Four Penn faculty awarded Guggenheim Fellowships

Daniel Barber in the Weitzman School of Design and Kimberly Bowes, Guthrie Ramsey, and Paul Saint-Amour in the School of Arts & Sciences are 2022 Guggenheim Fellows.

four faculty faces
Four Penn faculty have been awarded a 2022 Guggenheim Fellowship. They are (left to right, top to bottom) Daniel Barber in architecture in the Weitzman School of Design and Kimberly Bowes in classical studies, Guthrie Ramsey in music, and Paul Saint-Amour in English, all in the School of Arts & Sciences.

Four University of Pennsylvania faculty have been awarded the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship “on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise,” according to the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

Penn’s 2022 Guggenheim Fellows are: in the Weitzman School of Design, Daniel Barber, associate professor of architecture and chair of the Graduate Group in Architecture; and in the School of Arts & Sciences, Kimberly Bowes, professor and undergraduate chair of classical studies and the director of the Integrated Studies Program, the intensive freshman curriculum for Benjamin Franklin Scholars; Guthrie Ramsey, professor emeritus of music; and Paul Saint-Amour, the Walter H. and Leonore C. Annenberg Professor in the Humanities and English Department chair.

They were among 180 chosen from nearly 2,500 applicants for awards in 51 scholarly disciplines in this 97th annual competition for funding to “further the development of scholars and artists by assisting them to engage in research in any field of knowledge and creation in any of the arts, under the freest possible conditions,” the Foundation said.

Barber is one of two fellows selected in the category of architecture, planning & design. He is a specialist in environmental histories of architecture. His most recent book, “Modern Architecture and Climate: Design before Air Conditioning,” published in 2020, explores how leading architects of the 20th century took daily and seasonal climate patterns into account. He argues that climate emerged as an interdisciplinary framework for the production of a new kind of socio-ecological knowledge. Barber's Guggenheim project, “Thermal Practices,” is focused on how to live in buildings after fossil-fuel energy sources are no longer socially viable. The project sees the “thermal interior” as a space concerned both with the engineered precision of comfort and with how novel techniques and habits can reduce energy demand. Barber's teaching at Penn encourages architects to approach the climate emergency as a core issue in their design and scholarship. Currently on leave from Penn, he is a senior research fellow at the Centre for Apocalyptic and Post-Apocalyptic Studies at Universität Heidelberg in Germany.

Bowes, the single recipient in the category of classics, works on the archaeology and material culture of the Roman world. Her research focuses not on the elite class living in the Roman Empire but instead on what she calls “the other 90 percent,” the lived experience of the working poor and the economies that dominated their lives. She was the editor and primary writer of a two-volume book published in 2021, “The Roman Peasant Project 2009-2015: Excavating the Roman Rural Poor,” which documents the six-year archaeological excavation in Italy that Bowes co-directed with a team from Penn, with Italian partners. The research and resulting book examine the spaces, architecture, diet, agriculture, market interactions, and movement of rural dwellers in a region of southern Tuscany during the Roman period. Continuing and expanding on her research, Bowes is now working on a new book tentatively titled “Getting by Under the Roman Empire: An Economic History of the 90%” that will look at the opportunities and stresses experienced by working people.

Ramsey, one of two fellows selected in the category of music research, is a music historian, pianist, and composer. A member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Ramsey is the author, co-author, or editor of four music history books and biographies, most recently “The Heart of a Woman, The Life and Music of Florence B. Price” in 2020. He is the founding editor of the blog, and previously was editor for the series Music of the African Diaspora at the University of California Press. Ramsey hosts the Musiqology Podcast, and Musiqology Rx is his community arts initiative that provides arts programming to under-served communities. As a producer, label head, and leader of the band Dr. Guy’s Musiqology, Ramsey has released multiple recording projects and has performed at multiple venues. He also works in film, producing several documentaries and music videos, also composing the scores. He also has written for and consulted with museums and galleries on exhibitions involving music history.

Saint-Amour, one of five fellows selected in the category of literary criticism, works on 19th- and 20th-century British literature and has special interests in the novel, law, trauma, visual culture, and the environmental humanities. His most recent book, “Tense Future: Modernism, Total War, Encyclopedic Form,” published in 2015, won the Modernist Studies Association Book Prize and the Modern Language Association’s first Matei Calinescu Prize. Saint-Amour is a trustee of the International James Joyce Foundation and sits on the faculty editorial board of the University of Pennsylvania Press and the supervising committee of the English Institute. His editorial work includes the collection “Modernism & Copyright,” and the Modernist Latitudes book series at Columbia University Press. He is currently at work on two projects: “Attack Decay Sustain Release,” a series of personal essays organized around acoustic, pneumatic, and electronic keyboard instruments; and a book-length study of human ethical and aesthetic obligation to the nonhuman, called “Does a Cliff Have a Face?”