The University of Notre Dame has long traditions in the research and teaching of Dante and is considered one of the leading centers in the world for the study of the great Catholic poet. As we approach the 700th anniversary of his death, Dante’s work still speaks powerfully, says Ted Cachey, professor of Italian and the Ravarino Family Director of Italian and Dante Studies. “I am often asked how Dante is relevant for today,” he said. “The answer is very simple: Dante confronted a world that was culturally, politically, and spiritually in profound crisis.”
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Claire Scott-Bacon is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Psychology’s clinical program and was recently awarded a Distinguished Graduate Fellowship from the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study. Her research focuses on issues related to the structure and assessment of criminal personality in clinical, forensic, and legal settings. In this interview, she discusses her work and its impact on the high rate of wrongful convictions and criminalization of mental health-related crimes in the United States.
Chosen on the basis of their research promise, interdisciplinary potential, and collaborative commitment, each of the graduate fellows is conducting a substantial research project related to resilience, the NDIAS’s organizing research theme for the 2021-2022 school year. Two of the fellows are co-sponsored by the Notre Dame Technology Ethics Center (ND-TEC) and are pursuing research projects that engage with questions related to the ethical use of technology.
Daniel Philpott, a Notre Dame professor of political science, has received the 2021 Distinguished Scholar Award from the International Studies Association’s Religion and International Relations Section. Philpott, the section’s awards committee noted, is a key figure in the first generation of scholars to incorporate religion into the study of international relations. His research focuses on the relationship between religion and democracy, ethics, peace-building, reconciliation, and religious freedom.
Notre Dame juniors Tarik Brown and Gregory Miller have been named 2021 Truman Scholars, becoming the University’s 10th and 11th Truman Scholars since 2010. Brown and Miller are among 62 recipients of the award from a pool of more than 840 candidates. They were recommended by 17 independent selection panels based on their academic success and leadership and likelihood of becoming public service leaders. Brown is a computer science major and Hesburgh Program in Public Service minor and Miller is an economics and applied and computational mathematics and statistics major and a Hesburgh Program in Public Service and constitutional studies minor.
Developing an entirely student-run undergraduate journal isn’t an overnight process. Even choosing a name can be painstaking. After settling on Americana — chosen for its brevity and clear affiliation with American studies — the journal’s staff launched the first online issue this spring, featuring more than a dozen articles, essays, and multimedia projects on issues including race, gender, class, media, transnationalism, and the history of ideas. The journal’s mission statement expresses that it aims to encourage high-quality research in American studies and the Gallivan Program in Journalism, Ethics, and Democracy in order to “foster an interdisciplinary conversation” and provide publishing opportunities for undergraduates.
Jorge A. Bustamante, the Eugene P. and Helen Conley Professor Emeritus of Sociology, died March 25. He was 82. A sociologist whose research centered on the dynamics of international migration, Bustamante’s work advanced public and academic discourse regarding circumstances at the U.S.-Mexico border. His devotion to advocating for human and labor rights for immigrants worldwide led to his native Mexico nominating him for the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize.
Housed in the Department of Economics, the Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economics Opportuniites partners with organizations across the United States, turning research into action to lift people out of poverty. Interns work side-by-side with leading economists throughout the year, and some are able to travel to partner organizations over the summer to work on-site. “I chose LEO because this was an opportunity that I wouldn't really be able to get anywhere else,” said Josie Donlon, an international economics and Spanish major who spent a summer creating a real-time poverty tracker during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health by Sarah Mustillo, the I.A. O’Shaughnessy Dean of the University of Notre Dame College of Arts and Letters and a professor of sociology, and colleagues reveals one in six parents allowed teens to drink during quarantine.
Julian Bonds loves helping young people, so it’s only natural that the English and history major would seek a career in education. Through his interdisciplinary Arts & Letters courses, research, and interests outside of the classroom, Bonds has developed his knowledge of the education system, its benefits and flaws, and his potential role in it. “Three things have been embedded in almost all of my Arts and Letters classes — creativity, passion, and a relentless drive to learn more about a subject,” he said. “Regardless of the career path I ultimately choose, I hope to always remain willing to be creative, eager to engage with things I am passionate about, and relentless in learning more about everything in order to better help the young people I work with.”
Joyelle McSweeney, a Notre Dame professor of English and Creative Writing Program faculty member, has been named a finalist for the Kingsley Tufts Award, a prominent prize honoring work by a mid-career poet. The honor comes in recognition of McSweeney’s double poetry collection Toxicon and Arachne (Nightboat Books, 2020) — the first part written in the years leading up to the birth of her third daughter, Arachne; and the second part written in the spring following Arachne’s brief life and death.
Katie Bugyis, an assistant professor in the Program of Liberal Studies, has been awarded the American Society of Church History’s Franklin S. and Elizabeth D. Brewer Prize, which honors outstanding scholarship in the history of Christianity by a first-time author. She received the prize for her work, The Care of Nuns: The Ministries of Benedictine Women in England During the Central Middle Ages, which reconstructs the history of Benedictine nuns through examination of their own liturgical documents — and recovers evidence of their liturgical functions, including preaching, reading the gospel liturgically, hearing confessions, and pronouncing absolution.
The Notre Dame London Global Gateway, along with partners from the United Kingdom and the University of Notre Dame campus, is launching a year-long exploration of Shakespeare. Professor Peter Holland will kick off this ThinkND series offering the 10th annual Notre Dame London Shakespeare Lecture in honor of Professor Sir Stanley Wells at 1 p.m. EDT April 7 on Zoom. Holland, the McMeel Family Chair in Shakespeare Studies and associate dean for the arts, will present “On the Shakespeare Trail,” exploring an often overlooked area of Shakespeare marketing — the film and theater trailer. Holland will explore how trailers conceptualize and lure audiences into watching on-screen and live versions of Shakespeare's plays.
In his newest research, The Contradictory Christ, Notre Dame philosopher Jc Beall argues that instead of trying to get around the apparent contradiction of the incarnation, Christian thinkers should accept what many thinkers have long charged: at the very crux of the Christian theory lies a contradiction.
With majors in design and computer science through the Reilly Center Dual Degree Program, Hind Zahour knew very little about DNA — but she didn’t let that stop her from joining a COVID-19 research team last summer. When Zahour’s consulting internship was shortened due to the pandemic, she sought out an opportunity related to the global crisis and was invited to work with with an engineering professor, running code code to determine what genes are affected by COVID-19. The tangibility and creativity of Zahour's design major and concentration in industrial design have become the perfect balance to the technical coding work she does in computer science — and the combination has given her a more holistic way of thinking.
Perin Gürel, an associate professor of American studies and concurrent associate professor in gender studies, has won the Jack Rosenbalm Prize for American Humor for her essay, “Amerikan Jokes: The Transnational Politics of Unlaughter in Turkey.” Gürel said she is thrilled to win the award — considered the top prize in the field of American humor studies. “It confirmed to me the importance of interdisciplinary, transnational research investigating the intersections of culture and politics,” she said. “I was also excited to have the official recognition because I felt it gave my personal interest in jokes — especially bilingual jokes and anti-jokes or ‘dad jokes’ — a scholarly veneer.”
At Notre Dame, students in a course called the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act Clinic are drafting dossiers to the U.S. government to request sanctions against the perpetrators of serious human rights abuses or corruption. Notre Dame is one of more than 250 consortium members that Human Rights First partners on such efforts — but the only one that involves undergraduates. Students who take the course gain valuable experience that prepares them for careers in human rights or anti-corruption, and several have now founded a student group to continue the work they started in the class.
Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi is an associate professor in the Department of English, director of the Creative Writing Program, and the author of the novel Call Me Zebra, winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction. In this interview, she discusses how her writing examines how patterns of migration have shaped literature, how history imprints itself on physical landscapes, and her new novel, Savage Tongues, which looks at questions of nationhood, identity, memory.
Seven up-and-coming scholars from across the country, along with distinguished professor Charlene Villaseñor Black of UCLA, will headline the Young Scholars Symposium at the Institute for Latino Studies next week. The virtual gathering on March 18 and 19 is part of an annual ILS initiative to bring together advanced graduate students and junior faculty working to complete a dissertation, book, or other form of research related to Latinx people in the U.S.
The Worker and Family Support Subcommittee at the Ways and Means Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives invited Jim Sullivan, the Gilbert F. Schaefer College Professor of Economics and co-founder of the Wilson Sheehan Lab For Economic Opportunities at the University of Notre Dame, to testify at its upcoming hearing “Health Profession Opportunity Grants: Past Successes and Future Uses.”
“We have to give up the principle that no statement about the world can be both true and false. We have to allow that there are such things,” said Jc Beall, the O'Neill Family Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame. Beall specializes in non-classical logic, an area of philosophy that considers alternative logical rules that can explain phenomena that don’t fit traditional logic. His book, The Contradictory Christ, uses non-standard logic to examine Christian doctrines such as the Incarnation, which states that Christ was both fully human and fully divine.
Brian Fogarty, director of Notre Dame’s Center for Social Science Research, has received a Rapid Response Research (RAPID) grant from the National Science Foundation to study the prevalence of belief in voter fraud and to identify ways of restoring confidence in U.S. elections. Fogarty, who is also a concurrent associate professor of the practice in the Department of Political Science, sought the grant in order to develop research that could assess public opinion at a critical moment in American history.
Children love to act things out. Some pretend to be a mother or a father, others act as a shopkeeper or pose as a singer. At age 6, John Draves wanted to be a priest. Now a senior at Notre Dame, he never abandoned that passion for his faith. As a seminarian in the Congregation of the Holy Cross, Draves uses his faith as backdrop through which he pursues his academic interests — majors in American studies and philosophy and a minor in theology.
“Music just really speaks to me. I feel like I'm at my happiest when I'm making music or thinking about music,” said Kola Owolabi, professor of organ at the University of Notre Dame. Owolabi is interested in a broad range of musical repertoire and enjoys finding works by less well-known composers. Recent recording projects include pieces by 20th-century African-English composer Samuel Coleridge Taylor, as well as a composition by 17th-century French composer Georg Muffat.
How can international development groups promote human dignity in their work — and why should they try? A new volume from the Kellogg Institute Book Series on Democracy and Development examines the meaning of “human dignity” – a term that encompasses human flourishing beyond the elimination of poverty – and asks how those who work in the field can put it into practice.
Sophomore Mariko Jurcsak remembers the moment she became hooked on ancient history. She was in her high school Latin class, reading a poem by the Roman poet Catallus about the death of his brother, when her teacher shared that he had connected with the poem after his own brother had passed away. Connecting with history on the basis of shared humanity gave Jurcsak a new perspective on the subject — and inspired her to major in Greek and Roman civilization in the Department of Classics.
Patrick Griffin, a scholar whose work explores the intersection of colonial American and early modern Irish and British history, has been named the Harold Vyvyan Harmsworth Visiting Professor of American History at the University of Oxford. The prestigious fellowship, created in 1922, is awarded to a distinguished American historian who then spends a year teaching, researching and leading seminars at Oxford’s Queen’s College and Rothermere American Institute.
Sarah A. Mustillo, a professor of sociology and the I.A. O’Shaughnessy Dean of the College of Arts and Letters, has been inducted into the Sociological Research Association. The prestigious honor society for scholars of sociology was founded in 1936 to recognize leading researchers in the discipline. It selects up to 14 new members each year from across the United States and Canada.
The Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study announced its faculty fellowship class for 2021-2022. The 11 residential fellows come from top research universities, including Notre Dame, and have diverse research interests that span the disciplines, including ecology, political science, anthropology, history, food studies and creative nonfiction. They will come together for a year of intensive collaborative research on resilience, the NDIAS’s organizing research theme for 2021-2022. The fellows will be joined by award-winning poet and cultural critic Reginald Dwayne Betts, who will serve as the NDIAS’s artist-in-residence during the year.
Psychologist Jessica Payne is passionate about helping the world better understand the value of sleep — and the many ways it impacts our cognition, health, and longevity. She dreams of a society where people no longer take pride in how little sleep they need to get by, but how much they sleep in order to thrive. Her groundbreaking research on sleep, stress, and psychological function has led to her being selected as the National Academy of Sciences 2021 Seymour Benzer/Sydney Brenner Lecturer — and to being awarded a nearly $900,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.