John Hopkins

Visiting Research Scholar 2023-24

John Hopkins is Associate Professor of the art and archaeology of ancient Mediterranean peoples in the Department of Art History and the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University. Their research treats visual, spatial and physical experience; processes of making and maker communities; and the composition of sociocultural practices through the crafting of goods. They are author of The Genesis of Roman Architecture (2016, Yale UP), a study of art and architecture in Rome up to the mid fifth century BCE. It focuses on two aspects of object-oriented connections: first, those tying buildings/builders in Rome with communities across the Mediterranean, and, second, the reciprocal relationship of spatial production and social activity in the generation of an urban landscape. Their second book, Unbound from Rome: Art and Craft in a Fluid Landscape, 650-250 BCE (fall 2023, Yale UP), is an investigation of makers, materials and the role that craft communities play in the fabrication of sociocultural practices. It also takes as a central tenet the dismantling of imperialist culture-conglomerates, including the historically structuring notion of a Roman world or Roman period as well as the multiplicity and fragmentariness of material lifeworlds. They are author of over twenty articles, book chapters and reviews and is co-editor of two volumes on approaches to object biography and forgery studies.

Hopkins currently serves as co-director of the Quirinal Project in Rome and as director of the Antefixa Project. As a 2023-2024 fellow at ISAW they will focus on these two projects. The first of these includes the comprehensive publication of a site in the heart of Rome with a 2500-year use life, from approximately 650 BCE to the present and includes what may be Rome's earliest monumental domestic structure, a portion of large fortification wall and a sanctuary. As co-director, they are working with the Soprintendenza Speciale to develop a new museum on the site. The second project is a long-term scientific, digitization, conservation and object analysis project, focusing on architectural sculpture from multiple sites (and many museums) in Central Italy from ca. 725-150 BCE. It's goal is to trace networks, movements and actions of maker and creative labor communities by way of the comparative study of replicated and non-replicated materials.