Residential research programme at the British School at Rome


Siobhán Jolley, a PhD candidate in the Centre for Biblical Studies, participated in the prestigious residential research programme at the British School at Rome (BSR).

The BSR is situated in the Valle Giulia, the site of the 1911 British Pavilion. Designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and then adapted by him to become the home of the British School at Rome.

Siobhán was one of a small number of students from North West Consortium Doctoral Training Partnership (NWCDTP) institutions invited to spend 5 days on a fully-funded residential visit to the BSR, led by Dr Sian Bonnell (Reader in Wilful Amateurism at Manchester Metropolitan University). Other participants included researchers in History and English Literature and practice-based students of Fine Art, Photography and Creative Writing.

BSR is one of the most prestigious research academies in Rome. For over 100 years, world-class researchers of the art, history and culture of the western Mediterranean and the best contemporary artists in the Commonwealth have been nurtured here.

It is the bridge between the intellectual and cultural heart of Rome and Italy and creative and academic researchers from Britain and the Commonwealth. Residents have access to the Library 24/7 during their residency. The 16 desks in the Garden Rooms are reserved exclusively for residents and also for visiting members, Research Fellows and Honorary Fellows. Residents are welcome to borrow books from the Library to use in their rooms.

The interdisciplinary programme included lectures and seminars with fellows and staff, as well as visits to specialised sites of interest related to the workshop in Rome. As well as undertaking research in the library and archives, Siobhán was able to use independent study time to visit a number of churches and galleries that house artworks which form part of her PhD research into the reception of Mary Magdalene in Baroque art.

The trip offered a unique opportunity to undertake on-site research and membership of a historic academic institution. Siobhán will work with other members of the cohort on a collaborative project based on their research and experiences during the residential, Rome: A Place of Imagination.

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