For Journalists




Two From U.Va. Are Tapped To Receive Guggenheim Fellowships

April 26, 2001-- A University of Virginia psychology professor and an architect who is a fellow at U.Va.’s Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities are among 183 scholars, artists and scientists recently chosen to receive prestigious Guggenheim Fellowships for 2001.

Psychology professor Michael Kubovy, who is writing a book on understanding human pleasure, and architect Katherine Wentworth Rinne, who is creating an interactive World Wide Web archive showing the importance of water as a "living system" in the history of Rome, were chosen from more than 2,700 applicants throughout the United States and Canada. The annual awards from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, which provide financial support for a year’s intensive work on a project, are made on the basis of distinguished achievement and exceptional promise for future accomplishment.

Kubovy, a member of the psychology faculty since 1987, will work on a book tentatively titled "The Pleasures of Minds." Drawing on his interests in perception, cognition, evolution, psychology of art, aesthetics, and philosophy of mind, he will explain why and how human beings experience pleasure. One section will discuss pleasures of the body, reviewing the current state of knowledge about pleasure centers of the brain. Another section will review the history of research on visual and other stimuli that people find attractive. Other sections will look at purely mental pleasures, the relation between pleasure and emotions, and "negative" pleasures that result from a temporary escape from suffering.

The core of his argument, Kubovy says, is that people evaluate pleasurable activities in terms of the emotions they produce and that different pleasures provide different intensities of emotions. His 1986 book, "The Psychology of Perspective and Renaissance Art," also formed a bridge between psychology and key issues in the humanities. He previously taught at Yale and Rutgers.

Rinne, who has been a fellow affiliated with U.Va.’s Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities since 1998 and has also held a visiting appointment in the School of Architecture, will continue work on her IATH project, "Aquae Urbis Romae: The Waters of the City of Rome." Her interactive Web study examines the role of water in the 2,800-year history of the city and investigates relationships between natural and imported water systems as they influenced urban growth.

A main aim, Rinne says, is to show how water impacts public life. In Rome, the Tiber River, springs, streams, marshes, aqueducts and wells, all linked through topography, have shaped the larger landscape of streets, piazzas, neighborhoods and parks that define the unique character of the city.

The IATH Web site, with a prototype of the project now available at, is intended partly as a tool for students in fields ranging from architecture, landscape, and planning to history, archaeology and hydrology. It includes an electronic archive of historic and current maps, archaeological data, images, and texts of major Roman writers.

Rinne says she hopes the project can be a model for design and planning professionals to look at the water history of other cities as they make contemporary policy decisions. A visiting professor at Iowa State University this semester, she will spend part of her Guggenheim fellowship period at U.Va. and part in Rome.

Contact: Bob Brickhouse, (804) 924-6856

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Contact the Office of University Relations at (804) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (804) 924-7550.
SOURCE: U.Va. News Services


UVa News Sources UVa Top News UVa WebCalendar UVa Home Page UVa News Sources UVa Top News UVa WebCalendar UVa Home Page

Top news site edited by Dan Heuchert (; maintained by Karen Asher (; releases posted by Sally Barbour (
Last Modified: Thursday, 26-Apr-2001 12:52:33 EDT
© 2001 by the Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia
Topnews Information: (804) 924-7676.

News Sources UVa WebCalendar UVa Home Page News Sources UVa WebCalendar UVa Home Page UVa Top News UVa WebCalendar UVa Home Page UVa Top News UVa WebCalendar UVa Home Page UVa News Sources UVa Top News UVa WebCalendar UVa Home Page UVa News Sources UVa Top News UVa WebCalendar Uva Home Page