For Thomas Anderson, it’s hard not to be fascinated with Cuba. Anderson, a professor of Spanish and chair of the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, has written two books on Cuban literature and culture and has published an edited volume of a leading Cuban author’s letters. Currently, he is working on a book that focuses on images of the U.S. civil rights movement in Cuban poetry. “I think for a lot of people, Cuba has always been seen as this forbidden country, and it’s something people are drawn to,” he said. “But it’s also a country with an incredibly rich literary and cultural history.”
The retreat was sponsored by the International Network for Comparative Humanities (INCH), an interdisciplinary group of literary scholars from across the U.S. and Europe dedicated to promoting comparative study. Co-directed by Notre Dame professor Barry McCrea and Maria DiBattista of Princeton University, the organization seeks to develop a new model for networking and scholarly collaboration in the humanities — one that stresses the importance of collaboration across generational, national, and institutional boundaries.
In the past two years, 35 history majors in Paul Ocobock’s honors seminar have received more than $125,000 in funding to do original research around the world. And every student in his course who applied for funding received it — using the grants to explore archives in France, Ireland, Uganda, China, and South Korea, among other places. But to Ocobock, there is something even more important than his students’ 100 percent success rate in securing funding — the sense of community they develop as they plan their projects together, travel the globe to conduct research, then return to his classroom to begin work on their senior theses.
Therese Cory, an associate professor of philosophy, has been awarded a Philip L. Quinn Fellowship by the National Humanities Center, a private institute of advanced study in North Carolina. Cory is one of 34 fellows chosen from among 630 applicants and the fourth Arts and Letters faculty member to receive an NHC fellowship since 2010. It will allow her to spend the year working on her book manuscript, Aquinas’s Metaphysics of Intellect: Being and Being-About.
Cummings, the William J. Shaw Center for Children and Families Professor of Psychology at Notre Dame, recently won the 2017 Urie Bronfenbrenner Award for Lifetime Contribution to Developmental Psychology from the American Psychological Association’s developmental psychology section. Over the past 35 years, he has done extensive research to show that inter-parental relationships, father-child relationships, and other family relationships and processes are related to children’s short-term and long-term adjustment and well-being. With research projects in Northern Ireland, Colombia, Israel, Croatia, and Iran, he is also examining how political violence affects children's emotional security and development.
They wrote poetry in Dublin coffee shops over plates of scones and artfully embellished cappuccinos — the curl of steam and lilt of Irish conversation rising and fading in the background. They wrote prose on the grassy shores of Lough Pollaacapull, where the towers and crenellations of Kylemore Abbey reflect in the waters below. They wrote in the Abbey’s common room into the wee hours of the morning. And everywhere, the 16 students in Notre Dame’s first Creative Writing Workshop in Ireland found inspiration — in the landscape, in the country’s literary history, and in each other.
Nanovic Hall, the state-of-the-art new home to the Departments of Economics, Political Science, and Sociology, their affiliated centers and programs, and the Nanovic Institute for European Studies, includes laboratory and research spaces, classrooms, and offices, all designed to encourage interaction between faculty, undergraduates, and graduate students. It features a soaring, three-story forum to be used for events, the latest video conferencing technology in each of the departmental suites, and a formal mediation room modeled after the United Nations that has translation capabilities for up to three languages.
The University of Notre Dame has received a $1.6 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to support the Sacred Music at Notre Dame (SMND) program and its transformative work with graduate students and the community. This is the program’s second grant from the Lilly Endowment — a private, philanthropic foundation that supports the causes of religion, education, and community development — following a $1.9 million grant in 2012 that helped launch SMND.
Can humans truly attain an accurate, objective view of reality? Or is our perspective inescapably colored by who we are and what we’ve experienced? Philosopher Sean Kelsey asserts that this problem is central to Aristotle’s text De Anima — and that Aristotle argued we can, a point his predecessors had tried and failed to make.
Erin Rice ’17 has been named one of the top five graduating industrial design students in the nation by the Industrial Designers Society of America. Rice is the seventh student in the last 10 years from Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters to win the Student Merit Award at IDSA’s Midwest District Design Conference.
The Association for Israel Studies has recognized Alan Dowty, a professor emeritus in Notre Dame’s Department of Political Science, with an AIS-Israel Institute Lifetime Achievement Award for his “lasting and path-breaking contributions” that have significantly shaped the field of Israel studies. Dowty has published seven books and more than 130 articles on the Middle East, U.S. foreign policy, and international relations. A revised and expanded fourth edition of his acclaimed book Israel/Palestine will be published in October.
Kiera Duffy, associate professor of the practice in Notre Dame’s Department of Music, recently received the 2017 Hunt Family Award for Emerging Artists from New York’s Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. The award honors the soprano’s outstanding artistry and promising future. “Lincoln Center has such meaning in my life — as it does for every classical musician. It is the cultural hub of North America,” she said. “So for Lincoln Center to honor what I’m doing is very humbling and a lovely validation.”
Jessica Collett, an associate professor in Notre Dame’s Department of Sociology, has been chosen to receive the 2017 Sheedy Excellence in Teaching Award. The highest teaching honor in the College of Arts and Letters, the Sheedy Award was created in 1970 to honor Rev. Charles E. Sheedy, C.S.C., who served as dean of Arts and Letters from 1951 to 1969. Collett will accept the award at a reception in her honor in December.
Notre Dame junior Rebecca Blais, a political science major from New Smyrna Beach, Florida, has been named a 2017 Truman Scholar. Blais is one of just 62 college juniors to be selected for the prestigious scholarship this year, from a pool of 768 candidates nominated by 315 colleges and universities nationwide. Established in 1975 as a living memorial to President Harry S. Truman, the award includes $30,000 in graduate study funds, priority admission and supplemental financial aid at select institutions, leadership training, career and graduate school counseling, and internship opportunities within the federal government.
Barry Lopez believes we are on the verge of global upheaval — in the way democracies function, in the way economies work, in the way countries cope with unprecedented numbers of refugees and the effects of climate change. But he also believes that Notre Dame students are “unusually qualified to do something about it.” A renowned essayist, fiction writer, and former Department of American Studies faculty member, Lopez received his bachelor’s degree from Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters in 1966 and a master’s degree in 1968. He returned to his alma mater last month to give a lecture on sustainability — and to offer his encouragement to current students.
In her academic research, Debra Javeline leads two lives. She is passionate about sustainability—and how post-Communist Russia is perceived. She is focused on coastal adaptation to climate change—and on the response to political violence in a small Russian town. An associate professor in Notre Dame’s Department of Political Science, Javeline is pursuing multiple projects in two distinct research areas—one focused on politics, conflict, and protest in Russia and the other involving the environment and sustainability.
An interdisciplinary team of four Notre Dame students won second place Friday (January 27) in the Walt Disney Imagineering Imaginations Design Competition. Mark Davidson, Jessica Klouda, Erin Rice, and Madeline Zupan were honored for their project, “The Spirit of the Isle,” a manmade island where guests enter from behind a waterfall to experience an engaging amphitheatre, explore sweeping terraces, or venture into a cave beneath the falls, which can double as an ice-skating rink in winter.
Imagine bringing the magic of a Disney theme park to the Notre Dame campus. Students in Scott Shim’s Collaborative Product Development course recently took on that challenge—with great success. A team of four students from that class has made the finals of the Walt Disney Imagineering Imaginations Design Competition, earning an all-expenses-paid trip to Walt Disney Imagineering—the creative force behind the Disney parks, resorts, and attractions—in Glendale, California, this week.
Notre Dame’s rapidly growing Department of Economics has added six new faculty members who bring diverse expertise in political economy, econometrics, labor mobility, market design, urban geography and poverty, and international finance. Lakshmi Iyer, Marinho Bertanha, Nilesh Fernando, Michèle Müller-Itten, David Phillips, and César Sosa-Padilla join the ranks of a vibrant department that has added more than a dozen faculty members in the last four years and offers one of the University’s largest undergraduate majors.
Three Notre Dame faculty members—Associate Professors Darren Dochuk, Karen Graubart, and Sean Kelsey—were offered fellowships last week from the National Endowment for the Humanities, continuing the University’s record success winning support for humanities research. Arts and Letters faculty have won 61 NEH fellowships since 1999—more than any other private university in the country.
History is often viewed through the lens of social movements, political trends, or intellectual advances. But for Korey Garibaldi, there are also important insights to be found in more fleeting elements of American culture—like briefly popular texts from the 20th-century publishing industry.
César Sosa-Padilla, an assistant professor of economics at the University of Notre Dame, has been awarded the 2016 John Charles Polanyi Prize by the government of the Province of Ontario. The annual prize recognizes up to five outstanding, early career researchers in the fields of physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, or economic science.
Stephen Lancaster, an associate professor of the practice in voice in the University of Notre Dame’s Department of Music and Sacred Music at Notre Dame program, has been awarded the 2016 American Prize in Vocal Performance. Lancaster, who is also head of the graduate studio in voice, won the prize for the men in art song and oratorio, professional division.
On a sunny spring afternoon, Amy Mulligan leads a class of Notre Dame undergraduates to the shore of Saint Mary’s Lake. Sitting on the grass, the students take turns reading aloud passages from a 12th-century Irish text. “We make these campus pilgrimages to consider how a text is transformed when you move into a natural environment,” said Mulligan, an assistant professor of Irish language and literature who recently won both a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship and a Fulbright U.S. Scholar award.
Marisel Moreno, an associate professor in Notre Dame’s Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, has been selected to receive the 2016 Sheedy Excellence in Teaching Award, the highest teaching honor in the College of Arts and Letters. Moreno, whose research and teaching focus on Latino literature and culture, helped launch a community-based learning program in her department in 2010. Students in her classes enhance traditional literature study by volunteering at La Casa de Amistad, a local Latino community organization.
French literature has received a lot of attention lately from an unexpected source—economists. Julia Douthwaite, a professor of French in Notre Dame’s Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, wants to evaluate their interpretations and delve deeper into literary representations of money. Douthwaite has received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities—her second—for her book project on the topic, tentatively titled Financiers We Have Known: A Capitalist History of Literature.
César Soto wants to know how the spark of political revolution can transform religious concepts of community and inclusion. To better understand the issue, he’s turning to the literature of England, Ireland, and Mexico in the late 1700s and early 1800s. Soto, a Ph.D. candidate in Notre Dame’s Department of English with a graduate minor in Irish studies, has been awarded a Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship for 2016-17 to support his project.
Graduate students Filippo Gianferrari and Adriana Monica Solomon have been awarded Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships to delve deeper into the lives and impact of two intellectual archetypes—Dante and Isaac Newton, respectively. Gianferrari, a Ph.D. candidate in the Medieval Institute, is investigating the Latin authors who may have influenced Dante. And Solomon, a philosophy Ph.D. candidate in the History and Philosophy of Science Program at the John J. Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values, is shining a light on Newton’s lesser-known contributions to philosophy and science.
For a talented group of students and young alumni from Notre Dame’s Department of Film, Television, and Theatre, the dream of having their film screened at a Los Angeles film festival was realized this summer. The showcase, hosted by the College of Arts and Letters, was held at the Directors Guild of America Theatre this summer. It featured six student films and a short documentary from the “First Time Fans” series, directed by alumni filmmakers.
From the first flicker of life in Frankenstein’s monster to the spark of unexpected connection between two high school students, the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre’s 2016-17 theatre season features an array of diverse, compelling productions. The department will present two student-written plays, In Paradisum and The Pink Pope, followed by an adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Lauren Gunderson’s I and You, and Christ’s Passion: Medieval Mystery Plays.