Video: History Ph.D. candidate Adam Foley on winning the Rome Prize

Author: Todd Boruff

Rome Prize Adam Foley

“I’ve met some of the most interesting people I know here. It’s just unlike anything I’ve ever done in my life,” said Adam Foley, a Ph.D. candidate in the College of Arts and Letters’ Department of History.

Foley was a 2015-2016 Rome Prize Fellow, awarded by the American Academy in Rome. The Rome Prize supports innovative and cross-disciplinary work in the arts and humanities. Fellows are given a stipend, room and board, and individual work space at the academy’s 11-acre campus in Rome. 

Foley was awarded the prize on the basis of his dissertation, analyzing how humanists of the Italian Renaissance went about translating Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey from Greek into Latin.

“The translations that I’m studying have not been edited in critical editions, so you have to be here on-site,” he said. “We’re right next door to the Vatican Library, right down the road from many of the best libraries in Italy, which I’ve visited and couldn’t really do the project without.”

Foley was the second consecutive Notre Dame history graduate student to receive the Rome Prize. He attributes his success to the preparation he received from his department and the Graduate School, which coaches students on topics ranging from how to publish to how to write a winning fellowship application essay.

“There’s no question that those things, in addition to others, have helped me personally, and others, get their first publication out and win awards like this,” he said.

Originally published by Todd Boruff at on March 21, 2017.

Read more about Foley's Nanovic experience here.