Vincent P. DeSantis, professor emeritus of history at the University of Notre Dame, died Monday (May 30, 2011) at Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria, British Columbia. He was 94 years old.
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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.
In the first study of its kind on K-12 Christian education in North America, University of Notre Dame sociologist David Sikkink, in partnership with Cardus—a public policy think tank—found that while Protestant Christian school graduates show uncommon commitment to their families and churches, donate more money than graduates of other schools, and divorce less, they also have lower incomes, less education, and are less engaged in politics than their Catholic and non-religious private school peers.
Notre Dame psychologists Darcia Narvaez and Daniel Lapsley have won a 2011 Outstanding Book Award for their edited work on the moral dimensions of selfhood and personality.
Notre Dame historian Thomas F.X. Noble has won the 2011 Otto Gründler Book Prize for his work Images, Iconoclasm, and the Carolingians (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2009).
Notre Dame political scientist Eileen Hunt Botting has teamed up with a former Ph.D. student and four undergraduates to publish, for the first time, one of the few major histories of the American Revolution written by a woman. And not just any woman.
According to Notre Dame Economics Professor Thomas Gresik, Americans now can count extreme weather conditions among the varied reasons gas prices have shot to well over $4 per gallon.
A Chinese novel translated by Notre Dame’s Howard Goldblatt and Sylvia Li-chun Lin recently won the 2010 Man Asian Literary Prize, which they share with author Bi Feiyu. The book, Three Sisters, was the fifth novel the two Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures professors translated together and the second to win a prize.
Thomas F.X. Noble, professor and chair in the Department of History, has been selected to receive the 2011 Sheedy Excellence in Teaching Award.
William Carbonaro, associate professor in the Department of Sociology, has been named the 2011 “Notre Dame DGS of the Year.” The award, in its inaugural year, honors the director of graduate studies deemed to have had the most significant impact on a University graduate program.
Lawrence S. Cunningham, John A. O’Brien Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame, will receive the University of Portland’s highest honor, the Christus Magister Medal, at the university’s 2011 commencement exercises on May 8.
Professor Erika Doss, chair of Notre Dame’s Department of American Studies, has won the 2011 Ray and Pat Browne Award from the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association for her latest book, Memorial Mania: Public Feeling in America.
In the Department of Art, Art History, and Design, graphic design students learn to combine visual arts and technology in a way that transcends words and pictures. Recently, several of those students flexed their technical and creative muscles in the Poster Clash contest hosted by the American Institute of Graphic Arts. The results were impressive.
“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.
The last 24 human inhabitants of the Irish island of Inishark departed together on October 20, 1960—a solemn end to a slow, steady decline. This small community’s collapse more than 50 years ago now offers Anthropology Professor Ian Kuijt and his students “a window” to Irish life in the 19th century. “These people were living little differently than they were in the 1860s,” he explains.
The recent detention of Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei, along with several other government critics—including Ai’s accountant and driver—are signs that the Chinese government is becoming increasingly insecure, according to Lionel Jensen, associate professor of East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Notre Dame.
Twelve College of Arts and Letters faculty members have received Rev. Edmund P. Joyce, C.S.C., Awards for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and one was honored with a Dockweiler Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Advising.
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.
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.