Scripps College Assistant Professor of History Corey Tazzara was awarded the Rome Prize in the discipline of Renaissance and Early Modern Studies by the American Academy in Rome. The fellowship, funded by the Paul Mellon/Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, will provide Tazzara with a stipend, workspace, and room and board at the Academy in Rome for a period of eleven months. Tazzara will pursue research on the life and times of Italian writer Pietro della Valle, who is often considered the first modern Italian traveler.
“Time in the Vatican archives is essential for completing this project—and the della Valle archive is vast, although it is by no means transparent,” Tazzara said. Describing della Valle as “a tireless curator of the self” who deliberately preserved some of his documents while discarding others, Tazzara added that his research will assess not only what remains in the archives, “but also what is absent.”
Tazzara’s research will provide a foundation for the first English-language, book-length study of Pietro della Valle. The project will include a broader examination of Italian expatriates, social infrastructure, and Catholic culture in the 16th and 17th centuries.