For Thomas Anderson, it’s hard not to be fascinated with Cuba. Anderson, a professor of Spanish and chair of the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, has written two books on Cuban literature and culture and has published an edited volume of a leading Cuban author’s letters. Currently, he is working on a book that focuses on images of the U.S. civil rights movement in Cuban poetry. “I think for a lot of people, Cuba has always been seen as this forbidden country, and it’s something people are drawn to,” he said. “But it’s also a country with an incredibly rich literary and cultural history.”
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The retreat was sponsored by the International Network for Comparative Humanities (INCH), an interdisciplinary group of literary scholars from across the U.S. and Europe dedicated to promoting comparative study. Co-directed by Notre Dame professor Barry McCrea and Maria DiBattista of Princeton University, the organization seeks to develop a new model for networking and scholarly collaboration in the humanities — one that stresses the importance of collaboration across generational, national, and institutional boundaries.
From the beginning, there’s an end in sight. For students in Notre Dame’s new Ph.D. in Italian and Ph.D. in Spanish programs — each of which launched in 2016 — the focus is on ensuring students complete their dissertations and earn their degrees within five years. The programs are attracting high-caliber students from around the world, helping to strengthen a flourishing community of scholars that includes students in successful master’s of arts programs already operating in each area.
In the past two years, 35 history majors in Paul Ocobock’s honors seminar have received more than $125,000 in funding to do original research around the world. And every student in his course who applied for funding received it — using the grants to explore archives in France, Ireland, Uganda, China, and South Korea, among other places. But to Ocobock, there is something even more important than his students’ 100 percent success rate in securing funding — the sense of community they develop as they plan their projects together, travel the globe to conduct research, then return to his classroom to begin work on their senior theses.
In Notre Dame International's study abroad program in Puebla, Mexico, students can enroll in a unique pre-medicine track, taking classes on health-related topics at the Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla. Participants in this track also shadow doctors twice per week in two Mexican public hospitals, learning about different specialties and gaining valuable clinical experience. They return with valuable language and cultural experience and a new perspective on health care, which they can apply to their future health professions at home or abroad.
Alexis Belis ’00 arrived at Notre Dame with a plan. Following in her father’s footsteps, she was ready to major in physics, tackle the requirements for medical school, and become a doctor. She nearly missed her true calling. Today, she curates ancient art at the Getty Museum in Los Angeles.
“I'm interested in literature as product of a community and the way in which they decide what to include, what not to include, what is good, what is bad, how they choose to engage with censorship or not engage with censorship,” said Michel Hockx, professor of Chinese literature and culture in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures in the College of Arts and Letters and director of the Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies. Hockx has published works both in English and in Chinese on early 20th-century Chinese print culture as well as contemporary Internet culture in China.
In summer 2016, Notre Dame senior Andrew Grose studied abroad in Spain — taking a headfirst dive into a language and culture he loved and had studied for years. The experience confirmed for him that whatever path he takes after graduation, Spanish will be a part of it. Grose, a Spanish and preprofessional studies major, is planning a career in medicine and knows his language skills will be a valuable asset — a fact that was underscored in a course on Latin America he took last fall.
Cummings, the William J. Shaw Center for Children and Families Professor of Psychology at Notre Dame, recently won the 2017 Urie Bronfenbrenner Award for Lifetime Contribution to Developmental Psychology from the American Psychological Association’s developmental psychology section. Over the past 35 years, he has done extensive research to show that inter-parental relationships, father-child relationships, and other family relationships and processes are related to children’s short-term and long-term adjustment and well-being. With research projects in Northern Ireland, Colombia, Israel, Croatia, and Iran, he is also examining how political violence affects children's emotional security and development.
They wrote poetry in Dublin coffee shops over plates of scones and artfully embellished cappuccinos — the curl of steam and lilt of Irish conversation rising and fading in the background. They wrote prose on the grassy shores of Lough Pollaacapull, where the towers and crenellations of Kylemore Abbey reflect in the waters below. They wrote in the Abbey’s common room into the wee hours of the morning. And everywhere, the 16 students in Notre Dame’s first Creative Writing Workshop in Ireland found inspiration — in the landscape, in the country’s literary history, and in each other.
To preserve and share the history of political upheaval that ultimately changed the Latin American Catholic Church, Notre Dame researchers are collecting a variety of audio recordings, handwritten documents, and texts to develop a digital library of critical events that took place throughout Latin America over more than 60 years and ultimately changed the Catholic Church.
Heather Hyde Minor, professor of art history, has been appointed academic director of the University of Notre Dame’s Rome Global Gateway by Michael Pippenger, vice president and associate provost for internationalization. During her two-year term, Hyde Minor will hold full academic oversight of the Gateway, including the Rome undergraduate program and efforts to enhance the University’s research profile in Rome and beyond. Hyde Minor succeeds Theodore J. Cachey Jr., Ravarino Family Professor of Italian and director of the William and Katherine Devers Program in Dante Studies.
DellaNeva, a professor in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, will hold full academic oversight of the Gateway during her two-year term, including the London undergraduate program and efforts to enhance the University’s research profile in London and beyond. A faculty member since 1982, DellaNeva also served as chair of her department from 1989-96 and as associate dean for undergraduate studies in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters from 2010-17.
Rev. Daniel Groody, C.S.C., associate professor of theology, will address the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on the theology of migration during the bishops’ annual Spring General Assembly, June 14-15, in Indianapolis. Groody’s talk, “Passing Over: Migration, Theology and the Eucharist,” draws on his research around the world mapping the many sides of the current conversation on migration.
Libby Hasse ’08 always knew she wanted to join the Peace Corps. She just didn’t realize what an impact it would have on her career. The experience still resonates today in her work as an attorney at the Tahirih Justice Center — a national nonprofit that provides pro bono legal services to immigrant women.
J.J. Wright, University of Notre Dame doctoral candidate in sacred music and Grammy award-winning composer, will premiere his five-part composition “Drama and Devotion” on June 1 (Thursday) at Chiesa Nuova in Rome.
A record 30 College of Arts and Letters students and alumni have been awarded grants by the Fulbright U.S. Student Program to study abroad in 2017-18. The Fulbright Program is the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program, offering students grants to conduct research, study and teach abroad.
The Fulbright U.S. Student Program, the National Science Foundation, the Rhodes Trust, and other organizations have awarded scholarships and fellowships to 23 members of the College of Arts and Letters’ Class of 2017.
Asher Kaufman, professor of history and peace studies, has been appointed the John M. Regan, Jr. Director of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, effective July 1, 2017.
Caleb “C.J.” Pine has been named valedictorian of the 2017 University of Notre Dame graduating class and will present the valedictory address during the 172nd University Commencement Ceremony on May 21 at Notre Dame Stadium. Named a Truman Scholar and a Gilman Scholar while at Notre Dame, Pine is a member of the University’s Glynn Family Honors program and is a Hesburgh-Yusko Scholar. A member of Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, he carries a 3.92 cumulative grade point average, and will graduate with degrees in Arabic and peace studies and a minor in philosophy, politics and economics (PPE).
Felipe Fernández-Armesto has received Spain's highest honor for contributors to science, scholarship, education, and the arts.
The collaborative global research project, Under Caesar's Sword, is co-directed by political scientist Daniel Philpott. “In Response to Persecution,” a report on the UCS project’s findings, was launched April 20 in a day-long symposium at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
Irla Atanda and Abigail Awodele have been awarded the prestigious Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, to study abroad during the summer 2017 term. Awodele will participate in the China Language Program and Atanda will study in South Africa.
Notre Dame junior Rebecca Blais, a political science major from New Smyrna Beach, Florida, has been named a 2017 Truman Scholar. Blais is one of just 62 college juniors to be selected for the prestigious scholarship this year, from a pool of 768 candidates nominated by 315 colleges and universities nationwide. Established in 1975 as a living memorial to President Harry S. Truman, the award includes $30,000 in graduate study funds, priority admission and supplemental financial aid at select institutions, leadership training, career and graduate school counseling, and internship opportunities within the federal government.
Fr. Emmanuel Katongole, a Notre Dame associate professor of theology and peace studies, will spend a year studying three predominant forms of violence in sub-Saharan Africa after being named a Henry Luce III Fellow in Theology for 2017–2018, one of six scholars selected from members of the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada. Katongole will begin a yearlong study in January aimed at looking at ethnic, religious, and ecological violence in African countries south of the Sahara.
Peter Holland, the College of Arts and Letters’ associate dean for the arts and the McMeel Family Chair in Shakespeare Studies, has been named chair of the International Shakespeare Association. Holland, a professor in the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre, was selected by the association’s executive committee from candidates nominated worldwide for the prestigious position. The association, based in Stratford-upon-Avon, England, the birthplace of Shakespeare, seeks to further the study of the playwright’s life and to connect Shakespeareans and Shakespeare societies around the world.
Whether their research explores community-led initiatives, national trends, or international issues, Ph.D. students in Notre Dame’s Department of Sociology produce outstanding research that is leading to grants, fellowships, and job offers. “Our students benefit from the fact that our faculty is unusually large and strong and covers almost the entire range of sociology,” said Lyn Spillman, director of graduate studies. “They enjoy not only our excellent faculty/student ratios but also the wide range of expertise we offer. The result is that our students produce new knowledge across the entire disciplinary range.”
A trio of Notre Dame students and alumni have been named Yenching Scholars, a globally competitive award that provides a full scholarship and stipend to pursue an interdisciplinary master’s degree at China’s top university. Teresa Kennedy ’16, an anthropology and peace studies major from Wilbraham, Massachusetts; senior Jenny Ng, a political science major from Sai Kung, Hong Kong; and Dominic Romeo ’14, a political science and Chinese major from Turlock, California, were named to the third cohort entering the Yenching Academy, based at Peking University in Beijing.
Adam Foley won a 2015-2016 Rome Prize fellowship, awarded by the American Academy in Rome. The Rome Prize supports innovative and cross-disciplinary work in the arts and humanities. Fellows are given a stipend, room and board, and individual work space at the Academy’s eleven-acre campus in Rome.
“Do what you feel naturally inclined to do, where your skills and abilities are taking you, what you're best at. It really has helped me to narrow down and find the right career,” said Elizabeth Simari ’08. An English and Italian major in the College of Arts and Letters, Simari studied abroad in Rome during her junior year. Her interest in the language, history, and culture of Italy developed into a passion, leading her to move to Sicily after graduation. After teaching English for a year and then earning a master's degree in literature, she wrote for L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican’s English-language newspaper, and now teaches at the University of Loyola Chicago's campus in Rome.