The tensions inherent in being at once Catholic and American have been palpable and familiar features in the life of the University of Notre Dame from sporadic outbreaks of fisticuffs on campus in the years preceding the Civil War to the controversy which swirled about the 2009 Commencement ceremony at which President Obama received an honorary degree.
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It’s no coincidence that American workers have never been more dissatisfied with their jobs, and labor unions’ membership keeps dropping, according to a new study co-authored by University of Notre Dame political scientist Benjamin Radcliff. Based on a study of unions in 14 nations, Radcliffe found that people who live in countries in which labor union membership was robust were happier—regardless of whether or not they belonged to a labor union themselves.
The RM Liu Foundation has made a gift to the University of Notre Dame to endow a new Institute for Asia and Asian Studies. Based in Gardena, Calif., the foundation supports the philanthropic activities of Robert and Mimi Liu and their children, Emily and Justin, both of whom are Notre Dame graduates. “We are expanding the international dimensions of Notre Dame in many ways, and Asia is an especially important part of our plan,” says Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., the University’s president. “This significant gift will allow us to enhance our current initiatives and to grow in new and exciting directions. We are deeply grateful to Bob, Mimi, Emily and Justin for their visionary leadership and extraordinarily generous support.”
Though China does not appear to see it that way, the Nobel Peace Prize recently awarded to Chinese literary critic and activist Liu Xiaobo should be considered an honor “bestowed in a spirit of recognizing how far China has come, having delivered more than a quarter of a billion people from absolute poverty and opening itself to the world,” says Lionel Jensen, associate professor of East Asian languages and cultures and associate professor of history at the University of Notre Dame.
Anna Michelle Martinez-Montavon’s passion for languages began well before she came to Notre Dame. Her parents grew up in Mexico and South America, and she grew up in the United States speaking Spanish at home as her first language. She learned English while in daycare and then studied French in middle school. Now in college, she’s fallen in love with yet another language.
The University of Notre Dame, in partnership with scholars and educators from around the world, is inaugurating a major cross-cultural research project: Contending Modernities: Catholic, Muslim, Secular.
The University of Notre Dame’s French and Francophone Studies Program, Department of Film, Television and Theatre, and Nanovic Institute for European Studies will present The Tournées Festival, a showcase of five of today’s internationally recognized and celebrated French films, from September 30 to October 28 in the Browning Cinema of the University’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.
The U.S. Agency for International Development has awarded Larissa Fast, assistant professor of sociology and conflict resolution at the University of Notre Dame, and her co-investigators from Johns Hopkins University and Save the Children, a grant for research that seeks to increase security for international relief and development agencies worldwide.
With Israel’s construction moratorium on Jewish settlements in the West Bank due to end this weekend, Palestinian and Israeli negotiators are seeking a way to keep the peace talks going. But according to University of Notre Dame political scientist Michael Desch, these negotiations were over almost before they began.
The University of Notre Dame Alumni Association honored the achievements and service of two former College of Arts and Letters students this month. Capt. Wendy Sue Kosek received the Rev. William Corby, C.S.C., Award for distinguished military service. Victor Dukay was presented the Thomas A. Dooley Award for his outstanding service to humankind, specifically for his work with HIV/AIDS and improving the lives of orphaned children in Africa.
R. Scott Appleby, Notre Dame history professor and John M. Regan, Jr., Director of the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, dispels misconceptions spread by people caught up in a wave of suspicion fueled by the mosque controversy in New York City, a Florida church’s plan to burn copies of the Qu’ran, and Muslims’ worries over the 9/11 anniversary coinciding with Ramadan celebrations.
This past semester, students studying abroad at Notre Dame’s London Centre brought the mission of the University to life in a local school play that was far from the typical gymnasium fare. Led by Anton Juan, professor in the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre, the undergraduates helped bring to the stage the stories of migrant families as seen from the perspective of the children at Sacred Heart Primary School.
For the past five years, recent college graduates from around the world have traveled to Notre Dame as part of the Fulbright Foreign Language Teaching Assistant (FLTA) Program. In mid August, the latest cohort will arrive—65 students from more than 25 countries around the world, who will convene on campus to prepare to live and teach their native languages to students across the United States.
Like many good ideas, this one required some financial assistance to get off the ground… Maeve Raphelson ’10 and eight other Notre Dame students had been asked by friend and fellow senior Javier Soegaard to accompany him to Puerto Rico to work with some kids in a local school. Problem was, they couldn’t afford to make the trip. With financial support from the Margaret Eisch Endowment for Excellence in Sociology, Notre Dame’s Campus Ministry, and the Institute for Educational Initiatives, Raphelson, Soegaard, and the other students organized and led a two-day retreat with teens at the Academia del Perpetuo Socorro in San Juan.
Two University of Notre Dame faculty members and two graduate students recently were awarded fellowships by the American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS), a private, nonprofit federation of 70 national scholarly organizations and the preeminent representative of American scholarship in the humanities and related social sciences.
John P. O’Callaghan, director of the University of Notre Dame’s Jacques Maritain Center, has been appointed a permanent member of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas. Established in 1879 by Pope Leo XIII to promote the study of the thought of St. Thomas and to bring it into engagement with contemporary culture, the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas has 50 members. O’Callaghan, an associate professor of philosophy at Notre Dame whose scholarship concerns medieval philosophy and Thomistic metaphysics, is one of four academy members from the United States.
Declan Kiberd, one of Ireland’s most prominent intellectuals, has been appointed Donald and Marilyn Keough Professor of Irish Studies and professor of English at the University of Notre Dame.
From one culture to another—and from each generation to the next—the definitions of lying and deception are understood differently. This can cause people to doubt or mistrust each other’s integrity, including in academia where the originality of ideas is especially prized and plagiarism especially abhorred.
Assistant Professor Jada Benn Torres uses genetics to research the distribution of diseases across populations, with a primary focus on women’s reproductive health. Notre Dame’s first molecular anthropologist, she recently celebrated the opening of her laboratory, where tools and techniques developed in molecular genetics are brought to bear on anthropological questions.
Scholars from around the globe will gather at the University of Notre Dame June 30–July 4 for the meeting of the Colloquium on Violence and Religion (COV&R). The theme of the conference is “Transforming Violence: Cult, Culture, and Acculturation.” More than 150 scholars from 14 countries are expected to attend.
John Van Engen, Andrew V. Tackes Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame, has been awarded the 2010 Otto Gründler Book Prize for Sisters and Brothers of the Common Life: The Devotio Moderna and the World of the Later Middle Ages (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2008). The honor is given each year to an author whose work in any area of medieval studies is judged to be an outstanding contribution to the field.
Brian Ó Conchubhair, associate professor in the Department of Irish Language and Literature, has won an award for his book, Fin de Siècle na Gaeilge: Darwin, an Athbheochan, agus smaointeoireacht na hEorpa (The Irish Fin de Siècle: Darwin, the Language Revival, and European Intellectual Thought), from the American Conference for Irish Studies. The award, Duais Leabhar Taighde na Bliana Fhoras na Gaeilge, is bestowed for the best book of the year written in the Irish language.
Allert Brown-Gort, associate director of the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies, is critical of Arizona’s immigration law that goes into effect next month. The law requires an officer to determine a person’s immigration status if he/she is stopped, detained or arrested and there is “reasonable suspicion” that person is in the U.S. illegally.
The University of Notre Dame has longstanding historical and intellectual ties with Italy. While the University is already home to an impressive number of scholars whose research and teaching focus on Italy, previously no institutional structure captured their collective expertise. Now, thanks to support from the College of Arts and Letters and two grants awarded by the Office of Research, the University will further extend its engagement with that country in the form of an interdisciplinary program in Italian studies.
Though the recent collapse of the Greek financial system shook the European Union, that financial crisis was only a symptom of a much deeper issue, according to University of Notre Dame political scientist Sebastian Rosato, author of Europe United: Power Politics and the Making of the European Community (Cornell University Press, 2011).
A new book in the Kellogg Institute’s series with the University of Notre Dame Press explores how citizens in Spain confront memories of Franco’s dictatorship. Unearthing Franco’s Legacy: Mass Graves and the Recovery of Historical Memory in Spain is the most recent addition to the Contemporary European Politics and Society Series.
John Paul and Angela Jill Lederach have written When Blood and Bones Cry Out: Journeys Through the Soundscape of Healing and Reconciliation. Published by the University of Queensland Press, the book challenges the traditional idea that healing and reconciliation are linear and sequential “post-conflict” processes. Instead, the authors write, healing after war, near-death experiences, or sexual violence is circular and dynamic—and can continue even when the violence hasn’t stopped.
In 2008, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) asked the University of Notre Dame for help in reaching out to the African Church. The Church was growing, but with the growth came the need for better leadership skills to manage the human and financial resources.
The Fulbright Exchange Program, National Science Foundation, and other national organizations have awarded postgraduate scholarships and fellowships to 13 members of the University of Notre Dame’s Class of 2010.
The newly proposed U.N. Security Council sanctions on Iran are not weak and watered down but smartly targeted and likely to be effective, according to George A. Lopez, who holds the Hesburgh Chair in Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute and is a faculty member in the Department of Political Science. This year, Lopez serves as a senior fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington D.C., writing a book on the future of sanctions.