Ahead of the Game

Ahead Of The Game Logo

Expand your mind.

Every fall, some of Notre Dame’s most engaging faculty discuss their research on the most pressing and fascinating issues of our times.

On home game Fridays, the Ahead of the Game series offers an opportunity for intellectual engagement, sharing the experience in an audience of faculty, students, and alumni.

All lectures are at 2:30 p.m. at LaBar Recital Hall within O'Neill Hall (south side of Notre Dame Stadium).

Visit the full archive of previous lectures (including video for many).

Fall 2022 Schedule

Sept. 9 (vs. Marshall)

Citizen Science Meets Science Fiction: Encouraging Gamers to Engage with Research

Ranjodh Singh Dhaliwal
Ruth and Paul Idzik Assistant Professor in Digital Scholarship and English

Over the last decade, the field of citizen science—involving nonscientists in gathering data and generating knowledge—has produced a number of video games that serve as portals to innovative research projects. By incorporating science fiction narratives into games like Foldit, experts in digital humanities are driving greater participation while also encouraging reflection on science, technology, and civic values.

Watch the video

Sept. 16 (vs. California)

Amazing Artifacts: The Hidden History of Notre Dame

Heather Hyde Minor
Professor of Art History

Since Father Sorin founded Notre Dame in 1842, the University has accumulated an incredible array of objects, including rare medieval manuscripts, specimens of extinct mosquitoes, ruby-handled revolvers, 17th-century Dutch paintings, and even a professional wrestler’s robe. Join professor and art historian Heather Hyde Minor to explore the history of Notre Dame through rarely seen treasures across campus — including some that are hiding in plain sight.

Watch the video

Oct. 14 (vs. Stanford)

Keeping the Republic: The 2022 Midterms and the Future of American Democracy (THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELED.)

A panel of Notre Dame experts on leadership, politics, and constitutional studies discusses implications of the midterm elections, including the status of the U.S. republic.

  • Luis Ricardo Fraga, Rev. Donald P. McNeill, C.S.C, Professor of Transformative Latino Leadership, Joseph and Elizabeth Robbie Professor of Political Science, and Director of the Institute for Latino Studies
  • Matthew E. K. Hall, David A. Potenziani Memorial College Professor of Constitutional Studies, Professor of Political Science, and Rooney Center Director
  • Geoff Layman, Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science
  • Benjamin Radcliff, Professor of Political Science
  • Christina Wolbrecht, Professor of Political Science and C. Robert and Margaret Hanley Family Director of the Notre Dame Washington Program

Oct. 21 (vs. UNLV)

Whose Paradise?: Undocumented Migration in Hispanophone Caribbean Literature and Art

Marisel Moreno
Rev. John A. O'Brien Associate Professor of Spanish

How is the Caribbean similar and different from the Mexico-U.S. border? How do literature and art help us understand the phenomenon of undocumented migration in the Caribbean? Join us for an examination of literary and artistic representations of unauthorized maritime migration in the Spanish-speaking Caribbean, challenging the myth of the Caribbean as paradise and exploring a region defined by the impact of colonialism, imperialism, and neoliberalism.

Watch the video

Nov. 4 (vs. Clemson)

Of Abandonment and a Storm’s Wake: Puerto Rico, Collective Memory, and Speculating Futures

Xavier Navarro Aquino
Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing

Xavier Navarro Aquino’s celebrated 2022 novel Velorio addresses Hurricane Maria’s impact on a compelling cast of characters in Puerto Rico. Join the author as he draws from that work to discuss colonialism, migration, and the power of memory and storytelling in shaping our personal and collective futures.

Watch the video

Nov. 18 (vs. Boston College)

The Economics of Baby Booms and Busts

Kasey Buckles
Professor of Economics

From the mid-20th century baby boom to the recent pandemic baby bust, changes in fertility can have significant and far-reaching consequences. Join economist Kasey Buckles for a discussion of how economic factors affect people’s fertility decisions, why birth rates are declining, and what this trend means for the future of labor, education, and policy in the United States.

Watch the video