The American Academy in Rome has named Professor Paulette Singley a 2021 Rome Prize Fellow. For over a century, the Academy has awarded the Rome Prize to support innovative and cross-disciplinary work in the arts and humanities. Each year, the prize is awarded to about thirty artists and scholars who represent the highest standard of excellence and who are in the early or middle stages of their careers. Singley was recognized with the Adele Chatfield-Taylor Rome Prize in Historic Preservation. She joins previous Woodbury Rome Prize fellows Marcel Sanchez-Prieto, Jose Parral, Joshua Stein, and Leslie Ryan.
Dr. Singley’s proposal, Preserving Perishables, explores strategies for conserving the cultural history of gastronomy in contemporary Rome. As stated in the project proposal, “We may recreate a recipe, such as hot lamb stew, from Apicius’s De re coquinaria (On the Subject of Cooking), in a meal prepared with onion, coriander, cumin, garum, olive oil, and wine, that allows the epicure to approximate the flavors of first century Rome…. Preserving Perishables proposes to focus on contemporary Rome’s at-risk culinary culture. While the diurnal produce market at the Campo de’ Fiori devolves into a cluster of semi-permanent souvenir stands, gelaterie take over alimentari or take-away pizzeria replace macellerie, Rome’s century-old food traditions are in danger of perishing along with the places, spaces, and memories that define them.”
The project will explore the model of a cartographic cookbook as a strategy for documenting, exploring, drawing, recording, and ultimately tasting contemporary Rome’s terroir. “Treating the city as an asarotos oikos or unswept room, it is possible to gather the conceptual debris of significant meals, arrange this material into their incipient recipes, and organize them across the topography of rioni, thereby linking taste and place.” The proposed “Cartographic Cookbook of Testaccio” will document the ways in which Testaccio’s delicate and perishable cultural history of food may be preserved in one of the world’s most enduring and substantial living archaeological sites, while simultaneously proposing innovative models for cultural preservation.
Founded in 1894, the American Academy in Rome is the oldest American overseas center for independent study and advanced research in the arts and humanities. It is the only privately funded not-for-profit institution among the national academies in Rome. In addition to the Rome Prize and Italian Fellowships, the Academy invites a select group of Residents, Affiliated Fellows, and Visiting Artists and Scholars to work together within this exceptional community.
Singley is an internationally known architectural historian whose work expands the disciplinary limits of architecture across diverse subject matter such as food, film, and fashion. Paulette was recently a Visiting Professor in the Department of Architecture in the College of Architecture, Art and Design at the American University of Sharjah (AUS) for the 2017-2018 academic year.