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School of Athens
School of Athens

Advisory Committee

The advisory committee is composed of people whose work in some way helped shape or inspire RILA. Their roles in RILA are various and vary from year to year: some members will visit the institute to give guest lectures to undergraduates and run retreats for adults, others advise on the administration of the program, or in some other way advance RILA’s mission.


Leonard Barkan, Professor of Comparative Literature and Director of the Society of Fellows in the Liberal Arts, Princeton University.
Eva Brann, Tutor and Former Dean, St. John’s College, Annapolis, Maryland.
  • Martin Brody, Wellesley College Professor of Music, and Former Art Director at the American Academy in Rome.
  • Teresa Calvano, President Emeritus of ANISA – Italian National Association of the Teachers of Art History.
  • Michael Cole, Professor of History of Art, Columbia University.
  • Giuseppe Mazzotta, Sterling Professor of the Humanities for Italian, Yale University.
  • Robert Pippin, Chair of the Committee on Social Thought, Professor of Philosophy, University of Chicago.
  • Joseph Walter Sterling, Tutor and former Dean, St. John’s College, Santa Fe.

  • Claudio Strinati, Art Historian and Former Superintendent of Museums, Rome, Italian Ministry of Culture.

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Sistine chapel
Sistine chapel


Teaching Faculty

RILA seminar leaders are experienced professors in great books programs, mainly from St. John’s College, Annapolis.

  • Philip Bartok, St. John’s College, Santa Fe
  • Gary Borjesson, St. John’s College, Annapolis
  • Eva Brann, St. John’s College, Annapolis
  • Chester Burke, St. John’s College, Annapolis

  • Anthony James Carey, St. John’s College, Santa Fe
  • Erik Dempsey, University of Texas at Austin
  • Robert Goldberg, St. John’s College, Annapolis
  • Lijun Gu, St. John’s College, Annapolis
  • Catherine Haigney, St. John’s College, Annapolis
  • Katherine Heines, St. John’s College, Annapolis
  • Margaret Kirby, St. John’s College, Annapolis
  • William Jon Lenkowski, St. John’s College, Annapolis
  • Paul Ludwig, St. John’s College, Annapolis
Tom May, St. John’s College, Annapolis
  • Joseph Macfarland, St. John’s College, Annapolis
  • Gabriel Pihas, Integral Program of Liberal Arts, St. Mary’s College of California
  • Jay Smith, St. John’s College, Santa Fe

  • Joseph Walter Sterling, St. John’s College, Santa Fe
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Amor sacro e profano
Amor sacro e profano


Art historians

The art historians we work with are Roman natives, possessing not only art historical expertise, but also invaluable experience with the logistical questions regarding art historical outings in Rome. They are personally selected for RILA by the President of the Italian National Association of Teachers of Art History (ANISA). Here are some whom we have worked with in the past:

Gian Paolo Castelli

Staff Art Historian in the Regional Office of Museums (Lazio). After receiving his degree in Classics, Mr. Castelli went on to specialize in Etruscan, Greek and Roman art history.

Micol Forti

PhD from the University of Rome “La Sapienza”. Director of the Vatican Museum Contemporary Art Collection. In 2011 she was nominated consultant to the Pontificio Consiglio della Cultura. Interests in Renaissance as well as contemporary art and art theory.
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