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Notre Dame Jewish studies scholar forges connections between ancient Mesopotamian texts and modern theology

Author: Brian Wallheimer

Categories: Faculty News, Research, and General News

Thousands of years ago, Mesopotamians craned their necks to watch as the moon passed between them and the sun, casting darkness on the Earth. They sacrificed animals and opened them up, carefully analyzing the characteristics of their organs. These ancient people were looking for messages from the gods; they sought information about potential enemy attacks, the weather, and predictions for their crops. “In any society, there is a desire to know the future. That’s still true today, if you think about political polling or weather forecasting,” said Abraham Winitzer, the Jordan H. Kapson Associate Professor of Jewish Studies at Notre Dame. Winitzer, who works primarily in Assyriology, is one of two Notre Dame theology faculty that have a focus on Jewish studies, an area in which the department is giving new emphasis.

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Psychologist receives $2.5 million National Institutes of Health grant to launch intervention program for pregnant women exposed to violence

Author: Carrie Gates

Categories: Faculty News, Centers and Institutes, Research, and General News

Laura Miller-Graff, an assistant professor of psychology and peace studies, along with co-principal investigator Kathryn Howell of the University of Memphis and a team of Notre Dame faculty members, will evaluate the intervention program through a randomized, controlled trial involving more than 200 women and their infants.

 

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Luis Fraga, ILS director and political scientist, awarded 2019 Norton Long Career Achievement Award for Politics

Author: Institute for Latino Studies

Categories: Faculty News, Centers and Institutes, Research, and General News

Luis Fraga, director of Notre Dame's Institute for Latino Studies, has been selected as the 2019 Norton Long Career Achievement Award winner for his work in political science by a committee of distinguished peers. The award is given each year to a scholar who has made important contributions to the study of urban politics over the course of a career. 

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History professor hosts roundtable discussion on digital humanities in early China at the Beijing Global Gateway

Author: Colleen Wilcox

Categories: Faculty News, Internationalism, Research, and General News

Liang Cai, assistant professor of history, and Meng Jiang, assistant professor of computer science and engineering, collaborated on an international research project titled “Digital Empires: Structured Biographical and Social Network Analysis of Early Chinese Empires.” As part of the project, Cai hosted a roundtable discussion on June 24 at Notre Dame’s Beijing Global Gateway. 

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Race and ragtime, gender and genre: With NEH fellowship, McKenna explores unexamined history of the American piano

Author: Carrie Gates

Categories: Faculty News, Internationalism, Research, and General News

For Rebecca McKenna, the piano’s history is about much more than just manufacturing or marketing — it’s about issues of race, class, and gender at the turn of the 20th century. It’s about transnational trade and the debut of a new genre of music. McKenna, an assistant professor in the Department of History, is exploring all of these issues for her new book project, with support from a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship.

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Video: Chloe Gibbs on the economics of early childhood education

Author: Todd Boruff

Categories: Faculty News, Centers and Institutes, Research, and General News

Chloe Gibbs is an assistant professor of economics and faculty affiliate of Notre Dame's Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities. Her research interests include applied microeconomics, the economics of education, and labor economics. In this video, she discusses why a move to widespread full-day kindergartenten has actually widened achievement gaps among children, and why it's important to study why programs don't work the way they're intended, in order to inform policymakers and school leaders about what they should be doing.

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Sociology professor wins ASA book award

Author: Ashley Rowland

Categories: Faculty News, Research, and General News

A 2018 book co-authored by Tamara Kay, a Notre Dame associate professor of global affairs and sociology, has been named co-winner of an award given by the American Sociological Association. Trade Battles: Activism and the Politicization of International Trade Policy (Oxford University Press), co-authored by Kay and R.L. Evans, received the Charles Tilly Distinguished Contribution to Scholarship Book Award from the organization’s Collective Behavior and Social Movements Section. The book examines how activists fought the North American Free Trade Agreement and subsequent trade agreements, providing a deeper understanding of the role civil society plays in shaping state policy.

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Video: Sociologist Rory McVeigh on the politics of losing

Author: Todd Boruff

Categories: Faculty News, Research, and General News

Rory McVeigh is the Nancy Reeves Dreux Professor in Sociology and director of the Center for the Study of Social Movements at Notre Dame. His research interests include inequality, social movements, political sociology, and race and ethnicity. In this video, he discusses his research on the rise of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s and the rise of Donald Trump nearly 100 years later, and why he studies the ways community shapes people's understanding of inequality.

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Oil and American religion set stage for current political divides, historian finds

Author: Amanda Skofstad

Categories: Faculty News, Research, and General News

In his newest research, Darren Dochuk, associate professor of history at Notre Dame, chronicles North America’s age of oil — in particular, crude’s inseparable relationship to Christianity. He finds that since the Civil War-era discovery of oil, Americans have consistently claimed black gold as a spiritual blessing, a sacred burden and an emblem of national identity and mission in the world.

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How an African Muslim immigrant developed his passion for creating — through filmmaking, acting, and photography — at Notre Dame

Author: Hailey Oppenlander

Categories: Arts, Internationalism, Research, Undergraduate News, and General News

Naj Harrabi describes himself as someone who needs to create — whether it’s writing stand-up comedy, directing a play on campus, submitting original films in student film festivals, or even designing new courses. “There’s really nothing I can think of that’s pushing me, other than this inner impulse to do it — and that’s the most gratifying thing,” Harrabi said. A 2019 graduate who majored in film, television, and theatre, Harrabi is now headed to the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts, where he’ll pursue a graduate degree in film.
 

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2019 Naughton Fellowship awardees announced

Author: Joanne Fahey

Categories: Internationalism, Research, Undergraduate News, and General News

Twenty-one students have been announced as awardees of the Naughton Fellowships for 2019. The research fellowships were awarded to undergraduate and master's students from the University of Notre Dame and from five universities in Ireland. This year’s winners from Notre Dame represent the Colleges of Arts and Letters, Engineering, and Science.

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Philosophy professor Meghan Sullivan named director of Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study

Author: Brandi Klingerman

Categories: Faculty News, Centers and Institutes, Research, and General News

As of July 1, Sullivan will oversee the Institute, including its flagship residential fellowship and graduate student fellowship programs. In conjunction with Sullivan’s directorship, the Institute has added a thematic option to its 2020-2021 call for fellowship applications — “the nature of trust.”

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Video: Theologian on early Christian reception of the New Testament

Author: Todd Boruff

Categories: Faculty News, Catholicism, Research, and General News

“By reading the Bible along with some of its earliest interpreters in antiquity, it's actually strange, unsettling, unsystematic. It's full of surprises,” said Nathan Eubank, associate professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame. Eubank’s research centers on the Synoptic Gospels and the writings of Paul, particularly in light of ancient Biblical interpretation. He is currently writing a book on merit in early Christianity — the ability to gain salvation through good actions.

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Face to face: Arts and Letters community-based classes help students learn Spanish

While there are more than 200 community-based classes across Notre Dame, few faculty members have jumped in with more commitment than those in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, especially those teaching Spanish. CBL classes engage in a sustained partnership with community centers and schools through service or educational activities relevant to coursework. Spanish students in these classes average about 1,500 hours of service per year in South Bend.

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Felipe Fernandez-Armesto publishes book on the history of human imagination

Author: Joanna Byrne

Categories: Faculty News, Internationalism, Research, and General News

Felipe Fernández-Armesto, the William P. Reynolds Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters is the author of a new book on the journey of human imagination throughout history. Fernández-Armesto is currently teaching in London at the London Global Gateway. Titled Out of Our Minds: A History of What We Think and How We Came to Think It, the book examines science, politics, religion, culture, philosophy and history in order to tell the story of human imagination from the beginning of civilization to the modern day.

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How two very different majors — Africana studies and biology — help Shelene Baiyee understand the world

Author: Hailey Oppenlander

Categories: Research, Undergraduate News, and General News

Shelene Baiyee’s time at Notre Dame has been characterized by connection – whether it’s with faculty, other students, or seemingly unrelated subject matters. The rising senior may be busy with clubs, service, research, and more, but never loses sight of what drives her forward — the connection between it all. “It’s really important, especially as a black female in America, to understand the history of race in America, and to acknowledge a lot of history that has been left out of history books,” she said. “Having two extremely different majors allows you to see the interconnectedness of certain topics and life in general, because what you can understand through science can be aided by history.”

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Economists to present model showing success of unconventional monetary policies to Fed officials

Author: Colleen Sharkey

Categories: Faculty News, Research, and General News

With the backdrop of the Great Recession in mind, but with the economy on the mend, the Federal Reserve launched a review in 2018 to closely examine U.S. monetary policy to see if it could be made more robust. Notre Dame associate professors of economics Cynthia Wu and Eric Sims were solicited to contribute a paper on assessing the agency’s tools for dealing with economic decline. They will present to Fed Chairman Jerome Powell and other high-level economists at a Fed conference in Chicago on June 4 and 5.

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Rallying around Puerto Rico: A&L faculty, students explore hurricane recovery efforts

Author: Brendan O'Shaughnessy

Categories: Faculty News, Internationalism, Research, Undergraduate News, and General News

After Hurricane María caused severe damage to Puerto Rico in September 2017, critics said federal government aid was too little, too late. Other organizations saw the need and decided to step in, including Notre Dame. Here are recent efforts, including the faculty-led Listening to Puerto Rico project and a spring break storytelling trip by journalism students..

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Year abroad helps Italian major develop language skills, discover senior thesis topic, and strengthen connection to family heritage

Author: Hailey Oppenlander

Categories: Internationalism, Research, Undergraduate News, and General News

Gianna Van Heel’s time studying abroad while at Notre Dame was immersive and comprehensive — the nearly yearlong experience included coursework, research, an internship, and embracing the Italian way of life. She knew it was the best way to truly learn another language. Van Heel, who won the College of Arts and Letters’ Robert D. Nuner Award for the language major with the highest GPA, studied Dante during her time abroad and was captivated by his writing. 

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Majoring in neuroscience helps Arts and Letters student research concussions, study abroad, and land a job at a big consulting firm

Author: Hailey Oppenlander

Categories: Internationalism, Research, Undergraduate News, and General News

When Joseph Weiler was 8, he sustained his first concussion — and he's wanted to study the complexities of the brain ever since. Now a neuroscience and behavior major in the College of Arts and Letters, Weiler's senior thesis oversaw the implementation of the Cogstate Cognigram — a test designed to track early cognitive symptoms of concussions — in Notre Dame’s Baraka Bouts women’s boxing competition for the last two years.

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Three Arts and Letters professors named ACLS fellows

Author: Amanda Skofstad

Categories: Faculty News, Research, and General News

Two historians and one theologian are among 81 fellows named from more than 1,100 applicants in the 2019 award cycle. ACLS awardees are selected for excellence in the humanities and humanistic social sciences, and the fellowships support six to 12 months of full-time research and writing. Notre Dame winners include Yury P. Avvakumov, associate professor of theology; Katie Jarvis, assistant professor of history; and Emily Remus, assistant professor of history.

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American studies professor's research explores how U.S. Catholics' quest for holy heroes leads to tensions between national, religious identities

Author: Amanda Skofstad

Categories: Faculty News, Catholicism, Centers and Institutes, Research, and General News

In new research, Kathleen Sprows Cummings — University of Notre Dame associate professor of American studies and director of the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism — chronicles how canonization, or the intricate process of naming someone a saint, prompted a minority religious group to define, defend and celebrate its American identity. Her book, A Saint of Our Own: How the Quest for a Holy Hero Helped Catholics Become American, is the first study of multiple causes for canonization within a United States context. 

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Sheedy Award winner Ernesto Verdeja praised for commitment to peace and justice

Author: Carrie Gates

Categories: Faculty News, Internationalism, Centers and Institutes, Research, and General News

For his work in the classroom, Verdeja has been selected to receive the 2018 Sheedy Excellence in Teaching Award — the highest teaching honor in the College of Arts and Letters — which will be presented at a reception in his honor on May 7 at 3:30 p.m. in the McKenna Hall auditorium.

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