Break can act as a time for restoration after a week of midterm exams. Or it can be a time to pursue learning opportunities outside the classroom. For some Arts and Letters students, the week free of classes is the perfect chance to dive into their senior thesis research. For others, it’s a chance to travel to attend a film festival in Chicago or a museum in Washington, D.C. “That’s why I’m in the College of Arts and Letters — I’m very interested in the humanities,” said Jahlecia Gregory, a sophomore Africana studies major who visited the National Museum of African American History and Culture during break. “This trip has inspired me to find other ways that I can learn about different subjects that aren’t exactly in my major, but that I’m still really curious about.”
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NBA Hall of Famer David Robinson and his son, a College of Arts and Letters graduate and former football player Corey Robinson will be the featured keynote speakers during the University of Notre Dame's Martin Luther King Celebration luncheon on Jan. 22 (Monday).
Notre Dame political scientist Susan Collins has been awarded a 2018 fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities, extending the University’s record success with the NEH. Since 1999, faculty in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters have won a total of 62 NEH fellowships — more than any other university in the country.
Philosophy faculty members Michael Rea and Samuel Newlands have been awarded a grant from the John Templeton Foundation to pursue questions related to the nature of the self. The grant supports the planning phase of a large, interdisciplinary project Rea and Newlands are developing — “Narrative Conceptions of the Self in Psychology, Philosophy, and Theology.” In January, the philosophers will bring together scholars in philosophy, psychology, neuroscience, anthropology, and theology to present cutting edge research from their fields toward answering the question, “how can we understand and make sense of the narrative conceptions of the self?”
From the capital of Uganda, to American Indian reservations, to museums across the country, Notre Dame students travel around the world to carry out academic projects with help from the College of Arts and Letters’ Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program. With UROP’s financial support, students are able to engage in on-site research that can be used as the basis for a variety of independent projects, including a senior thesis. The experiences made possible through UROP not only lead to meaningful results, but also provide students with valuable life experiences they might not otherwise have.
“The medieval Mediterranean world is the one really impressive laboratory we have for studying how Jews and Christians and Muslims interacted with each other over a long period of time,” said Thomas Burman, professor of history and Robert M. Conway Director of the Medieval Institute at the University of Notre Dame. Burman’s research focuses on the scholars of the Middle Ages in Spain and the Middle East. His current project is on Ramon Marti, a Dominican priest who was proficient in Arabic and read extensively on Islam, yet almost exclusively engaged with Judaism in his writings.
Junior Katherine Smith has been selected for the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship to study or intern abroad during the spring 2018 academic term. Smith, an English and theology double major from Saint Charles, Minnesota, will study in Italy through the Notre Dame Rome Global Gateway.
Led by Jason Ruiz, associate professor of American studies, the two-day seminar brought local educators together with Notre Dame Professors to examine a variety of cultural objects, from early textbooks to modern dramas, to understand how media and popular culture shape “ideas about race” in America. The seminar, part of the Teachers as Scholars program, also provided practical strategies for approaching sensitive topics of race in the classroom setting.
Why researching and understanding the economics of the family is essential for government and military policy.
Longtime philanthropists in the greater South Bend community — Ernestine Raclin and her daughter and son-in-law Carmen and Chris Murphy — have made a lead gift to the University of Notre Dame for the construction of a new community asset, the Raclin Murphy Museum of Art at Notre Dame.
Lee Anna Clark, the William J. and Dorothy K. O’Neill Professor of Psychology, along with a small team of other experts, wants researchers and clinicians to revisit how mental illnesses are approached. In a new paper published in the invitation-only journal Psychological Science in the Public Interest, Clark and her team present the challenges in using three major diagnostic manuals from a scientific perspective and offer some recommendations for re-conceptualizing the mental disorders they describe.
Notre Dame anthropologist Alex E. Chávez published a new book, Sounds of Crossing: Music, Migration, and the Aural Poetics of Huapango Arribeño through Duke University Press this week. Chávez came to his research not only as a trained scholar, but also as a performer, trained in classical and jazz. At an early age, he was also exposed to huapango arribeño. This understudied folk music originates in Guanajuato, San Luis Potosi, and Queretaro, in the heart of Mexico.
The John J. Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values at the University of Notre Dame has released its sixth annual list of emerging ethical dilemmas and policy issues in science and technology. The annual list is designed to get people thinking about the ethics of potentially controversial technology, but the 2018 list shows that many of these issues are already here.
The first social psychology course that Jessica Collett took as an undergraduate left her wanting more. While the topic was fascinating, the examples in the textbook were dated and didn’t resonate with her or her fellow students. Now an associate professor in Notre Dame’s Department of Sociology, Collett has won the 2017 Sheedy Excellence in Teaching Award, the highest teaching honor in the College of Arts and Letters. And she’s now the co-author of that same textbook from her first sociology class.
Associate Professor of English Matthew Wilkens is fascinated by the use of geography in literature over time. How, for example, did the Civil War affect the importance of certain places in American literature, and what can literature tells us about Americans’ sense of place? The answer can be found in books written during that period — potentially thousands of them, many more than Wilkens could ever read and analyze himself. He was recently awarded a $325,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to bolster Textual Geographies, a database and suite of tools he is developing that allow users to find, map, and analyze more than 14 billion place name mentions from books and journals in English, Spanish, German, and Chinese.
Notre Dame senior Sarah Tomas Morgan has always had an interest in global issues. And the College of Arts and Letters has enabled her to explore that passion through her coursework and a variety of international and internship experiences. Coming into her first year, Tomas Morgan intended on majoring in political science. But after completing a University Seminar in the Program of Liberal Studies (PLS), her plans changed.
Four students in Notre Dame’s Ph.D. program in theology have received 2017-18 research grants from the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program. Ashley Edewaard, Stephen Long, Andrew O’Connor, and Joseph Riordan, SJ, are among 30 students from the College of Arts and Letters to receive awards in another record-breaking year for the University and the College.
Notre Dame junior Alex Mansour admits he's not much of a sports fan. Yet, when confronted with a crunch-time challenge, he came through with a prime-time performance befitting any Irish athlete making a game-winning play. Mansour's assignment? Create the musical score for the 80-second video that would be shown on the Notre Dame Stadium video board just before the Irish team took the field. Three days before the 2017 Irish season opener against Temple, the video remained incomplete — and Mansour was on the spot.
The Institute for International Education ranked the University of Notre Dame third among doctorate-granting universities for undergraduate participation in study abroad during the academic year 2015-16. This represents an increase from the University’s ranking of #4 last year in the annual Open Doors report.
Debra Javeline, associate professor in the Department of Political Science and affiliated faculty member of the Notre Dame Environmental Change Initiative, applies her knowledge to the “responses of ordinary people to hardship.” She spoke about her perspective in this Q&A session with ND-ECI.
The Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities at Notre Dame has received $275,000 in funding to continue its work reducing poverty and improving lives through evidence-based programs and policies. LEO, a research lab housed in Notre Dame’s Department of Economics, received this award to evaluate the impact of an innovative program, Stay the Course, which utilizes specialized case management to support persistence and completion among low-income community college students.
In Vanguard of the Revolution: The Global Idea of the Communist Party (Princeton University Press, 2017), author A. James McAdams seeks to understand how such a significant institution could be so different from country to country and still flourish. To find the answer, McAdams traveled to every location with a history of communism to research this book, including China, Cuba, Vietnam, North Korea, and the former Soviet Union.
For his entire academic career, Sean Reardon ’86 has sought to use his passions — the humanities and quantitative research — to make a difference in the field of education. One of the nation’s leading experts on educational inequality, Reardon researches how opportunities and outcomes vary in the United States for students of different racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic backgrounds. Reardon’s path to his current position, Professor of Poverty and Inequality in Education at Stanford University, is long and sprawling. It includes stops on a South Dakota Indian Reservation, a New Jersey Quaker school, and further academic work at Harvard and Penn State — but it all began at Notre Dame.
More than 750 scholars and guests are gathering at the University of Notre Dame for the Center for Ethics and Culture’s 18th annual interdisciplinary fall conference, “Through Every Human Heart,” November 9–11. The conference features 112 presentations that consider the perennial problem of good and evil in our world.
Stefanie Israel de Souza, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Sociology and a dissertation year fellow in the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, has been awarded a Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation Dissertation Fellowship. She is one of just 10 students from across the country to win the prestigious award, which supports Ph.D. candidates in their final year of dissertation completion.
The first edition of Laura Dassow Walls' new biography, Henry David Thoreau: A Life, sold out even before the official publication date of July 12, 2017, Thoreau’s 200th birthday. And Walls has been interviewed by NPR and the BBC, along with receiving positive book reviews from The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and The Wall Street Journal. “Laura’s book is quite remarkable, and it’s been exciting to see it getting such a wonderful reception,” said John T. McGreevy, the I.A. O’Shaughnessy Dean of the College of Arts and Letters. “It’s certainly gotten more attention than any book of ours in recent memory.”
Working to advance the mission of the Church in service of development, peace, and disarmament, attendees will address such topics as the July 2017 United Nations treaty banning nuclear weapons, nuclear weapons and the environment, and the role of Church and civil society in promoting disarmament. The speakers and panelists include Nobel Prize winners, senior diplomats, and leaders from the United Nations and NATO, as well as academic experts and religious leaders.
The University of Notre Dame’s Robinson Community Learning Center hosted a celebration Thursday, October 26, commemorating the Robinson Shakespeare Company’s summer trip to England where members had the opportunity to study the renowned playwright and his works in his place of birth.
Gretchen Reydams-Schils, a professor in the Program of Liberal Studies, has begun a 10-month fellowship at the Israel Institute for Advanced Studies of Hebrew University in Jerusalem, as part of a multidisciplinary research project that studies expressions of the self among philosophers, lawmakers, representatives of religious traditions, and biographers in ancient Greece and Rome. The project brings together scholars of philosophy, law, literature, early Christianity, Jewish Hellenism, and Judaism to understand classical thinkers’ concept of the self and how that conception manifested itself in Jewish, Christian, and Roman culture.
Mark Sanders is pushing the geographical boundaries of the study of English literature. Through his scholarly work, he aims to expand the traditional English canon beyond the United Kingdom and United States and to broaden the corpus of black writing, particularly that of black Atlantic authors. Sanders, who joins Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters this fall after 25 years at Emory University in Atlanta, specializes in early 20th-century American and African American literature and culture, as well as Afro-Cuban and Afro-Latino literature and culture.