NAS Awards the Fraser Barron Scholarship to Janice Gunther Martin

National Association of Scholars

The National Association of Scholars has awarded Janice Gunther Martin the 2019 Fraser Barron Memorial Scholarship in Renaissance & Western History. Ms. Martin is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of History at the University of Notre Dame where she researches how humans engage and define the natural world and their place within it, with a particular focus on science and medicine during the early modern period. She plans to use the Fraser Barron Scholarship to continue her research on the relationship between the Italian and the Spanish Renaissance.

The Fraser Barron Memorial Scholarship in Renaissance & Western History furthers the serious study of the Renaissance within the context of Western history as a whole. Scholars are to inquire into the nature, the timing, and the effects of the Renaissance, with a particular concern for its relation to the broader intellectual, religious, political, social, and cultural transformations of the West. Previous Awards went to Robert Scott Dupree, Stephen Smith, and most recently, Dr. Eleanor Schneider.

Ms. Martin will extend her dissertation research by investigating the reception of Renaissance Italian equestrian culture in the Spanish royal milieu, in order to examine the relationship between the Italian and the Spanish Renaissance. In the sixteenth century, the influential Neapolitan riding academy developed the precursor of dressage, and a groundbreaking treatise on equine anatomy was published in Venice in 1598. Vigorous Iberian equestrian and equine medical traditions tempered Italian influence in Spain, however: Spanish elites exercised a distinctive style of riding, and Spanish equine doctors published their own genre of medical treatises. She will examine how Spaniards in such a context responded to Italian developments.

Ms. Martin will use the Scholarship to visit the Real Biblioteca in Madrid, located in the Royal Palace. There she will examine the marginalia of key Italian texts of horsemanship and anatomy for clues about what the readers found most interesting and useful, what they found objectionable, and why. She will also consult seventeenth-century manuscripts containing equine anatomical drawings in order to evaluate the influence of Italian equine anatomy in noble Spanish households.

The National Association of Scholars is pleased to award the Fraser Barron Memorial Scholarship to Ms. Martin, whose research will further our understanding of Renaissance and continue the good name of Fraser Barron.


Photo by Matt Cashore/University of Notre Dame

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