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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University May 27, 2008 | Vol. 37 No. 36
Historian/Latinist Celenza Wins Guggenheim Fellowship

By Amy Lunday

Christopher Celenza, a professor in the Department of German and Romance Languages and Literatures at Johns Hopkins, is among 190 artists, scholars and scientists who have been named 2008 Guggenheim Fellows by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Chosen from more than 2,600 applicants from the United States and Canada, the fellows were appointed on the basis of distinguished achievement in the past and exceptional promise for future accomplishment.

A historian and Latinist who studies European intellectual history, Celenza will use his fellowship to examine humanism, language and philosophy from Petrarch (1304-74) to Angelo Poliziano (1454-94). He said he hopes to illuminate a period he refers to as "Italy's long 15th century" that is usually missing from the history of Western philosophy.

Celenza holds two doctorates: in history, from Duke University, and classics and neo-Latin literature, from the University of Hamburg. He has authored several articles and books, including The Lost Italian Renaissance: Humanists, Historians and Latin's Legacy, published in 2005 by Johns Hopkins University Press. The book won the Renaissance Society of America's 2005 Phyllis Goodhart Gordan Prize; in 2006 it was issued in paperback and selected as a CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title. Celenza holds secondary appointments in History, Classics and the Humanities Center, all in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences.

The American Council of Learned Societies awarded Celenza a Frederick Burkhardt Residential Fellowship for Recently Tenured Scholars in 2003. He also has been awarded a fellowship by Villa I Tatti, the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies, and a Rome Prize from the American Academy in Rome. From 2002 to 2005, he served as director of the Summer Program in Applied Palaeography at the American Academy in Rome. He is active in the Renaissance Society of America.

The Guggenheim Fellowship recognizes scholars of various ages and interests. The foundation considers applications in a wide variety of fields from the natural sciences to the creative arts, including physical and biological scientists, social scientists, scholars in the humanities, writers, painters, sculptors, photographers, filmmakers and choreographers. A total of $8.2 million was awarded this year, with the average award being $43,158.


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