Ann Marie Yasin, “Architectural Memory and the Varieties of Late Antique Appropriation: The Case of S. Paolo fuori le mura”
This paper examines architectural renovation as a significant mode of memory shaping by studying the fifth-century rebuilding of the basilica of S. Paolo fuori le mura in Rome. We will explore how reworking both the fabric and history of the pre-existing structure crafted new meanings and modes of experiencing the hallowed site, paying particular attention to its ability to alter the past building’s earlier appearance and associations while at the same time casting the new form and context as normal and appropriate. In the case of S. Paolo, a range of appropriative forms — including manipulation of architectural materials, monumental writing, and decorative elements — recast the relationship between past and present, imperial and papal histories of place.
Ann Marie Yasin, Associate Professor of Art History and Classics at USC, specializes in Roman and late antique art and material culture. Her current work examines questions of memory, materiality and user engagement.