Xiaoshan Yang, associate professor and director of undergraduate studies in Notre Dame’s Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, has been awarded an American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Fellowship for the 2013-14 academic year. “Chinese poetry is a significant component of Chinese culture. It is known both for its antiquity and for its continuity,” says Yang, who specializes in classical Chinese poetry and poetics. “ So I was both excited and humbled to receive the award.”
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Brad Gregory, professor of history and Dorothy G. Griffin Collegiate Chair at the University of Notre Dame, has been selected as the new director of the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study (NDIAS). He succeeds Vittorio Hösle, the institute’s founding director for the past five years and the Paul Kimball Professor of Arts and Letters in the Department of German and Russian Languages and Literatures and concurrent professor of philosophy and of political science.
From the beginning of their joint research on political participation in rural Mali, Notre Dame political scientist Jaimie Bleck and Kellogg Institute for International Studies Visiting Fellow Kristin Michelitch were interested in the voices of voiceless citizens. Mali had experienced two decades of democratic rule but mass illiteracy, gender inequality, and elite control of political knowledge meant that many rural citizens, especially women, had little real role in the political process.
Since the fall of 2010, Notre Dame’s Center for Social Concerns and the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, through a joint faculty appointment, are extending student learning into the Latino community on South Bend’s west side. “Community-based learning brings the curriculum to life,” says Notre Dame senior Michael Thomas, a Spanish and finance major. “It’s an opportunity to put a face to the knowledge and the content that you gain in the classroom.”
What is the role of religion in rapidly developing societies? It is a hotly contested question among social scientists and theologians alike, with the prevailing view holding that global capitalism either makes religion irrelevant or produces a backlash of fundamentalism. Brandon Vaidyanathan, a graduate student in Notre Dame’s Department of Sociology, is discovering a different reality as he focuses on the world of skilled professionals in multinational corporations in two rapidly globalizing cities—Bangalore, India, and Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
Notre Dame Professor of History Christopher Hamlin has been invited to study at the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) in Princeton, N.J., for the 2013-14 academic year. While at the IAS, he plans to continue his research on the intersection of public health and economic policy in 19th century Ireland and Scotland.
John Van Engen, Andrew V. Tackes Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame, has won the 2013 Haskins Medal for his book, Sisters and Brothers of the Common Life: The Devotio Moderna and the World of the Later Middle Ages. The Haskins Medal is the highest award granted by the Medieval Academy of America, the main professional organization for medievalists.
University of Notre Dame senior Taylor Thomas says she chose to major in psychology because it can help bring order to things that seem incomprehensible. “I’m interested in the ways we can explain systematically the very chaotic aspects of life.” In pursuing this interest, Thomas spent last summer studying how mothers who have experienced trauma engage their children in conversation.
Notre Dame students looking to investigate some of the pressing issues facing our country today can get support for their research through the American Dream Summer Grant program. Offered by the College of Arts and Letters’ Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts, the grant is available to both undergraduate and graduate students to conduct an original research or creative project exploring some aspect of the “American Dream.”
The University of Notre Dame’s Department of English has strengthened its expertise across the historical spectrum and the globe with five faculty appointments that span medieval literature, Modernism, and digital media.
Every democracy is a work in progress. The degree to which some succeed and others fall short is at the heart of what sociologist Robert Fishman explores in his research and teaching at Notre Dame.
When tragedies strike, how do we recover? Last summer, senior psychology major Benjamin Pfeifer moved closer to an answer, thanks to a research grant from the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters.
“People have this idea that Japanese is really hard, that it is difficult to speak” says Matthew Donley, a senior Japanese and psychology major in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters. “But it’s not as hard as you think.” Japanese is a rewarding challenge, says the Houston native.
The University’s world-renowned fencing program brought student-athlete Alex Coccia to Notre Dame. By the end of his freshman year, the junior Africana studies major helped bring fencing around the world—specifically, to a group of schoolchildren in Uganda.
Alex Coccia and Nancy Joyce, both juniors in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters, have been elected undergraduate student body president and vice president for the 2013-14 academic year. Coccia, an Africana studies and peace studies major, and Joyce, an Arabic and economics major earning a minor in peace studies, will take office on April 1.
Sociologist Robert Bellah will visit the University of Notre Dame on Tuesday, March 19. The Elliott Professor of Sociology emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley, Bellah will present a lecture titled “The Modern Project in Light of Human Evolution.”
Researching, exploring, and seeking to understand other cultures are essential to anthropology—and a key part of a Notre Dame liberal arts education. Junior Greg Yungtum had the opportunity to do all of these things during a trip to Africa this past summer.
University of Notre Dame economist Joseph Kaboski has been awarded a $415,000 grant by the National Institutes of Health to lead a research project that will explore the poor’s motives and reasons for saving in developing countries. The study, now underway, is called “Unlocking the Black Box of Savings: Using Quantitative Theory and Microfinance” and will focus on the nation of Uganda, combining structural theory with experimental data.
Sandra Botero, a Ph.D. student in Notre Dame’s Department of Political Science, has won two prestigious fellowships to support her research on the policy outcomes of judicial decisions in Colombia and Argentina. Botero received an International Dissertation Research Fellowship from the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) and a Dissertation Research Improvement Grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for her project, “High Courts and Socioeconomic Rights in Latin America.”
A peaceful presidential election in Kenya would bolster efforts to promote economic growth, human development and security not only in Kenya, but throughout East Africa, according to University of Notre Dame political scientist Rev. Robert Dowd, C.S.C., who specializes in African politics with particular expertise in Kenya.
“What I love about the English major is that it challenges you in a completely unique way,” says Michael Fronk, a senior English and math major at the University of Notre Dame. “Just the critical dialogue that you’re able to have about these esteemed works of literature that have survived throughout the ages, discussing the human condition, and the way you’re required to just think critically about these and to form your own novel intelligent thoughts and formulate them into writing, has just been an experience that I’ve found tremendous and invaluable.”
Five of the world’s preeminent development economists are visiting Notre Dame this spring as part of the series “New Frontiers in Economic Development,” sponsored by the Kellogg Institute for International Studies in collaboration with the Department of Economics in the College of Arts and Letters.
Finding and publishing long-forgotten musical compositions by classical composers is usually a project reserved for Ph.D. and master’s students. But don’t tell Samantha Osborn that. Last summer the Notre Dame music and pre-med major spent two weeks in Rome at the Conservatory of Saint Cecilia, where she was able to locate and duplicate eight of Baroque composer Alessandro Scarlatti’s handwritten cantatas. She will perform one of them this spring as part of her senior thesis recital.
As French forces continue battling Islamist militants in Mali and the international policy community debates additional foreign intervention, the voices of those most affected by this political instability are rarely heard—until now. University of Notre Dame Political Scientist Jaimie Bleck, who specializes in Malian politics, has completed extensive research in Mali where she interviewed some 600 Malian villagers living on the border of rebel-claimed territory.
Whether they camped with Bedouins in the Jordanian desert, visited ancient temples in Japan, hiked around the Black Forest of Germany, or took a road trip to the beaches of Ecuador, the alumni of the University of Notre Dame’s Summer Language Abroad (SLA) grant program agree on one thing: their experience was completely transformative.
Timothy Matovina, a professor in Notre Dame’s Department of Theology, has won the 2012 College Theology Society Best Book Award for his work Latino Catholicism: Transformation in America’s Largest Church (Princeton University Press, 2012). Matovina, who specializes in Latino theology and religion, particularly Latino Catholicism, is also executive director of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies, housed in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters.
Writing a senior thesis can be an uphill climb—in Michael McHale’s case, quite literally. For his senior thesis, “A Journey Through the World of Petrarch’s Letters,” McHale, a Program of Liberal Studies major and 2012 graduate of the University of Notre Dame traveled across France and Italy to visit locations significant to Petrarch, the 14th century poet, philosopher, and “father of humanism.”
Catholics are less generous than other American Christians, according to a study recently published by the University of Notre Dame’s Catholic Social and Pastoral Research Initiative (CSPRI). “Unleashing Catholic Generosity: Explaining the Catholic Giving Gap in the United States,” by Brian Starks, director of CSPRI, and Christian Smith, William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Sociology at Notre Dame, compares the religious giving of Catholics with that of other religious communities in America and concludes that Catholics, on average, give less than other Christians.
Notre Dame economist Nelson Mark has been appointed acting director of the University’s Institute for Asia and Asian Studies. The appointment is effective immediately and runs through July 1, 2014. “As acting director, I am eager to help develop research and academic programming that drive collaborative scholarship on the many interdisciplinary issues that confront Asia,” says Mark, the Alfred C. DeCrane Jr. Professor of International Economics.
Notre Dame senior Olivia Lee has been selected to receive the Kroc Institute’s 2013 Yarrow Award. The Yarrow Award is given annually to a peace studies student who demonstrates academic excellence and commitment to service in peace and justice. Lee, an American studies and peace studies major, will accept the award at the undergraduate recognition ceremony on May 17.