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.”
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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.
Maria Rogacheva, a doctoral candidate in Notre Dame’s Department of History, is working to reveal the secrets of “invisible” communities that once housed the former Soviet Union’s scientific research facilities.
Sean Walsh, a graduate of Notre Dame’s departments of philosophy and mathematics, has been awarded a Kurt Gödel Research Prize Fellowship—one of the most prestigious honors in the field of logic.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
With the U.N. recently authorizing a no-fly zone over Libya, University of Notre Dame political scientist and international relations expert Michael Desch proposes a “limited liability intervention strategy” with the country.
A spring semester program for University of Notre Dame students in Tokyo, Japan has been canceled by Notre Dame’s Office of International Studies due to the situation following that country’s March 11 earthquake and tsunami and its subsequent nuclear crisis. The three students enrolled in the canceled program had been scheduled to leave for Japan March 27.
Once viewed as a language of the poor and uneducated, and moribund for the last half of the 19th century, the Irish language has experienced a return to prominence – both internationally and at the University of Notre Dame.
Bridget O’Malley was just 11 years old in 1909 when she left her family in Ireland and sailed to Boston. She was the youngest passenger listed on the ship’s manifest, which included one striking detail: Bridget was traveling alone. Why would a parent send away an 11 year-old girl? Why was she alone? What kind of life awaited her in Boston? A new course at Notre Dame explores these questions and broader issues of emigration through the lens of an archeological anthropologist, a historian and a scholar of Irish language.
What must we change in order to help us bridge the gap between the world as it is, and the world as it should be? In its first year, the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study (NDIAS)—inspired by the classical values of beauty, goodness and truth—began transforming the academic landscape through an annual conference, lecture series and fellowships.