In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Matt Hawkins wanted to teach his students the value of resilience — and the power of performance art. At a time when nearly all live theatre has been suspended for more than a year, Hawkins found a way to safely bring back the musical his students had spent months planning for and rehearsing during spring 2020. Last month, he directed a performance of Jesus Christ Superstar at Notre Dame Stadium, featuring most of the original cast.
Latest News » Faculty News
The University of Notre Dame has long traditions in the research and teaching of Dante and is considered one of the leading centers in the world for the study of the great Catholic poet. As we approach the 700th anniversary of his death, Dante’s work still speaks powerfully, says Ted Cachey, professor of Italian and the Ravarino Family Director of Italian and Dante Studies. “I am often asked how Dante is relevant for today,” he said. “The answer is very simple: Dante confronted a world that was culturally, politically, and spiritually in profound crisis.”
A new installation by Sacred Music at Notre Dame’s Concordia choir is currently set up in the O’Shaughnessy Great Hall and accessible through May 20. Featuring 16 speakers arranged in a surround-sound pattern, each playing the voice of one singer, listeners are able to stand in the center of the room and feel as if they are on stage, or walk around the room to hear each voice in isolation. Each song represents a unique perspective from which to view the pandemic — with enough variety that a listener could find their own meaning in the pieces.
Daniel Philpott, a Notre Dame professor of political science, has received the 2021 Distinguished Scholar Award from the International Studies Association’s Religion and International Relations Section. Philpott, the section’s awards committee noted, is a key figure in the first generation of scholars to incorporate religion into the study of international relations. His research focuses on the relationship between religion and democracy, ethics, peace-building, reconciliation, and religious freedom.
Jorge A. Bustamante, the Eugene P. and Helen Conley Professor Emeritus of Sociology, died March 25. He was 82. A sociologist whose research centered on the dynamics of international migration, Bustamante’s work advanced public and academic discourse regarding circumstances at the U.S.-Mexico border. His devotion to advocating for human and labor rights for immigrants worldwide led to his native Mexico nominating him for the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize.
A new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health by Sarah Mustillo, the I.A. O’Shaughnessy Dean of the University of Notre Dame College of Arts and Letters and a professor of sociology, and colleagues reveals one in six parents allowed teens to drink during quarantine.
The Department of Film, Television and Theatre (FTT) will produce † on the field of Notre Dame Stadium at 8 p.m. Friday, April 9. Tickets are free and available only to students, faculty and staff with a Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s or Holy Cross ID. FTT had planned to put on the production last April, but the pandemic prevented that from happening.
How does one find meaning and a mission in our restless world? How can we make decisions that help ourselves and others? How do we find the path that leads us to discover the deepest desires of our hearts and aspirations to make the world a better place? “The Heart’s Desire and Social Change,” a new podcast series and online community produced at Notre Dame, helps us explore these issues and navigate these big questions in our lives. Rev. Dan Groody, C.S.C., vice president and associate provost at Notre Dame, will host the program, which is based on the popular theology course of the same name that he teaches to undergraduates and students in the Inspired Leadership Initiative, which sponsors the podcast.
Joyelle McSweeney, a Notre Dame professor of English and Creative Writing Program faculty member, has been named a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Award, a prominent prize honoring work by a mid-career poet. The honor comes in recognition of McSweeney’s double poetry collection Toxicon and Arachne (Nightboat Books, 2020) — the first part written in the years leading up to the birth of her third daughter, Arachne; and the second part written in the spring following Arachne’s brief life and death.
Katie Bugyis, an assistant professor in the Program of Liberal Studies, has been awarded the American Society of Church History’s Franklin S. and Elizabeth D. Brewer Prize, which honors outstanding scholarship in the history of Christianity by a first-time author. She received the prize for her work, The Care of Nuns: The Ministries of Benedictine Women in England During the Central Middle Ages, which reconstructs the history of Benedictine nuns through examination of their own liturgical documents — and recovers evidence of their liturgical functions, including preaching, reading the gospel liturgically, hearing confessions, and pronouncing absolution.
The Notre Dame London Global Gateway, along with partners from the United Kingdom and the University of Notre Dame campus, is launching a year-long exploration of Shakespeare. Professor Peter Holland will kick off this ThinkND series offering the 10th annual Notre Dame London Shakespeare Lecture in honor of Professor Sir Stanley Wells at 1 p.m. EDT April 7 on Zoom. Holland, the McMeel Family Chair in Shakespeare Studies and associate dean for the arts, will present “On the Shakespeare Trail,” exploring an often overlooked area of Shakespeare marketing — the film and theater trailer. Holland will explore how trailers conceptualize and lure audiences into watching on-screen and live versions of Shakespeare's plays.
In his newest research, The Contradictory Christ, Notre Dame philosopher Jc Beall argues that instead of trying to get around the apparent contradiction of the incarnation, Christian thinkers should accept what many thinkers have long charged: at the very crux of the Christian theory lies a contradiction.
Perin Gürel, an associate professor of American studies and concurrent associate professor in gender studies, has won the Jack Rosenbalm Prize for American Humor for her essay, “Amerikan Jokes: The Transnational Politics of Unlaughter in Turkey.” Gürel said she is thrilled to win the award — considered the top prize in the field of American humor studies. “It confirmed to me the importance of interdisciplinary, transnational research investigating the intersections of culture and politics,” she said. “I was also excited to have the official recognition because I felt it gave my personal interest in jokes — especially bilingual jokes and anti-jokes or ‘dad jokes’ — a scholarly veneer.”
At Notre Dame, students in a course called the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act Clinic are drafting dossiers to the U.S. government to request sanctions against the perpetrators of serious human rights abuses or corruption. Notre Dame is one of more than 250 consortium members that Human Rights First partners on such efforts — but the only one that involves undergraduates. Students who take the course gain valuable experience that prepares them for careers in human rights or anti-corruption, and several have now founded a student group to continue the work they started in the class.
Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi is an associate professor in the Department of English, director of the Creative Writing Program, and the author of the novel Call Me Zebra, winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. In this interview, she discusses how her writing examines how patterns of migration have shaped literature, how history imprints itself on physical landscapes, and her new novel, Savage Tongues, which looks at questions of nationhood, identity, memory.
Janice Poorman, director of formation and field education and professor of the practice in the Department of Theology at the University of Notre Dame, died Wednesday (March 10) after a courageous battle with breast cancer. She was 68.
For the second consecutive year, the University of Notre Dame has been ranked as the best in the world in theology, divinity, and religious studies by the influential QS World University Rankings. The No. 1 ranking is based on academic reputation, employer reputation, and research impact. With an overall score of 92.8, the Department of Theology placed ahead of Harvard University, the University of Oxford, Duke University, and Durham University.
The Worker and Family Support Subcommittee at the Ways and Means Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives invited Jim Sullivan, the Gilbert F. Schaefer College Professor of Economics and co-founder of the Wilson Sheehan Lab For Economic Opportunities at the University of Notre Dame, to testify at its upcoming hearing “Health Profession Opportunity Grants: Past Successes and Future Uses.”
“We have to give up the principle that no statement about the world can be both true and false. We have to allow that there are such things,” said Jc Beall, the O'Neill Family Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. Beall specializes in non-classical logic, an area of philosophy that considers alternative logical rules that can explain phenomena that don’t fit traditional logic. His book, The Contradictory Christ, uses non-standard logic to examine Christian doctrines such as the Incarnation, which states that Christ was both fully human and fully divine.
William (Bill) Leahy has retired from the Department of Economics after 54 consecutive years of teaching. A triple Domer who received his bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees from Notre Dame, Leahy served for many years as the director of undergraduate studies or the director of undergraduate advising for economics majors. “Bill Leahy has had a profound impact on thousands of students over the course of his decades on the faculty at Notre Dame,” said Eric Sims, professor and chair of the Department of Economics. “Bill represents Notre Dame at its finest. He has a firm commitment to shaping the whole person and helping young people grow into the best version of themselves.
Brian Fogarty, director of Notre Dame’s Center for Social Science Research, has received a Rapid Response Research (RAPID) grant from the National Science Foundation to study the prevalence of belief in voter fraud and to identify ways of restoring confidence in U.S. elections. Fogarty, who is also a concurrent associate professor of the practice in the Department of Political Science, sought the grant in order to develop research that could assess public opinion at a critical moment in American history.
“Music just really speaks to me. I feel like I'm at my happiest when I'm making music or thinking about music,” said Kola Owolabi, professor of organ at the University of Notre Dame. Owolabi is interested in a broad range of musical repertoire and enjoys finding works by less well-known composers. Recent recording projects include pieces by 20th-century African-English composer Samuel Coleridge Taylor, as well as a composition by 17th-century French composer Georg Muffat.
How can international development groups promote human dignity in their work — and why should they try? A new volume from the Kellogg Institute Book Series on Democracy and Development examines the meaning of “human dignity” – a term that encompasses human flourishing beyond the elimination of poverty – and asks how those who work in the field can put it into practice.
Patrick Griffin, a scholar whose work explores the intersection of colonial American and early modern Irish and British history, has been named the Harold Vyvyan Harmsworth Visiting Professor of American History at the University of Oxford. The prestigious fellowship, created in 1922, is awarded to a distinguished American historian who then spends a year teaching, researching and leading seminars at Oxford’s Queen’s College and Rothermere American Institute.
Sarah A. Mustillo, a professor of sociology and the I.A. O’Shaughnessy Dean of the College of Arts and Letters, has been inducted into the Sociological Research Association. The prestigious honor society for scholars of sociology was founded in 1936 to recognize leading researchers in the discipline. It selects up to 14 new members each year from across the United States and Canada.
The Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study announced its faculty fellowship class for 2021-2022. The 11 residential fellows come from top research universities, including Notre Dame, and have diverse research interests that span the disciplines, including ecology, political science, anthropology, history, food studies and creative nonfiction. They will come together for a year of intensive collaborative research on resilience, the NDIAS’s organizing research theme for 2021-2022. The fellows will be joined by award-winning poet and cultural critic Reginald Dwayne Betts, who will serve as the NDIAS’s artist-in-residence during the year.
Psychologist Jessica Payne is passionate about helping the world better understand the value of sleep — and the many ways it impacts our cognition, health, and longevity. She dreams of a society where people no longer take pride in how little sleep they need to get by, but how much they sleep in order to thrive. Her groundbreaking research on sleep, stress, and psychological function has led to her being selected as the National Academy of Sciences 2021 Seymour Benzer/Sydney Brenner Lecturer — and to being awarded a nearly $900,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.
The challenge for President Joe Biden’s administration is finding ways to emphasize the common values of religious and secular voters, Notre Dame researchers said.
Two professors from the University of Notre Dame and the Institute for Educational Initiatives are among the 200 scholars named to the 2021 Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings, an annual listing published by Education Week of academics who had the year’s biggest impact on educational practice and policy. Ernest Morrell, the Coyle Professor in Literacy Education and director of the Notre Dame Center for Literacy Education, ranked 92nd in the 2021 list. Mark Berends, a professor of sociology, an associate vice president of research at Notre Dame and the director of the Center for Research on Educational Opportunity, placed 167th.
The University of Notre Dame has launched the Initiative on Race and Resilience, a new interdisciplinary program focused on the redress of systemic racism and the support of communities of color both within and beyond the Notre Dame campus. Led by the College of Arts & Letters with additional support from the Office of the Provost, the initiative will bring together scholars and students in the humanities, arts, social sciences, and other disciplines to challenge systemic racism and promote racial equality through research, education, and community empowerment.