Notre Dame sociologist Christian Smith’s latest book is one of two winners of the 2010 Cheryl Frank Memorial Prize from the International Association for Critical Realism (IACR). What is a Person?: Rethinking Humanity, Social Life, and the Moral Good from the Person Up (University of Chicago Press) presents a new model for social theory that embraces the best of our humanistic visions of people, life, and society.
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As interest in cultural sociology has risen in recent decades, so too has Notre Dame’s investment in its faculty. “We’ve been growing over the past 20 years, but in the last five years it has all come together,” says cultural sociologist Lyn Spillman, an associate professor who has studied American political and economic culture. "We’re just about at a point where we are in the top handful of departments in cultural sociology.
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.”
Trouble with algebra? Notre Dame Psychologist Nicole McNeil’s research shows that basic math may be to blame. The new study suggests that even though adults tend to think in more advanced ways than children do, those advanced ways of thinking don’t always override old, incorrect ways of thinking—especially in the domain of mathematics. The study was published in a recent issue of the Journal of Cognition and Development.
Laura Dassow Walls, a distinguished scholar of 19th century American literature and culture, will join the Notre Dame faculty in fall 2011 as the William P. and Hazel B. White Professor of English.
Deb Rotman is in a race against time. Rotman, director of undergraduate studies for Notre Dame’s Department of Anthropology, is keenly aware that the generation of Irish immigrants who can still share memories of the Irish Civil War and their experiences in early 20th century America will soon be lost forever. “Those generations have some really great stories that we’re trying to capture, but we can only do so much,” she says.
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.
With the U.N. recently authorizing a no-fly zone over Libya, University of Notre Dame political scientist and international relations expert Michael Desch proposes a “limited liability intervention strategy” with the country.
Bridget O’Malley was just 11 years old in 1909 when she left her family in Ireland and sailed to Boston. She was the youngest passenger listed on the ship’s manifest, which included one striking detail: Bridget was traveling alone. Why would a parent send away an 11 year-old girl? Why was she alone? What kind of life awaited her in Boston? A new course at Notre Dame explores these questions and broader issues of emigration through the lens of an archeological anthropologist, a historian and a scholar of Irish language.
According to The Art Bulletin’s recent centennial anthology, Kathleen Pyne’s 1996 article on Charles Freer is one of the top 32 essays “that made a difference to us as art historians and as people”—considered among the “greatest hits” since the journal’s debut.
Who are we? Why are we here? Why do we do what we do? What makes humans unique? These are the universal questions at the heart of an ambitious new initiative led by Notre Dame anthropologist Agustín Fuentes.
Felipe Fernández-Armesto, William P. Reynolds Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame, has been appointed the 2011 Cátedra Hispano-Británica Reina Victoria Eugenia at the Complutense University of Madrid. Named for Queen Victoria Eugenia, the daughter of Spanish King Alfonso XIII, the honor is awarded each year to a distinguished British professor in a different discipline.
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.
Philip Gleason, professor emeritus of history at the University of Notre Dame, will receive an honorary degree from the University of Dayton April 13. The foremost living historian of American Catholicism, Gleason, whose scholarship also includes American intellectual history and immigration and ethnic history, was graduated from the University of Dayton in 1951.
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.
As the Wisconsin battle over union benefits continues to rage, the passion and commitment of people on both sides reflect that the activists are fighting over “a perennial ideological debate in American politics: whether labor unions are good or bad for society,” says University of Notre Dame political scientist Benjamin Radcliff.
Life is full of coincidences that in fiction would seem incredible. The story of Michael J. Crowe’s new book, Ronald Knox and Sherlock Holmes: The Origins of Sherlockian Studies has a startling number of coincidences—and just as many unlikely University of Notre Dame connections.
Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., president of the University of Notre Dame, has been appointed to a national commission that will examine how to bolster teaching and research in the humanities and social sciences. Created by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS), the Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences includes prominent Americans from those two fields, as well as the physical and life sciences, business, law, philanthropy, the arts, and the media.
Candida Moss, assistant professor in the Department of Theology, is one of only 12 scholars in the world to receive the 2011 John Templeton Award for Theological Promise. Awarded in collaboration with the Research Center of International and Interdisciplinary Theology at the University of Heidelberg in Germany, the John Templeton Foundation’s prize honors up-and-coming academics based on their doctoral dissertation or first post-doctoral book on the topic of God and spirituality.
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.
Rev. Ernan McMullin, John Cardinal O’Hara Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, died February 8, 2011 at Letterkenny General Hospital in Donegal, Ireland. He was 86 years old. A native of Ballybofey, Donegal, Father McMullin was an internationally prominent scholar in the philosophy of science.
Amid the national discussion about how to jumpstart the U.S. economy, Notre Dame economist Kirk Doran is investigating how highly skilled foreign workers who move to the United States influence the country’s productivity, employment, wages, and technological advances.
Scholars at the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies have been following with special interest the tumultuous events transforming Egypt, Tunisia, Lebanon, Yemen and other countries in the Middle East. To draw faculty, students and the community into this conversation, the Kroc Institute has organized a public panel titled “Democratic Revolution in the Middle East? The Rise of Civil Disobedience in Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon, and Beyond.”
In his new book, Europe United: Power Politics and the Making of the European Community, University of Notre Dame Assistant Professor Sebastian Rosato warns of a troubled future for the European Union.
Two University of Notre Dame professors—historian Thomas F.X. Noble and theologian Eugene Ulrich—have been awarded National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) fellowships for 2011-2012. Notre Dame has been awarded 44 NEH fellowships between 1999 and 2011—more than any other university in the country.
The recent leak of Palestinian documents pertaining to Israeli-Palestinian negotiations adds to the wave of other leaks of documents that have captured exaggerated attention, according to Asher Kaufman, associate professor of history and peace studies at the University of Notre Dame. “However, this may mark the first time Palestinian leadership was officially willing to reconcile with leaving certain communities under Israeli rule.”