The Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe fell on December 12, 2011 agreeably apposite to recent activities of Notre Dame’s scholars and administrators.
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Can a newly minted constitution help revive a people devastated by war? Can it produce a deliberative democracy and respect for human rights? Can it provide a foundation for political loyalty and facilitate the reunification of a divided nation? These are questions University of Notre Dame political scientist and legal scholar Donald Kommers seeks to answer in his study of the creation, maintenance, and legitimacy of Germany’s postwar constitutional order, for which he has been awarded a yearlong Emeritus Fellowship from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
A competition developed by a team of University of Notre Dame experts, including sociologist David S. Hachen, Jr., uses concepts from open sourcing and crowdsourcing to help propose and assess new civil infrastructure systems for developing countries. The Shelters for All Competition: A Call to Deliver Safe, Affordable Housing to the World’s Poor challenges participants to design low-cost and safe housing that fits the cultural context of the communities in which the homes will be built.
University of Notre Dame faculty and students recently joined colleagues at an inaugural symposium on Compassion in Global Health, which featured the premiere of a new documentary on the subject. Highlighting the experiences of notable participants as shared in a meeting last year at the Carter Center in Atlanta, the film includes perspectives from President Jimmy Carter, global health champion Paul Farmer, smallpox eradication hero Bill Forge, Earth Institute founder Jeffrey Sachs, former U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher, and Notre Dame theology professor Lawrence Sullivan, as well as other physicians, experts and patients from around the globe.
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.
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.
University of Notre Dame students were awarded 13 Fulbright grants for the 2011-12 academic year, placing the University among the top universities in the nation. Eleven of the 13 are from the College of Arts and Letters. The U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program, Fulbright recently announced the complete list of colleges and universities that produced the most 2011-2012 U.S. Fulbright students.
Political science graduate student and former Kellogg Dissertation Year Fellow Olukunle Owolabi has a unique personal connection with the subject of his research—the differences in development and governance between countries with a history of plantation slavery and those with a history of colonial occupation.
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.
She’s already mastered English, French, and, of course, her native Spanish. Now Natalia Baeza, a graduate student in Notre Dame’s Department of Philosophy, is clearly on her way to conquering German. Recently awarded a prestigious German Academic Exchange Service fellowship, Baeza is completing her doctoral work at Frankfurt’s renowned Institute for Social Research.
Graduate students across the University will now be able to participate in an experiential learning course previously offered only to master’s in divinity students in Notre Dame’s Department of Theology. The Common Good Initiative program (CGI), formerly called the Pastoral Leadership Practicum, combines direct involvement in disenfranchised and impoverished communities with coursework in Catholic social teaching and multidimensional poverty analysis.
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.”
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
At 6 p.m. on the eve of the feast day of Saints Peter and Paul, Pope Benedict XVI picked up his iPad and, with Thaddeus “TJ” Jones ’89 by his side, revolutionized Vatican media with the launch of News.va and the first Papal tweet. Jones, who majored in American Studies and Italian, is the project coordinator for News.va and worked with all of the various media sources, as well as the company that developed the portal, in order to create the site as it exists today.
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.
As a student in Notre Dame’s Department of History, Colin Rich ’11 didn’t memorize the names and dates of significant World War I battles, and he can’t recite a list of every U.S. president and vice president. What he did learn as a history and economics major in the College of Arts and Letters was far more valuable: the ability to uncover how and why things happen, to speak persuasively, to write concisely, and to synthesize an array of sources in into a cogent argument.
Olivier Morel was in his car one day when a story came on the radio about suicide among veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. According to the report, eight to 10 veterans were taking their own lives each day. The news was like a punch in the stomach for Morel, a Notre Dame faculty member whose research focuses on fiction and trauma. “I was trembling,” he recalls. “I was angry, and I felt helpless … I was thinking, ‘This is unacceptable.’”
Three doctoral students in Notre Dame’s Department of History have been named 2011 Fulbright Scholars. Max Deardorff, Nathan Gerth, and John Moscatiello will use their Fulbright funding in Russia and Spain to support research that spans education policy, government bureaucracy, and religion.
Strong Bodies Fight, a film which chronicles the University of Notre Dame’s Bengal Bouts charity boxing tournament, was recently named Best Sports Documentary at the 2011 Action on Film International Film Festival in Pasadena, Calif., and won the Audience Choice Award from the Chicago United Film Festival. Produced by writer Mark Weber ’09 and director William Donaruma ’89, a professor in the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre, the film has been building a winning record at film festivals.
The phrase “All Roads Lead to Rome” connotes the cosmopolitan culture that has long been present in the Eternal City. It’s also the title of a Notre Dame exhibit running through the fall 2011 semester to highlight spectacular acquisitions by the University’s Department of Rare Books and Special Collections in conjunction with the new interdisciplinary Italian Studies at Notre Dame program.
Though economists have long suspected that developing countries struggle to emerge from poverty because they lack robust financial sectors, few economists have tried to determine just how this phenomenon occurs—until now. University of Notre Dame Economics Professor Joseph Kaboski, together with colleagues from UCLA and Washington University in St. Louis, examine this phenomenon in the study “Finance and Development: A Tale of Two Sectors,” published recently in the American Economic Review.
The University of Notre Dame’s Nanovic Institute for European Studies and the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study (NDIAS) will welcome Horst Koehler, former president of the Federal Republic of Germany, and his wife, Eva Luise Koehler, to the University for a three-day visit that will include a major public lecture by Koehler. Titled “The Whole is at Stake,” the lecture will be held Wednesday, September 28 at 7 p.m. in the Carey Auditorium of the Hesburgh Library.