An army officer betrayed by the government and put on trial for a treasonous crime he didn’t commit. A market trader who forges an alliance with a rebel leader in order to feed her starving children. And a man who almost gets himself killed several times in order to get food for his pregnant wife. These are among the scores of survivors Notre Dame anthropologist Catherine Bolten came to know during more than seven years researching post–war Sierra Leone.
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Senior Arabic and biology major Ryan Shannon says he learned as much during the University of Notre Dame’s Summer Language Abroad (SLA) program in Jordan as he did during four semesters of Arabic courses on campus. “Before I went to Amman, I had a hard time holding a conversation in Arabic,” Shannon says. “While there, all of a sudden things started making sense and clicking.”
The end of the spring semester at Notre Dame brings the start of an intense immersion experience for dozens of College of Arts and Letters undergraduates participating in the Summer Language Abroad (SLA) program.
What is the impact of increased trade on the economies and peoples of developing countries? This was but one of many questions considered by top economists from Notre Dame and around the country at a conference held recently at the University’s Kellogg Institute for International Studies.
Notre Dame senior Molly Boyle has won a $10,000 Davis Projects for Peace grant to implement the education program she designed to empower disadvantaged women in Peru.
The University of Notre Dame’s Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies together with the Fulbright Commission of Ireland are sponsoring a conference for teachers of the Irish language in the U.S. on May 9 and 10 (Monday and Tuesday).
Alexander Skiles, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Philosophy, spent the last year delving into the study of metaphysics with the help of a Kaneb Pre-Doctoral Fellowship, which helped fund his recent research at Australian National University (ANU).
“Most people who are interested in the Troubles focus on the 4,000 deaths,” says Christian Davenport, professor of peace studies, political science and sociology at the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. “I thought much of the story was being missed.” An expert on political conflict, human rights violations, genocide, and government repression, Davenport for the past five years has been using quantitative research methods to study the ethno-political conflict that took place in Northern Ireland between 1968 and 1998.
Discovering, collaborating on, and promoting new ideas in the humanities is the focus of the first-ever TEDx conference at Notre Dame, set for Friday, April 15, 2011.
Sudan has been torn by religious, social, and economic strife for decades. Seeking to ease these tensions, the Sudanese people voted to divide the country in two—north and south. But the referendum has left a host of unresolved issues in its wake. Through the Office of the U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan, Peter Quaranto ’06 is working with the African country’s residents to help reach a successful and sustainable resolution to the division.
American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us has been named the Best Nonfiction Book by the Religion Communicators Council (RCC). David Campbell, John Cardinal O’Hara, C.S.C., Associate Professor of Political Science at Notre Dame, and his co-author, Robert Putnam of Harvard University share this 2011 Wilbur Award for “excellence in the communication of religious issues, values, and themes in the secular media.”
Even the most carefully planned humanitarian and development efforts are often stymied by the chaotic realities on the ground in war-torn zones such as Sudan and Northern Kenya. Notre Dame Economic anthropologist Rahul Oka aims to improve the success rate of these critical relief missions by studying how local trade networks are able to operate in the same areas with remarkable resilience and efficiency.
At a time when the battered economy caused many sociology programs to freeze hiring for a second consecutive year, the University of Notre Dame doubled down. “I am pleased to say that we hired four of the very best young scholars in the nation and each one will be joining us in the fall of 2011,” says Professor Rory McVeigh, chair of the Department of Sociology. “These scholars, as a group, not only build on our preexisting strengths but also help us to establish strength in some new areas of research.”
Exploring employment opportunities in nonprofit and public sectors is the focus on the ninth annual Making a Living Making a Difference program, to be held Tuesday, April 5, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in Geddes Hall at the University of Notre Dame.
For decades, many predicted that religion’s influence on global politics would decline. As modern society embraced democracy, globalization, and new technology, the supernatural would give way to science and free thought would trump dogma—or so the argument went. But a new book co-authored by Notre Dame political scientist Daniel Philpott shows the opposite to be true: Bolstered by the same forces many expected to diminish it, religion’s influence on politics has increased on almost every continent during the past 40 years.
Ninjas, mysterious dream worlds, and evil social-networking sites are among the themes that will play out on the big screen this weekend during the University of Notre Dame’s seventh annual Asian Film Festival and Conference. Presented by the Kellogg Institute for International Studies and the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center March 25-26, the festival will showcase five recent animated films from Japan, including two from internationally acclaimed director Satoshi Kon.
The Center for Social Concerns of the University of Notre Dame will host leading international scholars in the Catholic Social Tradition on campus for a Dear Brothers and Sisters Conference March 24 to 26 (Thursday to Saturday), to consider how 120 years of Catholic social teaching apply to the social issues of our world today. Issues to be discussed at the conference include globalization, immigration, racial justice, the environment and worker rights.
The University of Notre Dame’s Higgins Labor Studies Program recently released a report in response to the Indiana Chamber of Commerce’s position on right-to-work (RTW) legislation considered by the Indiana legislature. If passed, the legislation would prevent unions and employers from negotiating a requirement that employees pay their “fair share” for union costs such as collective bargaining and grievance representation.
Once viewed as a language of the poor and uneducated, and moribund for the last half of the 19th century, the Irish language has experienced a return to prominence – both internationally and at the University of Notre Dame.
What must we change in order to help us bridge the gap between the world as it is, and the world as it should be? In its first year, the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study (NDIAS)—inspired by the classical values of beauty, goodness and truth—began transforming the academic landscape through an annual conference, lecture series and fellowships.
Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., president of the University of Notre Dame, has announced that the 2011–12 Notre Dame Forum will examine topics related to K–12 education.
A new study from University of Notre Dame Psychology Professor Mark Cummings examines the effect sectarian violence between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland has had on children. “Though exposure to both sectarian and non-sectarian violence are related to anti-social behavior, the emotional insecurity caused by politically-motivated community violence was more powerful than we had expected,” he says.
As bloody clashes continue in Libya between government forces and anti-regime protesters, Robert Johansen, professor of political science and senior fellow at the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, says establishing a “humanitarian corridor” in an area of Libya already under opposition control would provide a nonviolent, inexpensive way to save lives.
Undergraduates in the College of Arts and Letters can now get up to $1,500 per month this summer to fund original research into life-related issues. Suggested topics range from the history of contraception to art about the dignity of life and the economics of the death penalty. The grants are part of a new Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) track offered by the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts.
As debate about how to improve education continues across the country, research currently underway at the University of Notre Dame will significantly contribute to the conversation. Mark Berends, a professor of sociology and education, is conducting two studies that seek to understand instruction’s role in student achievement.
A new Web-based database and research tool, developed by Christian Davenport, professor of peace studies, political science, and sociology at Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, will expand dramatically what academic researchers, international human rights advocates, journalists, students, and the public know about government repression.
Rev. Kevin G. Grove, C.S.C., a 2009 Notre Dame alumnus, has been awarded a Gates Cambridge Trust scholarship. The prestigious Gates scholarships, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, provide awards for full-time graduate study and research at the University of Cambridge. Father Grove, who was ordained a Holy Cross priest at Notre Dame last year, is among 30 successful scholarship applicants selected from a field of 800.
Notre Dame’s third annual Graduate Research Symposium showcased the accomplishments of Notre Dame graduate students in the Graduate School’s four divisions: humanities, social science, engineering, and science.
The University of Notre Dame Institute’s for Advanced Study (NDIAS) will host an international and interdisciplinary conference called Dimensions of Goodness, April 4-6, 2011 in the Notre Dame Conference Center (McKenna Hall). The event features 17 leading scholars and other experts from a wide variety of disciplines, including biomedicine, engineering, law, philosophy, political science, psychology, and theology.
Ricardo Ramirez is joining the University of Notre Dame faculty as an associate professor of political science and a fellow at the Francis and Kathleen Rooney Center for the Study of American Democracy. A noted scholar of state and local politics, political behavior, and the politics of race and ethnicity, Ramirez is especially interested in how these issues related to participation, mobilization, and political incorporation.