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Art historian researches the significance of long-lost Italian murals during yearlong fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Study

Much medieval Italian art from the 13th century is focused on Christianity — paintings and sculptures depicting Jesus, the Virgin Mary, saints, or other Biblical scenes. But murals that were hidden for hundreds of years under layers of whitewash at the Santi Quattro Coronati monastery in Rome are different — in addition to religious iconography, they also depict secular knowledge. Notre Dame art historian Marius Hauknes is fascinated by the significant shift implied by the newly discovered paintings, and he’s spending this year writing a book on the subject after winning a fellowship from the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey.

Video: Economist on removing barriers to human capital development

Notre Dame economist Taryn Dinkelman studies labor markets and human capital in developing countries, primarily in her native South Africa as well as Malawi and Chile. One current project uses South African household survey data to track the effects of newly-gained access to electricity. Dinkelman thinks that a key constraint for households is the capital to acquire large appliances that use the electricity.

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