Lauren Jacobi, Assistant Professor of the History of Architecture and Urbanism in the Department of Architecture at MIT is this year's recipient of The National Endowment for the Humanities Post-Doctoral Rome Prize in Renaissance and Early Modern Studies for 2015–2016. Her Rome Prize project, "Across Economic Geographies: Italian Trade Sites outside of the Peninsula, ca. 1250-1550" studies culturally driven concepts of money alongside the actual places where financial trade was conducted by Italian merchants outside of the peninsula’s terra firma.
“With an eye turned towards technological shifts in the monetary trade, this project examines sites where Italians established vibrant mercantile colonies during the thirteenth through the sixteenth centuries in Bruges, Lyon, Messina, Alexandria, Tunis, and Acre. These cities enable sustained study due to the depth of the archival material concerning the regulation of Italian mercantile operations abroad. I argue that that national identity was key to how money and goods moved through long-distance trade networks.”
The Rome Prize is awarded each year to about thirty emerging artists and scholars whose proposals are evaluated by committees in each field. The American Academy’s Board of Trustees announced this year’s recipients on April 17, 2015. Recent Rome Prize recipients from the Department of Architecture include William O’Brien Jr. (FAAR ’13), John Ochsendorf (FAAR ’08), and Meejin Yoon (FAAR ’05).