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Music Faculty Strengthen Cultural Ties with Scholars in Asia

Author: Carrie Gates

Categories: Faculty News, Arts, Internationalism, and General News

Tricia Park

Continuing to strengthen cultural ties with scholars and alumni in Asia, three faculty members from Notre Dame’s Department of Music will depart on Tuesday, October 13, for Seoul, Beijing, and Hong Kong. During the 12-day tour, they will present concerts and lectures at leading universities and cultural institutions, including the Asia Society in Hong Kong. Building on the success of their previous visits, their outreach has expanded from universities to more broadly based cultural institutions as well—such as last year’s recital at the Beijing Capital Library, in conjunction with the U.S. Embassy, and their upcoming appearance at the Asia Society.

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History Alumnus Patrick Burke Advocates for Safety and Inclusion in Sports

Author: Mary Kate Martin

Categories: Alumni and General News

Patrick Burke

Soon after graduating from Notre Dame, Patrick Burke ’06 found himself juggling three roles—scout for the Philadelphia Flyers, law student, and co-founder of a nonprofit organization. If ever there was a time when he needed to communicate well and quickly, this was it. Whether the topic was hockey or law or diversity, Burke has found himself calling upon skills honed during his time as a history major. Burke is now president of the nonprofit organization You Can Play and director of player safety for the NHL.

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Anthropologists Propose 'Breastsleeping' as New Word and Concept

Author: William G. Gilroy

Categories: Faculty News, Centers and Institutes, and Research

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As far as titles in academic journals go, it’s quite the attention-getter. “There is no such thing as infant sleep, there is no such thing as breastfeeding, there is only breastsleeping,” reads the title of a new peer-reviewed commentary piece by University of Notre Dame anthropologists James McKenna and Lee Gettler that appears in the prestigious European journal Acta Paediatrica.

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Scholar of Latin American Studies Joins Department of Romance Languages and Literatures

Author: John Slott

Categories: Faculty News, Research, and General News

Joshua Lund

Joshua Lund finds studying a combination of literature, visual culture, and art to be the richest way to think about social problems in Latin America. He joins the Department of Romance and Romance Languages as an associate professor of Spanish with expertise in literature, film, political history, and cultural politics.

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Spanish Students Connect with South Bend Through Community-Based Learning

Author: Josh Weinhold

Categories: Faculty News, Centers and Institutes, Undergraduate News, and General News

Community-based learning with Spanish majors at Notre Dame

Through a series of new community-based learning Spanish courses at Notre Dame, undergraduates are improving their language skills both inside and outside the classroom. The learning model is based on the idea that a faculty member and local organization leader are co-educators—the experience is designed to be mutually beneficial to both the class and the community group. Spanish students in intermediate-level and community-based learning classes now average about 3,000 hours of service per year in South Bend.

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Video: Luxury as Power in Restoration-Era England

Author: Todd Boruff

Categories: Faculty News, Research, and General News

Laura Knopppers

“Scholars who have worked on Charles II have tended to back away from the sensational side of the Restoration," said Laura Knoppers, professor of English at the University of Notre Dame. “When I come to Charles II, I see that mode of luxury as central to his political power and is essential to the way that that monarchy is representing itself in England.” Knoppers’ research centers on the 17th century and intersections between literature, visual culture, politics, and religion.

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Alumni Filmmakers Mentor Students During Production of ‘First Time Fans’

Author: Tom Lange

Categories: Alumni, Undergraduate News, and General News

First Time Fans

Justin Mitchell ’95, Greg Kohs ’88, and Mike Canzoniero ’93—three Notre Dame alumni who became professional filmmakers—were invited back to campus last year to create short films about fans’ first time attending games at Notre Dame Stadium. Producing “First Time Fans” with Fighting Irish Digital Media, Ted Mandell of the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre wanted to give the alumni full access to a Notre Dame football game. But he also wanted to make existing students part of the project, so they could see what it actually means to be “on set.”

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Theatre Professor’s Play Explores Nuances of Interfaith Love

Author: Aaron Smith

Categories: Faculty News, Arts, Centers and Institutes, and General News

Anne García-Romero

Disheartened by anti-Muslim rhetoric that followed the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Anne García-Romero resolved to write a play that explored the intricacies and nuances of interfaith love, tolerance, and peaceful coexistence. After years in the making, that work has become a reality. Paloma—which received its West Coast premiere and ran for a month this summer at the Los Angeles Theatre Center—focuses on a romance between a Muslim man and a Christian woman.

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Video: Meet French Major Paulina Luna

Author: Todd Boruff

Categories: Internationalism, Undergraduate News, and General News

Pauli Luna

“I’ve always been fascinated by France, and I just love the sounds of the language,” said Pauli Luna ’15, a French and Francophone studies major in the College of Arts and Letters. The major instructs students in a truly global language, spoken by nearly 275 million people worldwide. Courses on French literature and culture immerse students in the diverse aspects of French life while also helping them develop problem-solving and analytical skills.

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Notre Dame Experts Await Pope Francis

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Categories: General News, Centers and Institutes, Internationalism, Catholicism, and Faculty News

Pope Francis

When Pope Francis lands at Andrews Air Force Base on September 22, it will be the first time in a short pontificate and a long life that Jorge Mario Bergoglio, of Argentina, has ever set foot in the United States. His visit promises to be unprecedented in numerous other ways, and several University of Notre Dame scholars have been speculating on how.

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Video: Meet Italian Major Sara Spittler

Author: Todd Boruff

Categories: Internationalism, Centers and Institutes, Undergraduate News, and General News


“I love the language itself,” said Sara Spittler ’15, an Italian major in the College of Arts and Letters. “It’s so beautiful, and I’ve never really studied another language that I could speak and feel comfortable in, so that just gives me a whole new sense of confidence and that I feel is really important in a college education.” The Italian major incorporates language acquisition with immersion into the culture and literature of Italy. Students become proficient in the cultural vocabulary of Western civilization while developing critical thinking and analysis skills.

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NSF Grant Helps Institute’s Fellows Study Wandering Minds in STEM Classes

Author: Bill Schmitt

Categories: Faculty News, Centers and Institutes, Research, and General News


A research collaboration involving two scholars in Notre Dame’s Department of Psychology that seeks to combat student inattentiveness in STEM learning has captured the attention of the National Science Foundation (NSF), receiving a three-year grant totaling $550,000. The work of James Brockmole, an associate professor of psychology and visual attention expert; Sidney D’Mello, an assistant professor of psychology and computer science who studies cognitive sciences; and others is part of a research effort to fight the problem called mind wandering.

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Three Questions with Theologian Timothy Matovina

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Categories: Faculty News, Catholicism, Centers and Institutes, and General News

Timothy Matovina

Pope Francis is due to arrive in America Sept. 22, his first trip to North America. He’s expected to address the growing influx of Latinos in the U.S. Catholic church while he’s here, including delivering several talks in Spanish. Timothy Matovina, professor of theology and co-director of the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies, says Latinos have much to offer in the Church. Matovina teaches and studies Latino theology and Catholic history in America.

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The Experience Project Awards $1.7 Million to 22 Research Projects

Author: Brian Wallheimer

Categories: Faculty News, Research, and General News

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A research collaboration that aims to build new understanding about how religious and transformative experiences occur and shape people’s lives is awarding its first round of funding with more than $1.7 million going to 22 projects. The Experience Project, supported by a John Templeton Foundation grant, looks to answer questions about how religious experiences affect a person’s concept of God; how transformative experiences can affect a person’s identity, values, and behaviors; and how types of transformative experiences differ.

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Video: Meet Chinese Major Jack McKenna

Author: Todd Boruff

Categories: Internationalism, Centers and Institutes, Undergraduate News, and General News


“If you want to set yourself apart in anything you do—whether it’s a job, whether it’s applying to graduate school, whether it’s meeting a new person—I say learn a language,” said Jack McKenna ’15, a Chinese major in the College of Arts and Letters. As a major in Chinese at Notre Dame, students learn the language of the world’s most populous country. In addition to language study, students engage with the culture and literature of China, with topics ranging from religious traditions to international relations.

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