From the moment they’re born, babies are highly attuned to communicate and motivated to interact. And they’re great listeners. New psychology research from the University of Notre Dame shows that during the first year of life, when babies spend so much time listening to language, they’re actually tracking word patterns that will support their process of word-learning that occurs between the ages of about 18 months and two years.
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Hannelore Weber, an associate teaching professor in Notre Dame’s Department of German and Russian Languages and Literatures, recently received the Goethe-Institut/American Association of Teachers of German Certificate of Merit. Presented to just four people nationally each year, the award acknowledges educators who have significantly furthered the teaching of German in schools around the United States.
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.
Electronic music roars and pulsates throughout the theatre. On stage, a blind man paces, struggling to escape the ring of steel bars that confine him. Meanwhile, a stern figure in a sleek suit and sunglasses stands guard. When the lights dim and dialogue begins to flash above the stage from an overhead projector, one thing is clear: This production of John Milton’s Samson Agonistes is far from ordinary.
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.
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.
Professor Robert Norton, chair of the Department of German and Russian Languages and Literatures at the University of Notre Dame, recently received the Ungar German Translation Award for his English edition of Ernst Bertram’s Nietzsche: Attempt at a Mythology, which originally appeared in German in 1918.
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.”
We’ve all experienced it: The frustration of entering a room and forgetting what we were going to do. Or get. Or find. New research from University of Notre Dame Psychology Professor Gabriel Radvansky suggests that passing through doorways is the cause of these memory lapses.
According to a new study by University of Notre Dame economist Kasey Buckles and graduate student Elizabeth Munnich, siblings spaced more than two years apart have higher reading and math scores than children born closer together. The positive academic effects of greater spacing between children were seen in older siblings, but not in younger ones, according to Buckles.
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).
Did the Catholic sex-abuse scandal benefit other faiths? New research by economist Dan Hungerman shows it did. The study by Hungerman, Stepan Family Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Notre Dame, shows a 2 million member drop in the Catholic population following the sex-abuse scandal and more than $3 billion in donations to non-Catholic faiths, with Baptist churches showing the most significant gains.
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.
Robert Sedlack, an associate professor in Notre Dame’s Department of Art, Art History and Design, recently won two American Graphic Design Awards for University-related projects. Graphic Design USA magazine honored Sedlack ’89 for his work on the Parallel Currents exhibition catalogue for the University’s Snite Museum of Art and for Words for Painting, an artist’s monograph showcasing the work of Notre Dame Assistant Professor Jason Lahr.
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).
University of Notre Dame Assistant History Professor John Deak jokes that working in the largely neglected field of administrative and constitutional history he’s “the nerdy guy who stands in the corner at cocktail parties.” But his scholarship has recently earned serious attention in the form of a Richard Plaschka Fellowship from the Austrian Federal Ministry of Science and Research. The fellowship will allow him to spend most of the next year in Vienna, working on his first book, Power and the Politics of State in Imperial Austria, 1848-1918.
Ancient philosophers such as Plato, Socrates, and Aristotle can offer a surprisingly fresh perspective on our modern political and cultural challenges. And at the University of Notre Dame, the Workshop on Ancient Philosophy is the forum for graduate students and faculty to study and share these insights.
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.
Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., president of the University of Notre Dame, has been elected to the board of directors of the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), the non-partisan, non-profit organization that has sponsored and produced all U.S. presidential and vice presidential debates since 1988.
For her deft translation of Nikolay Gumilyov’s “Giraffe,” Notre Dame Associate Professor Alyssa Gillespie was recently awarded second prize in the 2011 Compass Awards, an international Russian poetry translation contest.
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.”
On the final day of his latest six-week excavation season in historic Butrint, Albania, University of Notre Dame Assistant Professor David Hernández says “the face of a goddess appeared.” The four assistants who had a hand in the discovery? Suzanna Pratt, Patrick Conry, Matt Wieck, and Wesley Wood—all undergraduates in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters.
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.