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Patricia Vigderman

“Roman Variations”

Patricia Vigderman

Visiting Scholar, Fall

Vigderman is at work on a book-length essay that, like musical variations, keeps refiguring the city of Rome, attending to its pasts as to the fertile ephemerality of music. The art of imperial Rome’s shift to Christian Rome, for example, suggests an aesthetic diplomacy hovering over sectarian differences, paradoxical moments of coexistence and transformation that borrow some of the fluidity, laughter, and mystery of art. Her previous book, The Real Life of the Parthenon, is a meditation on both cultural ownership and the paradoxical power of time. Time and cultural identity remain enigmas of abiding interest; now the musical form offers a model for shaping and keeping faith with their profusion in Rome.

Patricia Vigderman is the author of The Real Life of the Parthenon (The Ohio State University Press, 2018), Possibility: Essays Against Despair (Sarabande Books, 2013), and The Memory Palace of Isabella Stewart Gardner (Sarabande Books, 2007). From 1989 to 2018, she taught in the English Department at Kenyon College. In 2016 and 2018 she was a Visiting Artist at the American Academy in Rome, and in 2010 she was a writing fellow at the Liguria Center for the Arts and Humanities, Bogliasco, Italy. She has also been a resident writing fellow at the Lannan Foundation in Marfa, Texas, and a J. Paul Getty Associate at the Getty Center for the Arts and Humanities in Los Angeles, California.