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Eight professors earn NEH awards; ND leads nation for past nine years

Author: Arts and Letters


Eight University of Notre Dame faculty members have received research fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) for 2008, bringing to 37 the number of NEH fellowships awarded to Notre Dame in the past nine years, more than any other university in the nation.

This year’s NEH recipients from Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters are:

Joseph Amar, professor of classics and concurrent professor of theology, for a book titled “Ephrem the Syrian: An Intellectual and Cultural Biography”

Sotirios Barber, professor of political science, for “American Constitutional Failure and Success”

Li Guo, associate professor of classics, for “Ibn Daniyal, A Medieval Muslim Entertainer and his World”

Thomas A. Kselman, professor of history, for “Conversion and Liberty in Post-Revolutionary France”

Peter Martens, visiting assistant professor of theology, for “Greco-Roman, Judaic, and Christian Traditions in Hadrian’s ‘Introduction to the Divine Scriptures’”

Christian Moevs, associate professor of Romance languages and literatures, for “Dante’s Commedia and the Mysticism of the Contemplative Tradition”

Samuel Newlands, assistant professor of philosophy, for “Reconceiving Benedict Spinoza’s Metaphysics and Ethics”

John Van Engen, Andrew V. Tackes Professor of History, for “The Spirit of Twelfth-Century Europe: Reason and Revolt, Reading and Romance, in a World of Custom”

“Notre Dame’s remarkable success in earning NEH fellowships is the result of at least three factors,” said Mark W. Roche, I.A. O’Shaughnessy Dean of the College of Arts and Letters. “First, incentives that encourage fellowship applications from faculty members; second, a superb support structure in the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts; and third, and most importantly, the outstanding quality of our faculty across a range of disciplines.”

In the past nine years, the University of Michigan is second to Notre Dame in NEH fellowships with 27, followed by Harvard University at 23, Princeton University at 18, and the University of Virginia at 16.

NEH fellowships support advanced research that contributes to scholarly knowledge or to the general public’s understanding of the humanities. Recipients usually produce articles, monographs on specialized subjects, books on broad topics, archaeological site reports, translations, editions, or other scholarly tools.

The Notre Dame faculty members are among 260 scholars who received fellowships and faculty research awards in the most recent NEH award cycle.

Contact: Kenneth Garcia, associate director, Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, 574-631-6494,

Originally published by Shannon Chapla at on January 14, 2008.