Photo courtesy of John Hopkins

Sophomore Vincent Gonzales, standing in front of fourth-century mosaics in the Salone d’ingresso at the Villa Borghese, contemplates the Roman sculpture of a satyr in attack (circa 120–140 C.E.). Photo courtesy of John Hopkins

IN MAY, RICE STUDENTS IMMERSED THEMSELVES IN THE ART, architecture, archaeology, museums and neighborhoods of Rome via an experiential art history course that traced the city’s mythical beginnings to modern times. The class, Rome: The Eternal City, packed local tours, readings, day trips and independent study into a three-week field study led by John Hopkins, assistant professor of art history and classical studies, and Natasha Mao, an art history doctoral student. In addition to the Roman Forum, St. Peter’s Basilica, medieval pilgrimage routes, the Borghese Gallery, the Jewish Museum and the National Museum of XXI Century Arts (to name a few), the syllabus included visits to temples and museums not normally open to tourists. Professors built in time for students to roam and discover the city on their own, and pizza, gelato and espresso fueled their studies. The course is part of the HART in the World program, an art history initiative that covers airfare and lodging for students to travel to a different city each year with department specialists.

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