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Saturday Scholar Series: A Different Game Plan for Football Weekends

Author: Arts and Letters

Football games and tailgate parties aren’t the only weekend highlights visitors to the University of Notre Dame have to look forward to with the approach of fall. The 2009 Saturday Scholar Series promises an intriguing lineup of lectures by some of the College of Arts and Letters’ most engaging faculty.

The talks take place every “home game” Saturday in the Snite Museum’s Annenberg Auditorium at 12 noon, with the exception of the “away home game” scheduled in San Antonio on October 31 (see more details below).

Below is a listing of all the lectures with a brief description of what each faculty expert will present:

“Memorial Mania: Public Art and Public Feelings in America Today”

September 5, ND vs University of Nevada
Erika Doss, Professor and Chair, Department of American Studies

Why do we make memorials in America today, and why do we make so many of them? Just in the past few decades, thousands of new memorials—from permanent war memorials to temporary roadside memorials—have materialized in the American landscape. This talk focuses on contemporary American interests in memory, history, and public feelings, and the urgent desire to express them in public art and commemoration.

“International Security Studies: What the Eggheads Can Teach the Generals”

September 19, ND vs Michigan State University
Michael Desch, Professor and Chair, Department of Political Science

In an April 2008 speech to the Association of American Universities, Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates argued that “we must again embrace eggheads and ideas.” The challenge for us is to determine when and how academic social scientists can best contribute to national security policy in the future.

“Images That Matter: The U.S. as Seen through Latin American Eyes”

October 3, ND vs University of Washington
Thomas Anderson, Associate Professor, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures

This talk will examine a wide range of opinions that Latin Americans have formed of the United States over the past two centuries through readings of texts that hail from many countries (Argentina, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, Uruguay) and various areas of study (literature, politics, history, economics, etc.). Though the views of the authors and the images that they paint of the United States are diverse, many of them are strikingly similar in their revelation of the negative sentiments of Latin Americans who feel violated by what they see as the United States’ imperialistic ambitions in the region.

“Shakespeare in the 21st Century”

October 17, ND vs University of Southern California
Peter Holland, McMeel Family Professor in Shakespeare Studies
Scott Jackson, Executive Director, Shakespeare at Notre Dame

There was a time when Shakespeare was the preserve of an elite culture. Not any more. Shakespeare is now to be found everywhere: Shakespeare for children, Shakespeare in the community, Shakespeare in movies and on the web. Shakespeare is the ultimate global product, to be found almost everywhere across the planet. This session will explore some of the ways Shakespeare’s works are being performed in the 21st century, especially on the web and here at Notre Dame.

“The French Revolution, or How to Keep Your Head in Turbulent Times”

October 24, ND vs Boston College
Julia Douthwaite, Professor, Department of Romance Languages and Literatures

This lecture will combine reflections on Douthwaite’s decade of experience (1999-2009) as a University administrator and manager at Notre Dame, with amusing anecdotes of famous faux-pas of the French Revolution, to provide advice to busy professionals on how %{font-style: italic}not % to lose one’s head in stressful situations. Topics include: The Fiscal Fiascos of Marie-Antoinette, Appearances Are All, and That Rascal Robespierre.

“Latinos and the Renewal of American Catholicism”*

October 31, ND vs Washington State University
Virgilio P. Elizondo, Notre Dame Professor of Pastoral and Hispanic Theology
Daniel G. Groody, C.S.C., Assistant Professor, Department of Theology
Timothy M. Matovina, Professor, Department of Theology

Latinos bring new life as well as new challenges to Catholic parishes and dioceses. This presentation will examine the growing Hispanic presence, especially how to enhance the vitality of Catholic faith in the United States through a renewed understanding of the history, faith traditions, and immigrant foundations of U.S. Catholicism.

“Going Global: Medical Ethics in the Age of AIDS”

November 7, ND vs United States Naval Academy
Maura Ryan, John Cardinal O’Hara, C.S.C., Associate Professor of Christian Ethics

Since it was first recognized in 1981, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) has contributed to the deaths of more than 25 million people. Of those infected with HIV/AIDS in 2007, 68 percent lived in Sub-Saharan Africa. In this lecture, Ryan explores what AIDS has taught us about health and illness, poverty and vulnerability, hope and solidarity.

“Understanding the Cultural, Religious, and Spiritual Lives of Emerging Adults (18-23 Year Olds)”

November 21, ND vs University of Connecticut
Christian Smith, William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Sociology

What happens to the religious and spiritual lives of Catholic youth when they transition from the high school to the college-age years? What does young adult culture look like today? Smith will review major findings from his National Study of Youth and Religion pertaining to Catholic 18-23 year-olds.

  • Note: The October 31 lecture will take place in San Antonio as part of a special “away home” game weekend. To recreate the experience of being on the Notre Dame campus, the weekend also will feature all the activities of a regular “home game” including a pep-rally, the Band of the Fighting Irish, Notre Dame’s leprechaun and cheerleaders, a pre-game Mass, a community service project, and more. Additional details about this weekend can be found on the alumni website .

For more information on the Saturday Scholar Series and to watch videos of past speakers, go to .

Originally published by College of Arts and Letters at on August 24, 2009.