Olivia James Traveling Fellowship

Archaeological Institute of America

Deadline(s): 
Saturday, November 1, 2014

Deadline: November 1, annually; announced February 1

Amount: $25,000

Purpose: For travel and study to be conducted between July 1 of the award year and the following June 30. Preference will be given to projects of at least a half-year's duration. The award is to be used for travel and study in Greece (the modern state), Cyprus, the Aegean Islands, Sicily, southern Italy (that is, the Italian provinces of Campania, Molise, Apulia, Basilicata, and Calabria), Asia Minor (Turkey) or Mesopotamia (that is, the territory between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, that is modern Iraq and parts of northern Syria and eastern Turkey). Although the proposal may require travel outside these areas, the majority of travel proposed must be within them. The award is not intended to support field excavation projects.  AIA fellowship funds may not be used for institutional overhead, institutional administrative recovery costs, or institutional indirect costs.

Requirements: Applicant must be a United States citizen. To be eligible, applicants must be members of the AIA at the time of application and until the end of the fellowship term.  Preference will be given to individuals engaged in dissertation research or to those who received their Ph.D. within five years of the application deadline. Recipients may not hold other major fellowships during the requested tenure of the Olivia James award. Please note that all application materials (including references and transcripts) must be received at the AIA by the November 1 deadline.

At the conclusion of the fellowship tenure, the recipient is required to submit a report on the use of the stipend to the Chair of the AIA Fellowships Committee. After the tenure of their fellowship, recipient is expected to submit an abstract to the Program Committee within two years, in order be considered for participation in the AIA Annual Meeting. 

Recipients: 

2014 Recipient

Elizabeth BaltesElizabeth P. Baltes, Ph.D. candidate with the department of Art, Art History & Visual Studies at Duke University, is the recipient of the 2014 Olivia James Traveling Fellowship. Her project “The Dedication and Display of Portrait Statues in Hellenistic Greece: Spatial Practices and Identity Politics”, examines the evolving statue landscapes throughout Greece to better understand the political, social, and spatial dynamics depicted in portraits of the Hellenistic period. With the support of the Fellowship, Ms. Baltes plans on conducting on-site examinations of foundations and statue bases. Her project activities will include travel to Greece where she will examine Hellenistic statues. She will also have the opportunity to visit the Blegen Library at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens as well as photographic archives held by the École Française d’Athènes and the Deutsche Archäologische Institut.

2013 Recipient

William Flint Dibble, Ph.D. candidate with the Department of Classics at the University of Cincinnati, is the recipient of the 2013 Olivia James Traveling Fellowship.  His project “From Village Lifestyle to Urban Lifestyle: Variability in Human-Animal Interaction in Ancient Greece (ca. 1200-400 B.C.E.)”, examines ancient human-animal interactions from the Late Bronze Age through the Early Classical period in Greece (1200-400 B.C.E.), a period of increasing urbanization.  In particular he will undertake a zooarchaeological study of two large faunal assemblages (Nichoria and Athens) and two smaller assemblages (Azoria and Corinth), looking for evidence that reveals long-term changes in economy and society.  Research will be conducted at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, in Corinth, and at the Institute for Aegean Prehistory, East Crete, and the award funds will be used towards travel, housing and various research expenses.

2012 Recipient

Rebecca Worsham, PhD. candidate with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is the 2012 recipient of the Olivia James Traveling Fellowship.  Her project and dissertation topic is “Houses, Settlements, and Social Complexity in Middle Helladic Greece”.  The Middle Helladic (MH) of 2000-1600 BC is a culture that until recently has lacked a synthesized treatment, impeding our understanding of pre-Mycenaean culture and the emergence of Mycenaean states.  With the support of the Fellowship, Ms. Worsham plans to undertake a comprehensive study of MH domestic architecture and settlement structures.  She hopes to provide a formal analysis of house and settlement types, and a model of the households and social dynamics that created them.  Her fellowship activities will include travel to Greece and time at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, as well as visiting sites in the Peloponnese and Central Greece.

2011 Recipient

Naomi PitamberNaomi Pitamber, a Ph.D. candidate with the University of California, Los Angeles, is the 2011 recipient of the Olivia James Traveling Fellowship.  Her project and dissertation topic is “Re-Placing Byzantium: Laskarid Urban Environments and the Landscape of Loss (1204-1261)”.  The Laskarid dynasty rose to power following the fall of Constantinople to crusading knights, and the dynasty remains the logical cultural link between the Komnenian dynasty that ruled before Constantinople's fall (1081-1185) and the Palaiologan dynasty that flowered after its recovery (1261-1453). To date, no synthetic study has been undertaken on the corpus of Laskarid materials.  Ms. Pitamber will use the $25,000 award to define and interpret the art, architecture and material culture of the Laskarid period.  Her project activities will include travel to Turkey and Greece, where she will survey Laskarid architecture, examine archaeological finds in museums, and work in several special library collections.  Part of her time will be spent at the American Research Institute in Turkey, Istanbul.

2010 Recipient

Denton Alexander WalthallDenton Alexander Walthall, a doctoral candidate with Princeton University, is the 2010 recipient of the Olivia James Traveling Fellowship. His project, and dissertation topic, is “A Measured Harvest: Grain, Tithes, and Territories in Hellenistic and Roman Sicily (276-31 BC)”. During the 3rd through 1st centuries BC, the exploitation of Sicilian grain became instrumental to the expansion and consolidation of political and military power for the Syracusan monarch Hieron II and later for Rome and its growing empire While much of the evidence for this is textual, there is also a substantial body of archaeological evidence. Mr. Walthall will use the $25,000 fellowship award to further his work on the material elements of this agricultural administration--grain measures, monumental granaries, legal inscriptions, and patterns of rural land use. His project activities will include travel in Sicily, Italy and Greece, to examine excavation materials from a number of sites which are currently housed in museums, and to access the Blegen Library at the American School of Classical Studies on Athens.

2009 Recipient

Elizabeth Robinson The 2009 recipient of the Olivia James Traveling Fellowship is Elizabeth Robinson, a graduate student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Elizabeth will use her fellowship award to support her dissertation research, “Larinum: A Case Study for the Romanization of Southern Italy.” Using Larinum (modern Larino) as a case study, Robinson aims to provide a comprehensive and coherent picture of cultural change from the fourth century B.C. to the first century A.D. Her work will examine archaeological remains and historical records, including unpublished votive deposits and tomb assemblages. The $25,000 award provides funding for her travel and research in Larino itself, as well as to the Soprintendenza’s Storerooms at Isernia and Campobasso to examine the unpublished materials.

2008 Recipient

Rebecca Benefiel The 2008 recipient of the Olivia James Traveling Fellowship is Rebecca Benefiel, with the Department of Classics, Washington and Lee University. Her project is “Pompeii and her Neighbors: Civic Identity, Social Interaction, and Ancient Graffiti”. Noting that ancient Pompeii has often been studied in isolation, the goal of Dr. Benefiel’s project is to reintegrate the city into its surroundings. The project’s key to reconstructing Pompeii’s place in the regional network of cities and hinterlands is its graffiti: “Ancient graffiti, more than any other medium, reveal a dynamic system of economic and social networks tying together the communities of the region. These messages repopulate the city and indeed the whole region with vibrant activity, individual voices, and fascinating details of ancient life.” Dr. Benefiel will spend her fellowship tenure documenting and studying these unique documents and how they illustrate social interaction, the presence of visitors in the city, and steady exchange between Pompeians and its environs.

2007 Recipient

Suzan YalmanSuzan Yalman, Harvard University
A Period of "Transformation": Religion, Urbanism, and Identity in the Architectural Patronage of Sultan Alaeddin Keykubad
Suzan Yalman is undertaking the first comprehensive study of architectural patronage under the Anatolian Seljuk sultan Alaeddin Keykubad. She is exploring his choices and commissions in terms of religion, urban planning, and identity to shed light on this renowned medieval Islamic ruler’s own architectural legacy in Anatolia and on a period of “transformation” in the history of Islamic architecture. Outside of Turkey, few Western scholars have worked on the Seljuk period, so this research is the first study of its kind. The medieval town of Alaiyya (former Kalonoros, modern Alanya) was perhaps the greatest creation of the Anatolian Seljuk ruler Alaeddin Keykubad (r.1220-37).