Christian Smith, William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame, was recently honored for two of his latest books: What Is a Person?: Rethinking Humanity, Social Life, and the Moral Good From the Person Up and Souls in Transition: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of Emerging Adults.
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From Cairo to Kabul to New York City, the events shaping our world are informed by the deeply held religious beliefs of contemporary history’s major protagonists. So why is the dynamic role of religion in world affairs still such a hard academic sell in political science and international relations programs around the country? “I think if the field were to be proportioned according to what you see in headlines, religion would deserve a much larger place in the study of international relations,” says Daniel Philpott, who is associate professor of political science and peace studies at the University of Notre Dame and on the faculty of the Kroc Institute for Peace Studies.
The Ambrosiana Collection, housed in the Medieval Institute at the University of Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters, was created through an agreement between His Eminence Giovanni Battista Montini, then the cardinal–archbishop of Milan (later Pope Paul VI) and President Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C. The collection includes microfilms and photographic copies of nearly all of the drawings in the Biblioteca Ambrosiana, Milan, Italy’s historic library founded in 1609.
Molly Lipscomb, assistant professor of economics at the University of Notre Dame, and Laura Schechter and Jean-François Houde, economists at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, hope to increase the accessibility of sanitation technology in poor neighborhoods in Dakar, Senegal. Their two-year research project is supported by a more than $1 million grant to Innovations for Poverty Action from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe fell on December 12, 2011 agreeably apposite to recent activities of Notre Dame’s scholars and administrators.
A new, unprecedented national survey of African American Catholics by University of Notre Dame researchers reveals several significant insights into individual religious engagement and identifies several notable demographic trends facing the church. Notre Dame social scientists Darren W. Davis and Donald B. Pope-Davis, who co-authored the report, set out to test the validity of anecdotal accounts that African American Catholics were becoming increasingly disengaged from their religion.
A competition developed by a team of University of Notre Dame experts, including sociologist David S. Hachen, Jr., uses concepts from open sourcing and crowdsourcing to help propose and assess new civil infrastructure systems for developing countries. The Shelters for All Competition: A Call to Deliver Safe, Affordable Housing to the World’s Poor challenges participants to design low-cost and safe housing that fits the cultural context of the communities in which the homes will be built.
University of Notre Dame faculty and students recently joined colleagues at an inaugural symposium on Compassion in Global Health, which featured the premiere of a new documentary on the subject. Highlighting the experiences of notable participants as shared in a meeting last year at the Carter Center in Atlanta, the film includes perspectives from President Jimmy Carter, global health champion Paul Farmer, smallpox eradication hero Bill Forge, Earth Institute founder Jeffrey Sachs, former U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher, and Notre Dame theology professor Lawrence Sullivan, as well as other physicians, experts and patients from around the globe.
Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York will inaugurate the University of Notre Dame’s Project on Human Dignity with a lecture titled “Modern Questions, Ancient Answers: Defining and Defending Human Dignity in Our Time” on Tuesday, December 6, at 7:30 p.m. in Notre Dame’s McKenna Hall auditorium. Ann Astell, professor of theology, and Gerald McKenny, Walter Professor of Theology at Notre Dame, will give responses to Archbishop Dolan’s lecture, which is free and open to the public.
Julia Douthwaite, professor of French in Notre Dame’s Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, is organizing a series of events to honor Swiss philosopher and writer Jean–Jacques Rousseau’s 300th birthday and stimulate a cross–disciplinary discussion on social justice and human dignity. The project, called Rousseau 2012: On the Road to DIGNITY, will be part of the curriculum for more than a dozen courses throughout the College of Arts and Letters and the Law School and will feature both guest lectures and an Amnesty International photography exhibit on poverty and human rights that includes portraits from Mexico, Egypt, Nigeria, India, and Macedonia.
Political science graduate student and former Kellogg Dissertation Year Fellow Olukunle Owolabi has a unique personal connection with the subject of his research—the differences in development and governance between countries with a history of plantation slavery and those with a history of colonial occupation.
University of Notre Dame students were awarded 13 Fulbright grants for the 2011-12 academic year, placing the University among the top universities in the nation. Eleven of the 13 are from the College of Arts and Letters. The U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program, Fulbright recently announced the complete list of colleges and universities that produced the most 2011-2012 U.S. Fulbright students.
Guillermo O’Donnell, professor emeritus of political science and senior fellow of the University of Notre Dame’s Kellogg Institute for International Studies, died November 29 in Buenos Aires after a long struggle with cancer. He was 75 years old. A native of Argentina, O’Donnell is internationally renowned for original and influential scholarship on Latin American authoritarian regimes, the democratic transitions undergone by many of them, and how modernization and democracy affect each other.
Anjan Chakravartty, a distinguished philosopher of science and metaphysics, is joining the University of Notre Dame as a professor in the Department of Philosophy and the John J. Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values. “This is a signal hire for the Notre Dame philosophy department, the History and Philosophy of Science graduate program, and the Reilly center,” says Don Howard, director of the center and a a professor of philosophy. “Chakravartty is a rapidly rising star who brings not only a distinguished record of scholarship but also a record of academic leadership.”
University of Notre Dame Professor Kent Emery, Jr., and his team have been awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant to produce the first critical edition of a key work by medieval theologian and philosopher John Duns Scotus. The 3-year, $300,000 grant was one of the largest awarded by the NEH this year, according to Emery, a professor in the College of Arts and Letters’ Program of Liberal Studies (PLS) and the Medieval Institute.
Evaluating basic reading and math skills among American students is a common and expected way to expose deficiencies and highlight exemplary programs. But what about training students in democratic citizenship? Can the effectiveness of civic education be measured among schools? Are some schools better than others at teaching civics?
The first Sunday of Advent is the first day of the Catholic liturgical calendar, which this year falls on Nov. 27. Throughout the English-speaking world, that Sunday Mass will begin, as usual, with the sign of the cross, and the priest’s customary greeting to his fellow worshipers, “the Lord be with you.” And then, not as usual, the congregation will be expected to reply, “and with your spirit.” That change of liturgical wording is only one of several in the third edition of the Roman Missal, whose new translations from the ancient Latin texts will, from this Advent on, be in standard use for all Masses in English.
Each year, International Student Services & Activities (ISSA), in conjunction with other campus departments and organizations, hosts International Education Week (IEW) at the University of Notre Dame. IEW is a national event that is coordinated by the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Department of Education to celebrate and promote global exchange between the United States and other countries. This year, IEW will take place November 14 to 18 (Monday to Friday).
Historian and philosopher Philip Sloan, professor emeritus in Notre Dame’s Program of Liberal Studies and biologist David Hyde, the Rev. Howard J. Kenna, C.S.C., Memorial Director of Notre Dame’s Center for Zebrafish Research, are among the scientists, religious leaders, policymakers, academics and medical patients attending a Vatican conference titled Adult Stem Cells: Science and the Future of Man and Culture.
Distinguished scholar Carlos Jáuregui joined the University of Notre Dame faculty this fall as an associate professor of Spanish in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures. A native of Bogotá, Colombia, Jáuregui is the author of several books whose scholarship encompasses colonial and transatlantic studies, cultural studies, 19th-century Latin American literature, postcolonial theory, and the cultural history of Spanish America and Brazil.
Intersecting cultures. Family heritage. Art. Love. Money. All these themes work their way onstage in Provenance, a new play by Anne García-Romero, a Moreau Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Notre Dame’s Department of Film, Television and Theatre (FTT).
Letras Latinas, the literary program of the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies (ILS), is partnering with the Poetry Society of America (PSA) to present “Latino/a Poetry Now,” a national tour that will showcase 15 poets in a span of two-and-a-half years. The joint initiative will open Tuesday, November 8 at Harvard University and conclude at Notre Dame Oct. 29–30, 2013.
Examining the life and legacy of President Ronald Reagan will be the focus of a symposium and panel discussion November 11 from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C. Part of an historic year-long celebration to commemorate President Reagan’s 100th birthday, the event is sponsored by the University of Notre Dame’s Rooney Center for the Study of American Democracy and the Ronald Reagan Foundation. It is free and open to the public.
The New England Resource Center for Higher Education (NERCHE) has named Margaret Pfeil, assistant professor of ethics and moral theology at the University of Notre Dame, as a finalist for the 2011 Ernest A. Lynton Award for the Scholarship of Engagement for Early Career Faculty.
O. Carter Snead, professor of law at the University of Notre Dame, has been appointed the W.P. and H.B. White Director of the University’s Center for Ethics and Culture (CEC) by John McGreevy, I.A. O’Shaughnessy Dean of the College of Arts and Letters. A member of the Notre Dame Law School faculty since 2005, Snead will succeed W. David Solomon, associate professor of philosophy, effective July 1.
Is the Bard a fraud? Is someone other than William Shakespeare the true author of the some of the most revered works of English literature, as the upcoming movie Anonymous suggests? “Absolutely not,” according to University of Notre Dame Shakespeare expert Peter Holland, the McMeel Family Chair in Shakespeare Studies and Associate Dean for the Arts.
They won’t hear a drill sergeant shouting orders. They won’t crawl in the mud. And they won’t be scaling tall walls. At this boot camp, a select group of Notre Dame students in the College of Arts and Letters will instead learn to navigate the business world, analyze corporate data, and propose solutions to key management problems. Held in Chicago during spring break each year, the four-day Arts and Letters Business Boot Camp allows liberal arts students to meet and network with employers and successful Chicago-area alumni.
Rev. Gustavo Gutiérrez, O.P., the John Cardinal O’Hara Professor of Theology at Notre Dame and a Kellogg Institute Faculty Fellow, is known around the world as the founder of liberation theology. Among the many people he inspired is Paul Farmer, a medical anthropologist, physician, chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and a founding director of Partners in Health. Their dialogue, “Re-imagining Accompaniment: Global Health and Liberation Theology,” will take place on Monday, October 24 at 7 p.m. in Room 101 of DeBartolo Hall. Part of the Discussions on Development series, the event is free and open to the public.
In recognition of her collaboration with a local community center, Marisel Moreno, assistant professor in Notre Dame’s Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, has been named the 2011 recipient of the Governor’s Award for Service Learning. The annual service awards, Indiana’s most prestigious honor for volunteer work, recognize individuals and organizations for “contributions of time and talent to the betterment of their communities.”
In 2009 the University of Notre Dame launched the Science of Generosity, an initiative funded by a $5 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation, to support and conduct research into the origins, manifestations, and consequences of generosity. Directed by Christian Smith, the William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Sociology, the initiative has awarded nearly $3 million to 13 research projects conducted by scholars around the world, and it is in the second year of conducting its own research on the causal mechanisms that encourage and inhibit generosity.