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Holding Court: Nicola (Nick) Camerlenghi

Photo of Nicola M. Camerlenghi

In this week's edition, we speak with Nick Camerlenghi, Assistant Professor of Art History. Camerlenghi's interests in early Christian and medieval architecture form the basis of his research for the book St. Paul's Outside the Walls: A Roman Basilica, from Antiquity to the Modern Era (Cambridge University Press, 2018).

What is your book about?

My book treats the architectural changes and continuities that took place over 1,500-years at the church in Rome where St. Paul was buried.

Where did you get your ideas for this book?

It is an off-shoot of my dissertation.

What does research look like for you? What element of research could you not live without?

Thanks to architectural design and GIS software, my computer allows me to visualize and analyze "what was where and when" in a building or even in an entire city over the course of lengthy temporal spans. That's my cup of tea.

What do you think the library of the future will look like?

I hope it looks like an Italian piazza—full of people of all ages who read, talk, play and share experiences that really matter.

What advice would you give to an aspiring scholar or writer?

1) Tell us only what we need to know; 2) Eliminate distractions while you write.

And finally, what do you read for fun?

For me, fun is not reading. I would much rather play with my kids, take a walk in the woods, cook and eat with family and friends. But every summer I try and read at least one "classic" that I have not read before. Most recently, these have included The Count of Monte Cristo, and The Island of Doctor Moreau.

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