John Hopkins

Assistant Professor
Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin
253 Herring Hall
Research and Teaching: 

Roman art and architecture; Ancient Mediterranean visual culture over the longue durée; macro-historical study of critical/cultural theory  

John Hopkins works on physical/visual/spatial experience and the diachronic investigation of cultural and societal shift in the ancient Mediterranean.  His book, The Genesis of Roman Architecture, is a study of Roman architecture up to the mid fifth century BCE; in it, he investigates the effects of early urban and artistic change on the formation of the Republic and the history of Roman art.  The book is due out from Yale University Press in December, 2015.  Hopkins has also published  articles on the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus, Rome’s first and most enduring colossal temple, and on the creation of the Roman Forum.

Hopkins is co-director of the Collections Analysis Collaborative, an initiative to investigate the provenance and social history of nearly 500 objects from the Ancient Mediterranean in the Menil Collection.  Scholars from museums and universities across the country have been invited to Rice and the Menil over the coming years, and, along with Rice students, they will seek ethically grounded ways to collect, maintain and present cultural heritage to the wider world.  The outcomes will be shared in a new online research catalogue (currently under development), in publications and through a full reinstallation of the collection.

In recent monogrpahic work, Hopkins has shifted his focus to connectivity between Rome and the Mediterranean world in the art of the fifth to second centuries BCE.

As part of his PhD research at The University of Texas at Austin, Hopkins began working in digital reconstruction. The fragmentary nature of early Roman art led him to begin a project with the UCLA Experiential Technology Center, and an electronic publication through the American Council of Learned Societies E-book series, titled Visualizing the Genesis of Roman Architecture, will incorporate an advanced, fully interactive virtual model of early Rome into a scholarly framework with imbedded citations.

He is a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome, the American Council of Learned Societies and the Getty Research Institute.

Selected Publications: 
  • The Genesis of Roman Architecture (New Haven, Conn: Yale University Press, forthcoming in 2015).
  • “The Capitoline Temple and the Effects of Monumentality on Roman Temple Design,” in Michael Thomas and Gretchen Meyers (eds.), Monumentality in Etruscan and Early Roman Architecture: Ideology and Innovation (Austin: University of Texas Press, 2012), 111-27.
  • “The Sacred Sewer: Tradition and Religion in Rome’s Cloaca Maxima,” in Mark Bradley(ed.), Pollution and Propriety: Dirt, Disease and Hygiene in Rome from Antiquity to Modernity (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012), 81-102.
  • “The Colossal Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus in Archaic Rome” in S. Camporeale et al. (eds.) I cantieri edili dell’Italia e delle province romane, 2: Italia e province occidentali (Merida: Instituto de Arqueología de Mérida, 2010), 15-33.
  • “The Cloaca Maxima and the Monumental Manipulation of Water in Archaic Rome,” in K. W. Rinne, (ed.) The Waters of Rome (Charlottesville: Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, University of Virginia, 2007). 
Selected Awards & Honors: 

2015 - Invited Scholar, Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study
2011-2013 - ACLS New Faculty Fellow, American Council of Learned Societies
2010-2011 - Getty Postdoctoral Fellowship, Getty Research Institute
2010 - Outstanding Dissertation Award, The University of Texas, awarded for the best dissertation in Humanities and Fine Arts
2009-2010 - Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowship, American Council of Learned Societies
2007-2009 - Rome Prize (Frances Barker/Tracy/Samuel H. Kress Foundation/Helen M. Woodruff Fellowship of the Archaeological Institute of America two-year
Pre-Doctoral Rome Prize), American Academy in Rome