John T. McGreevy has been the I.A. O’Shaughnessy Dean of the College of Arts and Letters since 2008. After two five-year terms as dean, he has decided to move on. Effective July 1, he will become the Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History and begin a yearlong research leave. This summer, he shared his thoughts as outgoing dean, his hopes for the future of the College, and his excitement about incoming dean Sarah Mustillo, professor and chair of the Department of Sociology.
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Rachel Ganson’s path in the College of Arts and Letters led her to China, India, Iceland, Italy, and Spain. And to exactly where she is meant to be. “Visiting these places challenged me and helped me grow — intellectually, spiritually, emotionally,” she said. “When you experience different cultures and talk with people from different backgrounds, you start to figure out what you’re most passionate about and what you hold dear.” For Ganson ’17, who majored in political science, that passion is global food security and sustainability.
When Kacey Hengesbach began her undergraduate career at Notre Dame, she didn’t imagine that it would include traveling 8,000 miles to Ahmedabad, India. But thanks to a new course created by Neeta Verma, she had the chance to spend three weeks there last summer, working collaboratively with students from India’s National Institute of Design. Hengesbach and the other students in Verma’s Social Design course continued their partnership with the NID students throughout the fall semester, hosting them for a two-week visit to Notre Dame in September and communicating via Skype and email for the remainder of the course.
Luis Ricardo Fraga, director of the Institute for Latino Studies, has received a lifetime achievement award for excellence in community service from the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF). Founded in 1968, the Los Angeles-based MALDEF is the leading Latino legal civil rights organization in the United States. Fraga received the honor from the organization in recognition of his continued work serving students as well as the community and his efforts to bring these two groups together.
One visit to the Hesburgh Library’s medieval manuscripts collection, and Luke Donahue ’17 was hooked. “I saw them and thought, ‘This is it.’ This is what I want to study,” Donahue said. “I was intrigued that there are all these manuscripts from the Middle Ages that no one has researched, and I was determined — I wanted to help fill that intellectual gap.” While he initially planned to study physics, Donahue decided to major in theology and German and add a minor in medieval studies.
The CLS program is part of the U.S. government’s effort to expand the number of Americans studying and mastering critical foreign languages in the name of U.S. economic competitiveness and national security.
Nicole Woods, a Notre Dame assistant professor of modern and contemporary art history, has won a grant from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Arts. One of 21 grants awarded from a pool of more than 700 applications, Woods will use the funding to complete her book on American artist Alison Knowles, the sole female founding member of the influential artist collective Fluxus. Like many female artists of her era, Knowles had limited storage space and little professional recognition, creating a challenge in surveying the breadth and impact of her work.
Notre Dame philosophy professor Meghan Sullivan has received an $806,000 grant from the The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to expand her popular God and the Good Life course and adapt it into a curricular model used by faculty across the country. The three-year award will allow Sullivan to build a network of professors interested in developing or refining their own courses that teach philosophy as a way of life. It will also spur the expansion of God and the Good Life to four to five sections per year — encompassing 600 to 700 students, or one-third of the freshman class.
When he got to Notre Dame, Corey Robinson ’17 didn’t know what to major in — because he wanted to major in everything. He met with advisers in more than 20 departments, considering everything from Arts and Letters pre-health to Irish language and literature to aquatic biology. And he still wasn’t sure. That’s when his advising dean suggested the Program of Liberal Studies.
Deak, an associate professor in the Department of History, was awarded the 2018 Austrian State Prize in History for his book, Forging a Multinational State: State Making in Imperial Austria from the Enlightenment to the First World War. The Karl von Vogelsang State Prize, awarded by the federal minister for science and industry, recognizes outstanding achievements in the field of the history of social science.
Associate Professor of English Michelle Karnes studies late Medieval literature, philosophy, and religion. In this video, she discuses why she's fascinated by the presence of marvels in both natural philosophy and literature.
Thomas Tweed, a historian committed to improving public understanding of religions, has been appointed founding director of the Rafat and Zoreen Ansari Institute for Global Engagement with Religion. Tweed came to Notre Dame in 2013 as the Harold and Martha Welch Professor of American Studies and professor of history, roles he will retain. He is the former president of the American Academy of Religion, the largest society for scholars of religion in the world, and has also served on the international advisory board for Notre Dame’s Tantur Ecumenical Institute in Jerusalem.
Gabriel Said Reynolds — University of Notre Dame professor of Islamic studies and theology — shows in his newest publication, The Qur’an & the Bible: Text and Commentary, that the connections between the sacred texts of Islam, Christianity, and Judaism run deep.
The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program, offering students grants to conduct research, study, and teach abroad.
In 2018 the University will launch several initiatives connected to the work of this novelist, critic of Communism, and 1970 Nobel laureate for literature. The plans include the acquisition and first English translations of Solzhenitsyn works, as well as major academic conferences and postdoctoral fellowships that will connect researchers from around the world to the manuscript and print collections held by the Hesburgh Libraries — which are among the most extensive holdings in the U.S. related to the life and work of Solzhenitsyn.
Gabriel Said Reynolds greets his students on the final day of his Introduction to the Quran course. He is in a small classroom on Notre Dame’s campus. His students are in Orlando, Colorado, Canada, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, and beyond. Such arrangements are not uncommon in the world of massive open online courses (MOOCs), but this one is different. It breaks new ground in the online learning space by bringing students participating in the MOOC around the world together with undergraduate and graduate students that Reynolds teaches in a traditional course at Notre Dame.
The Graduate School honored four graduating doctoral students with Shaheen Awards at its commencement ceremony — including two from the College of Arts and Letters. This year’s winners boast cutting-edge research accomplishments in their fields, as well as notable publication records, national recognition, talent for teaching and mentorship, and dedication to the community.
When Sydney DeVoe came to Notre Dame, she was convinced she would be pursuing a career in broadcast journalism. But after various, wide-ranging internships at 21st Century Fox — focused on production, editing, marketing, finance, and legal work — and a valuable experience working in London with a Member of Parliament her junior year, DeVoe is encountering a problem that many students may envy. She has too many career paths she could pursue after graduation.
Congratulations to the Class of 2018! This video, screened at the Arts and Letters Diploma Ceremony, features several seniors reflecting on their time at Notre Dame and in the College of Arts and Letters. In it, the new graduates discuss how a liberal arts education helped them develop skills, shaped their minds, and opened up a world of possibilities for their futures.
Over spring break, nine students in a new class in the Gallivan Program in Journalism, Ethics, and Democracy, traveled to Houston to do ambitious reporting, learn about the journalism industry, and help with a service project. Led by Richard G. Jones, a former New York Times editor and director of the program, the course exemplifies how hands-on training is preparing a new wave of journalists who can tell the stories of tomorrow.
Jon T. Coleman is professor of history at the University of Notre Dame. His research focuses on the overlap of social, cultural, and environmental history in early America and the American West. In this video, he discusses his research on how human beings continually get lost in the North American interior and how that experience has changed radically over time.
College of Arts and Letters senior Brittany Ebeling has been named the recipient of the Kroc Institute’s 2018 Yarrow Award. The award is given annually to undergraduate students who demonstrate academic excellence and commitment to service in peace studies.
This annual award is earned by students who demonstrate exemplary research skills and utilize a breadth of library services, resources, and expertise for their research or creative projects.
Tatiana Botero, associate teaching professor of Spanish at the University of Notre Dame, has been named 2018 Indiana teacher of the year for university-level instruction by the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP).
The University of Notre Dame’s Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities (LEO), a research center in the Department of Economics that works to reduce domestic poverty and improve lives through evidence-based programs and policies, has received $10 million to fund two new faculty positions and grow the center’s Social Innovation Fund, which will provide seed capital to support pilot projects and fund the scaling-up of programs that have shown early evidence of promising interventions.
Kriag Beyerlein’s study, co-authored with Notre Dame graduate student Peter Ryan, compares the 2017 Women’s March Chicago with historical examples of religiously motivated progressive social activism and is now published in Sociology of Religion.
Now in its third year, the College of Arts and Letters' Idzik Computing and Digital Technologies Program is helping students supplement their education with technological and programming skills. The program was endowed and renamed this year in honor of its generous benefactors, Paul and Ruth Idzik. Designed to help students obtain skills needed for success in the modern digital world, the CDT minor can be extremely appealing for prospective employers who are already attracted to the communication, organization, and analytical skills honed through the liberal arts.
Andrew Grose, who majored in Spanish and preprofessional studies, has been named valedictorian. Harisa Spahić, a biochemistry major with minors in anthropology and science, technology and values, is salutatorian.
A fellow of the Nanovic Institute since 2015, Donahue is co-director of the Notre Dame Berlin Seminar, which brings American scholars of German literary and cultural studies together with experts and leading figures of Germany’s literary scene.
With renowned musicians on the faculty, new opportunities to participate in student-led music groups, and a beautiful new home for the department in O’Neill Hall, it is an exciting time for piano students at Notre Dame. The program is full of extremely students who possess not only exceptional performance skills but also outstanding intellectual ability and a strong desire to pursue the balanced blend of performance and scholarship that makes the Notre Dame music major distinctive.