Tag Archive for Nussdorfer

6 Faculty to be Appointed to Endowed Professorships

Rob Rosenthal, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, the John E. Andrus Professor of Sociology, announced that six faculty members are being appointed to endowed professorships, effective July 1. They include:

Anthony Braxton and Neely Bruce, professors of music, are being jointly awarded the John Spencer Camp Professorship of Music, established by a Wesleyan Trustee in 1929.

Jill Morawski, professor of psychology, professor of science in society, professor of feminist, gender and sexuality studies, will become the Wilbur Fisk Osborne Professor. The Osborne Professorship was established with a gift from Wesleyan’s 1861 class valedictorian.

Laurie Nussdorfer, professor of history, professor of letters, is appointed to the William F. Armstrong Professorship, established in 1921 with a gift from Armstrong’s estate.

Joel Pfister, professor of English, professor of American studies, formerly Kenan Professor of the Humanities, is being recognized with the Olin Professorship, established in 1863 to fund a professorship of “rhetoric and English literature.”

Joe Siry, chair and professor of art history, will become the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of the Humanities (a position also held by Clark Maines). These professorships were established in 1976, with an endowment from the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust.

Brief biographical sketches of all six recipients follow:

Nussdorfer Author of Brokers of Public Trust

Book by Laurie Nussdorfer

Laurie Nussdorfer, professor of history, professor of letters, is the author of Brokers of Public Trust: Notaries in Early Modern Rome, published by The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009.

A fast—growing legal system and economy in medieval and early modern Rome saw a rapid increase in the need for written documents. Brokers of Public Trust examines the emergence of the modern notarial profession — free market scribes responsible for producing original legal documents and their copies.

Nussdorfer’s Book Topic of Library Event in Rome

A book by Laurie Nussdorfer, professor of history and letters, will be discussed Dec. 16 in Rome. Her book, Brokers of Public Trust: Notaries in Early Modern Rome (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009), examines the emergence of the modern notarial profession — free market scribes responsible for producing original legal documents and their copies.

Nussdorfer chronicles the training of professional notaries and the construction of public archives, explaining why notarial documents exist, who made them, and how they came to be regarded as authoritative evidence. In doing so, she describes a profession of crucial importance to the people and government of the time, as well as to scholars who turn to notarial documents as invaluable and irreplaceable historical sources.

The event is sponsored by the Biblioteca di storia moderna e contemporanea, and the speakers will be Professor Mario Ascheri, historian of law, and Professor Renata Ago, historian of seventeenth-century Rome. The director of the library Simonetta Buttò and the director of the American Academy in Rome Christopher Celenza will also give brief remarks.

Professor Irene Fosi is coordinator the event.

5 Questions with . . . Laurie Nussdorfer

Laurie Nussdorfer is a professor of history, letters and medieval studies at Wesleyan. She says popes who reigned as rulers and bishops of Rome between 1550 and 1650 helped preserve notarial records.

For this issue, we queried Laurie Nussdorfer, professor of history, letters and medieval studies and author of Brokers of Public Trust: Notaries in Early Modern Rome (published by The Johns Hopkins University Press in 2009). She supplied her answers in writing, of course.

Q:  How did the idea for the book begin?

A: Daniel Rosenberg ’88 wrote a senior honors thesis in the History Department about the historiography of literacy (how historians had interpreted and investigated the ability of people to read in the past). I was one of the readers of this fascinating thesis, and it occurred to me that one could ask similar questions about how people had learned to use writing, even if they couldn’t write themselves, in the past. I work on the city and people of Rome in the period between 1500 and 1700 so naturally