un’orrida bellezza: Religious Polychrome Sculpture in the Kingdom of Naples (1503– 1714),” which explores how polychrome sculpture participated in the changing religious and cultural landscape of southern Italy during Spanish imperial rule.
Founded in 1894, the American Academy in Rome is a leading center for independent studies and advanced research in the humanities and fine arts. Fellows are selected by jury and invited to pursue their work in an atmosphere conducive to intellectual and artistic freedom, interdisciplinary exchange and innovation. In all, 22 scholars will serve as 2021 fellows.