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.
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Whether stirring troops to battle or appealing for peace, the power of persuasive speech has played a pivotal role in armed conflicts throughout history. Analyzing speeches by figures ranging from Pericles to Winston Churchill to Osama Bin Laden helps students in Associate English Professor John Duffy’s Rhetoric of War and Peace seminar learn how to become better orators themselves.
No one would dispute that religious convictions can lead to conflict—even violence and war. Yet how is it that so often adversaries use their faith to justify opposing stances in the same dispute? That’s the question that intrigues Christopher Morrissey, a doctoral candidate in Notre Dame’s Department of Sociology.
The University of Notre Dame Alumni Association honored the achievements of seven distinguished graduates—including several from the College of Arts and Letters—during its annual Alumni Senate events last week.
The Notre Dame Alumni Association honored the academic, service and character achievements of three current College of Arts and Letters students during its Alumni Senate activities last week.
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.
You can find Notre Dame graduates with degrees in English almost everywhere—and not just working in the classroom as teachers or professors. Indeed, according to a survey of alumni, they are thriving in a broad range of professions including medicine, publishing, and business.
For the first time since their discovery in 2005, archival records chronicling police violence during the Guatemalan Civil War have been made available to academic researchers. And Ph.D. candidate Christopher Sullivan has become one of the first scholars to investigate the collection of more than 80 million documents at the National Police Archives in Guatemala City.
Pursuing three majors in the College of Arts and Letters while also participating in the Glynn Family Honors Program doesn’t leave Notre Dame senior Soeren Palumbo with much free time. But it’s been just enough to launch a global campaign to eliminate the use of the “R-word,” get published in the Huffington Post, rub shoulders with President Barack Obama, and travel the world for speaking engagements.
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.
Discovering, collaborating on, and promoting new ideas in the humanities is the focus of the first-ever TEDx conference at Notre Dame, set for Friday, April 15, 2011.
Although talk of extinction is often focused on plant and animal life, graduate student Myles Beaupre is researching what it means when extinction applies to an entire race of people. Beaupre, a doctoral candidate in the Department of History, is studying government policies on Native Americans throughout the development of the United States—from the British Empire-controlled colonies to the mid- to late-1800s of the newly formed country.
Sudan has been torn by religious, social, and economic strife for decades. Seeking to ease these tensions, the Sudanese people voted to divide the country in two—north and south. But the referendum has left a host of unresolved issues in its wake. Through the Office of the U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan, Peter Quaranto ’06 is working with the African country’s residents to help reach a successful and sustainable resolution to the division.
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.
Exploring employment opportunities in nonprofit and public sectors is the focus on the ninth annual Making a Living Making a Difference program, to be held Tuesday, April 5, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in Geddes Hall at the University of Notre Dame.
The University of Notre Dame Department of Film, Television, and Theatre will host the fifth annual Notre Dame Undergraduate Film and Television Conference (formerly the Midwest Undergraduate Film and Television Conference) April 1 and 2 (Friday and Saturday) in the Browning Cinema of the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.
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.
To experience the full power of the 17th-century English masterpiece Paradise Lost, Notre Dame students and faculty will read John Milton’s 10,000-line poem aloud in one sitting on Friday, April 1, from 8:30 a.m. to approximately 8 p.m. in 221 O’Shaughnessy Hall.
The University of Notre Dame Department of Film, Television and Theatre (FTT), in partnership with the Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival, will present William Shakespeare’s The Two Gentlemen of Verona April 5 to 10 (Tuesday to Sunday) in the Decio Mainstage Theatre of the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.
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.
The University of Notre Dame has suspended its international undergraduate program in Nagoya, Japan. In a letter to the two Notre Dame students participating in the Japanese study abroad program, the University’s Office of International Studies described the decision as “very difficult,” but that suspension was the most prudent course of action “due to the deteriorating environmental conditions in the areas around Tokyo and ongoing uncertainty about the stability of the nuclear power plant.”
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.
Ninjas, mysterious dream worlds, and evil social-networking sites are among the themes that will play out on the big screen this weekend during the University of Notre Dame’s seventh annual Asian Film Festival and Conference. Presented by the Kellogg Institute for International Studies and the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center March 25-26, the festival will showcase five recent animated films from Japan, including two from internationally acclaimed director Satoshi Kon.
A growing number of Ph.D. students in the University of Notre Dame’s Department of Sociology are attracting attention for their research and publishing papers in leading peer-reviewed journals.
Notre Dame undergraduate Josef Kuhn has set out to show how the human struggles depicted in ancient Greek literature are just as pressing today as they were thousands of years ago. After studying Euripides’ well-known tragedy The Bacchae, the senior Program of Liberal Studies (PLS) major decided to write a novel based on the classic but set in modern times.