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Rome Seminar 2016: Jubilee

Rome and the Jubilee, 1300-2015: An International Summer Seminar

Notre Dame's Rome Global Gateway, June 9-24, 2016

Italian Studies at Notre Dame invites junior faculty and advanced graduate students to apply for the sixth annual Rome Seminar, hosted by Italian Studies at Notre Dame, which brings together 30 scholars and students from diverse fields across the globe to reflect, discuss and train on a topic related to Italian studies.

This year’s seminar, Rome and the Jubilee, 1300-2015, is organized by an interdisciplinary team of distinguished professors at Notre Dame: Ingrid Rowland (Architecture and Classics); Heather Hyde Minor (Art, Art History & Design); Margaret Meserve (History); and Robin M. Jensen (Theology). It is co-sponsored by Italian Studies at Notre Dame, the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters, and its Office of Research.

Jubilees began as a Hebrew tradition, detailed in the book of Leviticus (25:8-13):

And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a jubile unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family. A jubile shall that fiftieth year be unto you: ye shall not sow, neither reap that which groweth of itself in it, nor gather the grapes in it of thy vine undressed. For it is the jubile; it shall be holy unto you: ye shall eat the increase thereof out of the field. In the year of this jubile ye shall return every man unto his possession.  

In 1300, however, Pope Boniface VIII established a Christian version of this ancient Jewish year of atonement; instead of “returning every man unto his possession,” Christians were invited to visit Rome and experience the ancient Imperial capital as a place of spiritual redemption and atonement. The city’s monuments provided spectacular physical aids to religious contemplation, from the roads that channeled pilgrims into the city to the churches that offered dazzling visual experiences along with redemption from sin. As Pope Francis has declared a special Jubilee of Mercy from December 8, 2015 to December 2016, the study of Jubilees past and present can provide a timely focus for tracking Rome’s changing fortunes as a religious and political capital, to discover how its mission as a destination for tourists and pilgrims has shaped the face of the city and the growth of its public institutions.   

Tentative Program

Week 1: Pilgrims

June 9: Introduction. Pilgrimage in the ancient world: Ingrid Rowland (University of Notre Dame). Early Christian Pilgrimage: Robin M. Jensen (University of Notre Dame). Afternoon tour of the neighborhood with an emphasis on pilgrim routes

June 10: Morning: Pilgrims to Rome from St. Monica to the Via Francigena: Lila Yawn (John Cabot University). Afternoon Seminar: Robin M. Jensen (University of Notre Dame) and Lila Yawn (John Cabot University)

June 11: Morning: Caterina Pellegrina: Jane Tylus (New York University)

Afternoon Panel: Pilgrimage in Dante: Chiara Sbordoni (Leeds); Pilgrimage in Petrarch: Luca Marcozzi (Roma Tre); Pilgrimage in Boccaccio: Roberta Morosini (Wake Forest); chaired by Theodore Cachey (University of Notre Dame)

June 12: Excursion: Viterbo and Via Francigena

Week 2: Renaissance Jubilees

June 13: Morning: The Instauratio Romae from Martin V to Alexander VI: Elizabeth McCahill (University of Massachusetts, Boston). Afternoon: The physical Instauratio Romae:  David Karmon (College of the Holy Cross and American Academy in Rome)

June 14: Morning: Pilgrims and Monuments in the early sixteenth century: Claudia La Malfa (American University of Rome). Afternoon: Pilgrims, Relics, and Politics in Rome and across Renaissance Italy: Margaret Meserve (University of Notre Dame)

June 15: Morning: Pilgrim Guidebooks: Victor Plahte Tschudi (Technical University, Oslo). Afternoon Panel: Victor Plahte Tschudi, Margaret Meserve, David Karmon, Ingrid Rowland

June 16: Pilgrimage in the later sixteenth century: Marco Ruffini (University of Rome, “La Sapienza”)

June 17: All-day Excursion: Pilgrimage of the Seven Churches

Week 3: Baroque and Modern Jubilees

June 20: Morning: 1600 and 1650: from Clement VIII to Alexander VII: Tod Marder (Rutgers University). Afternoon Seminar: Tod Marder (Rutgers University), Ingrid Rowland (University of Notre Dame), or trip to San Giovanni in Laterano

June 21: Morning: The Jubilee in eighteenth-century Rome: Heather Hyde Minor (University of Notre Dame). Afternoon Seminar: Heather Hyde Minor

June 22: Morning: Pius IX and nineteenth-century Rome. Afternoon Trip to San Lorenzo, or San Paolo Fuori le Mura

June 23: Final Discussion

June 24: Pilgrimage, Jubilee and Pope Francis: Ken Hackett (U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See)