Bryn Mawr College Professor of Greek, Latin and Classical Studies Catherine Conybeare has been named a 2019 Guggenheim Fellow by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. The Fellowship recognizes and supports her work on a study entitled “Augustine the African.”
Conybeare was among 168 scholars, artists, and writers selected from a group of almost 3,000 applicants in the Foundation’s ninety-fifth competition. Conybeare was one of only two classicists to win the award in 2019.
While holding the Guggenheim Fellowship, I shall be working on a book entitled Augustine the African. The hypothesis behind my project is that the Africanness of Augustine of Hippo is pervasively significant to his work, his priorities, his modes of expression and exegesis. The claims that Augustine was simply assimilated to Romanness—and hence to the ruling class in Africa—or, for that matter, the silence on the subject, are complicit in an appropriation of him and his work as belonging to a Western intellectual tradition in which Africa has, for many centuries now, been considered to play little role. The notion of universalité masks, as so often, a formative and situated individuality. In placing Augustine’s ideas back in his African context, I produce a completely new reading of their dynamics and significance.
Professor Conybeare was also recently elected to a Visiting Fellowship at the University of Oxford’s All Souls College and was one of 81 scholars named a 2019 American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Fellow.