Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Martina Russo

I have spent three weeks in September 2018 at the Johns Hopkins University where I have had an ultra-productive period. I am very enthusiastic: I warmly recommend this exchange to everyone who is involved in Classics Reception, Renaissance studies or Premodern Languages.

The collaboration between The Centre for the Study of the Renaissance at Warwick the and The Singleton Center at the JHU gave me the incredible opportunity to spend one period in one of the most prestigious university in the United States. The Department of Classics at the JHU provided me with assistance, support, and enthusiasm I had never imagined.

Under the supervision of Professor Roller, I actively took part in the Academic activities and integrated into the world of being a young scholar in America. The Department of Classics organized an inaugural lecture by Adam Lecznar “Dionysus after Nietzsche”, that was a great chance to meet with additional scholars. During my stay, I have had the pleasure to see Maude Vanhaelen (my former tutor at Warwick) who presented a paper on the reception of the Platonic Dialogues in the XVI century. Amongst the events which I have enjoyed, I have been grateful to attend Renzo Piano’s lecture.

Other Roller who was very generous in reading part of my work and spending a lot of hours in discussing my ideas, I have had many productive conversations with other academics such as Shane Butler, Gareth Schmeling, Eugenio Refini (a former post-doc at Warwick) and Laura Di Bianco. Everyone played an important role during my visit. I am pleased to be still in touch with them.

 I would especially like to thank Earle Havens, Nancy H. Hall Curator of Rare Books and Manuscripts, who has donated his time and his talent to introduce me to the rare collections of the Sheridan Libraries. I have had the privilege to look at rare books from the XVI century. The most exciting piece I was lucky to work on is the second edition of Seneca’s dialogues by Justus Lipsius. The rare materials at the Sheridan Libraries increased my interest in the way in which Renaissance scholars reread Seneca as a model. I hope to have laid the foundations for a successive project after I end my doctorate dissertation. As a classicist with a deep interest in Renaissance, I would like to go on this research.

In addition to excellent collections and libraries 24 hours open, the campus provides a lot of amenities: reading room, gym, theatre, relaxing spaces, excellent museums - amongst those there is the Baltimore Museum of Art which boasts the greatest holding of works by Henri Matisse in the world - cosy coffee shops and healthy restaurants. Baltimore deserves the title of charm city thanks to its history, art and culture. This exchange also offered me the opportunity of visiting several universities on the east coast—NYU and Columbia University in New York and University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia - and discussed my project with eminent academics such as Alessandro Barchiesi, Gareth Williams and James Ker.

In the end, I would like to thank The Centre for the Study of the Renaissance and The Humanities Research Centre at the University of Warwick. Without their support and generosity, I would not have this opportunity. My thank, once more, is for Sara Miglietti (she joined the JHU after her PhD at Warwick) who, despite she was no more in charge of it, has generously supported me during the stages of my application.