University of Notre Dame government and peace studies alumnus Stephen Fuller ’92 was recently appointed commanding officer of the USS Nicholas, the ship that captured the Somali pirates in spring 2010.
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María Rosa Olivera-Williams, associate professor of Latin American literature at the University of Notre Dame, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant to pursue her research at Universidad de Montevideo in Uruguay during the 2011-2012 academic year.
Since 1967, the U.S. has provided nearly unwavering support for the policies in Israel. But according to University of Notre Dame international relations expert Michael Desch, it’s time we reassess that position.
The University of Notre Dame will host its sixth annual Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistantship (FLTA) orientation for the coming academic year, bringing foreign language teachers from 30 countries to campus Aug. 11 to 15 (Tuesday to Saturday) for a series of workshops designed to enhance their teaching in the United States.
At this summer’s Venice Biennale—often called the Olympics of the contemporary art world—the U.S. pavilion features a musical ATM, a treadmill atop an upside-down World War II tank, and gymnasts performing routines on airline seats. It was Notre Dame graduate David Hunt’s job to turn the unusual visions of Puerto Rico-based artists Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla into reality.
By flip-flopping its position on which groups can provide humanitarian aid to the thousands of starving Somalians, and forbidding supplies from foreign agencies not currently working in its strongholds, the al-Qaida-linked militant group al-Shabab is “playing an interesting game,” says University of Notre Dame economic anthropologist Rahul Oka, who currently is in Kenya at the Kakuma Refugee Camp conducting fieldwork on trade and the distribution of relief supplies.
The results of a recent Zogby poll confirm the growing anti-American attitude of most of the Arab world, and President Obama’s lack of meaningful action in the Israeli-Palestine conflict can be blamed for a good portion of it, according to Michael Desch, chair of the University of Notre Dame’s Department of Political Science and fellow in the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.
Stephanie Sluka Brauer ’97 helps house families in 18 countries as the resource development manager for Habitat for Humanity International’s Africa and Middle East regional office. Brauer, who majored in anthropology and peace studies at the University of Notre Dame, now lives and works in Pretoria, South Africa.
Walking through O’Shaughnessy Hall near the end of her first semester at Notre Dame, Kristina Hamilton saw a flyer advertising the University’s Irish language courses. “I had an open class for the spring,” she says, “and I figured, ‘Why not?’”
Christine Becker, an associate professor in the University of Notre Dame’s Department of Film, Television, and Theatre, has received the 2011 Michael Nelson Prize from the International Association for Media and History for her book It’s the Pictures that Got Small: Hollywood Film Stars on 1950’s Television.
Notre Dame Junior Daniel Harper didn’t just want to study French—he sought to push himself out of his comfort zone and truly experience the country’s language and culture.
Morgan Iddings expected some culture shock when she traveled from Notre Dame to Moscow for an intensive Russian language immersion. The first-year Russian student faced an added challenge when she realized her host mother didn’t speak a word of English. “Nevertheless, I ended up having a great experience,” Iddings says.
As if to illustrate the truth of the biblical adage that a prophet is not without honor, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house, Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzón, an internationally prominent champion of human rights, was recently suspended from his nation’s high court for abuse of judicial authority. Observations on the case are part of an essay which appears in Unearthing Franco’s Legacy, recently published by the University of Notre Dame Press and co-edited by Spanish Professor Carlos Jerez-Farrán.
After being apprehended by the Chinese government and detained for more than two months on charges of tax evasion, Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei has been released. “I suspect that the condition of Ai’s diabetes, his resistance to confession, intense and embarrassing international pressure from capitalist and political institutions, as well as an ongoing struggle within the ranks of the Chinese Communist Party itself, all have contributed to this development,” says Lionel Jensen, associate professor in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures and Department of History at the University of Notre Dame.
When Notre Dame political science major Jee Seun Choi wanted to understand Taiwanese national identity, she didn’t just go to the Hesburgh library on campus. Instead, she applied for a Summer Language Abroad (SLA) grant so she could absorb the island’s language and culture firsthand.
In the midst of Greece’s first financial collapse that shook the European Union one year ago, University of Notre Dame political scientist Sebastian Rosato predicted then that the financial crisis was only a symptom of a much deeper issue.
Raised in a predominantly Spanish-speaking Miami community, Notre Dame senior Carolyn Caballero says she knows that daily interactions with native speakers are the key to truly understanding a new language. “You can’t take four years of Spanish and think you know it,” she says. “You have to experience dialect, questions coming out of left field, and thick accents.”
A summer of intensive language training in Paris taught Notre Dame senior Anna Porto lessons that years of traditional schoolwork never could. “I studied French for six years,” says the political science major. “When I got to France, I figured out how little I really knew.”
Senior Arabic and biology major Ryan Shannon says he learned as much during the University of Notre Dame’s Summer Language Abroad (SLA) program in Jordan as he did during four semesters of Arabic courses on campus. “Before I went to Amman, I had a hard time holding a conversation in Arabic,” Shannon says. “While there, all of a sudden things started making sense and clicking.”
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.
The end of the spring semester at Notre Dame brings the start of an intense immersion experience for dozens of College of Arts and Letters undergraduates participating in the Summer Language Abroad (SLA) program.
The Fulbright Exchange Program, National Science Foundation, and other national organizations have awarded postgraduate scholarships and fellowships to 16 members of the University of Notre Dame’s Class of 2011, 14 of whom are students in the College of Arts and Letters.
What is the impact of increased trade on the economies and peoples of developing countries? This was but one of many questions considered by top economists from Notre Dame and around the country at a conference held recently at the University’s Kellogg Institute for International Studies.
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.
Notre Dame senior Molly Boyle has won a $10,000 Davis Projects for Peace grant to implement the education program she designed to empower disadvantaged women in Peru.
The University of Notre Dame’s Keough-Naughton Institute for Irish Studies together with the Fulbright Commission of Ireland are sponsoring a conference for teachers of the Irish language in the U.S. on May 9 and 10 (Monday and Tuesday).
Alexander Skiles, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Philosophy, spent the last year delving into the study of metaphysics with the help of a Kaneb Pre-Doctoral Fellowship, which helped fund his recent research at Australian National University (ANU).
Damiano Benvegnù, a student in Notre Dame’s Ph.D. in Literature Program, can point to the moment when he changed his academic focus from astronomy to literature. “Reading William Blake’s ‘Tyger’ in a literature class in my liceo scientifico (high school) was an epiphany. The poem was an amazing feat for Blake in the late 18th century—and then a revelation for me, as a reader, more than 200 years later.”
“Toi, toi, toi” is a superstitious invocation of opera singers, meant to encourage a winning performance before taking the stage. “We don’t say, ‘Break a leg,’” fifth-year senior and University of Notre Dame Chorale member Joshua Diaz explains. Diaz might be hearing that old stage charm at an extraordinary venue later this month—the Basilica of St. Peter in Rome—where he and about 50 other members of the Notre Dame Chorale are scheduled to perform for Pope Benedict XVI and the bishops and pilgrims in attendance at a general audience on May 25, 2011.
“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.