Mount Allison researchers receive new SSHRC funding

30 Aug 2019

Projects include field work in Pompeii, contemporary research around Namibia’s history

SACKVILLE, NB — Two Mount Allison University professors have received new funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). The news came as part of a national announcement made by SSHRC earlier this summer.

Classics professor Dr. Ilaria Battiloro received $198,031 in funding over three years for her project, Uncovering Pre-Roman Pompeii: New Investigations at the Sanctuary of Venus through the Insight Grants program, while Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures professor Dr. Renata Schellenberg received over $21,000 for her one-year project, Concepts of Commemoration in Contemporary Namibia, through the Insight Development Grant program.

“Both Dr. Battiloro and Dr. Schellenberg’s research projects help provide important insight and context into parts of our global culture and history,” says Dr. Jeff Ollerhead, Mount Allison University provost and vice-president, academic and research. “They are also building roles for their students to be active participants in their research programs, providing exceptional experiential learning opportunities as part of the undergraduate experience. I would like to congratulate them both on these latest accomplishments.”

IlariaBattiloro_SSHRC2019fundingSince 2017, Mount Allison students, led by Ilaria Battiloro, have been part of an international research team conducting an archaeological excavation in Pompeii. The Venus Pompeiana Project Archaeological Field School is a collaboration between Mount Allison, the University of Missouri (Dr. Marcello Mogetta) and the Archaeological Park of Pompeii. The subject of this program is the Sanctuary of Venus, a prominent cult site whose monumental remains still dominate the main access to the ancient town. The research team is especially interested in what was on the site before the sanctuary was constructed in the first century BC.

With the help of this SSHRC funding, Battiloro is continuing this research partnership, which saw 12 students from Mount Allison, Simon Fraser, and Trent universities travel to Pompeii to conduct research this summer, as well as eight additional returning volunteers. Battiloro will also be hiring two Mount Allison students as research assistants during the academic year to analyze site findings and engage in academic research first-hand, presenting at related conferences and submitting results for publication.

RenataSchellenberg_SSHRC2019Dr. Renata Schellenberg’s project explores current commemorative practices pertaining to the remembrance of the genocide that was perpetrated in German South West Africa (today’s Namibia) during German imperial rule. Between 1904 and 1908 the Nama and Herero tribes suffered systemic persecution and elimination by German colonial powers – acts of organized violence that are known to have resulted in more than 120 000 deaths. Schellenberg studies the institutional efforts made to document and preserve these historical events, while also querying the underlying reasons why they remain largely unknown to the general public. Two undergraduate students will be recruited as research assistants to help collate this information and further the objectives of the project. As a complement to the SSHRC award, Schellenberg is also the recipient of a highly prestigious research fellowship at the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin to be undertaken in the city’s ethnographic museum in spring 2020.


The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) is the federal research funding agency that promotes and supports postsecondary-based research and research training in the humanities and social sciences (

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