Saturday Scholar Series

A different game plan for autumn weekends.

You are invited to experience an intimate discussion with Notre Dame’s most engaging faculty speakers on some of the most pressing and fascinating issues of our times.

Each lecture and Q&A is presented in the Snite Museum’s Annenberg Auditorium at 12:30 p.m. (unless otherwise noted) on a home football game Saturday. All lectures are free and open to the public. An archive of previous lectures (including video for many) can be found here.

More information about other home game events on campus is available on the GameDay website.


Fall 2016 Schedule

9.10.16 (vs. Nevada)

“What Judges Want: Goals and Personality on the U.S. Supreme Court”

Matthew E.K. Hall, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science

U.S. Supreme Court justices are often viewed as rational actors who strategically pursue multiple goals, including policy influence, collegiality, and leisure. Yet these models rarely account for the possibility that justices with different personalities prioritize different goals. In this study, I use an automated textual analysis program to estimate “Big Five” personality scores for U.S. Supreme Court justices. I find that the justices’ personality traits are associated with a variety of judicial behaviors.


9.17.16 (vs. Michigan State)

Game at 7:30 p.m.; lecture at 4 p.m.

“How Stress Gets Under the Skin: Implications for Health and Well-Being”

Cindy Bergeman, Professor, Department of Psychology

Why do some individuals age more successfully than others? Professor Bergeman investigates the interplay among stress, resilience mechanisms, and health and well-being outcomes in young, middle-aged, and older adults. Her work is funded by multiple research grants from the National Institute of Aging.


9.24.16 (vs. Duke)

“Broadcasting the Bicentennial Birthday Bash: History, Myth, and Ideology in Television’s Celebration of 1776”

Christine Becker, Associate Professor, Department of Film, Television, and Theatre

Accompanied by rare clips from the prestigious Peabody Awards Collection, this presentation will analyze how television programming from across the United States in 1976 celebrated and interrogated the 200 years of history that followed July 4, 1776, and prompted reflection on the state of the nation’s past, present, and future through interwoven national, cultural, and religious symbols.


10.15.16 (vs. Stanford)

Game at 7:30 p.m.; lecture at 4 p.m.

“Flooding the Desert: Faith-Based Mobilizing to Save Lives Along the Arizona-Sonora Border”

Kraig Beyerlein, Associate Professor, Department of Sociology

Drawing on a large number of original interviews and surveys, this talk focuses on the emergence and growth of the faith-based movement in Southern Arizona to save the lives of undocumented migrants crossing the Sonoran desert. Mainline Protestant and Catholic congregations led the way in both phases of this movement. Professor Beyerlein will also discuss resistance to humanitarian efforts along the border as well as how secular participants have been changed through their life-saving work with faith communities.


10.29.16 (vs. Miami)

“Representing Latinos in Television’s New Golden Age”

Jason Ruiz, Associate Professor, Department of American Studies

Although television have narratives become more complex and innovative in this so-called “new golden age” of the medium, representations of Latinos on TV have largely remained relegated to tired but familiar stereotypes. This talk interrogates how and why the creators of otherwise imaginative cultural texts continue to propagate these stereotypical visions of Latinos and Latinas and challenges viewers to consider the deeper meanings of popular series like Breaking Bad and Orange is the New Black.


11.19.16 (vs. Virginia Tech)

“Monk’s Tale: The Presidential Years”

Father Edward A. “Monk” Malloy, President Emeritus

Father Monk Malloy, C.S.C., will reflect back on his 18 years as Notre Dame’s 16th president, drawing on his recently published book. He will offer a highly personal account of both the challenges and the manifest achievements during his time as president.