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Jan Ziolkowski


Jan Ziolkowski

Jan Ziolkowski, Arthur Kingsley Porter Professor of Medieval Latin at Harvard University, began his term as the Director of Dumbarton Oaks in 2007. During his tenure, the organization has expanded its programs, collections, and campus. Dumbarton Oaks now offers 25% more academic fellowships than it did a decade ago, and the scope of the institution has broadened to provide increased opportunities for early-career humanists. Two buildings in the surrounding Georgetown neighborhood have been renovated and expanded to better accommodate our burgeoning fellowship programs. In 2010, Ziolkowski founded the Dumbarton Oaks Medieval Library, a series of facing page translations of medieval and Byzantine texts published by Harvard University Press. All of this growth is in support of the mission of Dumbarton Oaks, to further the humanities as a whole and the goal of our founders, Mildred and Robert Bliss, that Dumbarton Oaks serve as a “home of the Humanities.”

Ziolkowski holds a PhD in Medieval Latin from the University of Cambridge. At Harvard, he has chaired the Department of Comparative Literature, the Committee on Medieval Studies, and the Department of the Classics. He founded the Medieval Studies Seminar, which continues to hold regular meetings open to the public in the Barker Center. Ziolkowski teaches courses mainly in classics and medieval studies.

He focuses the majority of his research and teaching on the literature of the Latin Middle Ages. Within medieval literature, his interests include the classical tradition, the grammatical and rhetorical tradition, the appropriation of folktales into Latin, and Germanic epic in Latin More comparatively, he has broad interests in medieval revivalism down to the present day.

The author of many books and articles, Ziolkowski’s most recent publications include the six-volume The Juggler of Notre Dame and the Medievalizing of Modernity (Open Book Publishers, 2018) and his translations of Max Bolliger’s Jacob the Juggler, Based on a French Legend from the Thirteenth Century (bohem press Italia, 2018) and Anatole France’s The Juggler of Our Lady (Dumbarton Oaks, 2018). Ziolkowski has also curated the Juggling the Middle Ages exhibition at the Dumbarton Oaks Museum.

Ziolkowski was awarded the first Alexander McKay Book Prize of the Vergilian Society, with Michael C. J. Putnam for The Virgilian Tradition (Yale University Press, 2008). He received that honor again in 2016 with Richard F. Thomas for The Virgil Encyclopedia (Wiley-Blackwell, 2014). Inducted into the American Philosophical Society in 2018, Ziolkowski is also the recipient of the Austrian Cross of Honour for Science and Art, First Class. He is a member of the Committee on Degrees in Folklore and Mythology, the Museum Studies Board, and the Committee for Villa I Tatti at Harvard University.