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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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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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Two Notre Dame faculty elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Author: Josh Weinhold

Categories: Faculty News, Research, and General News

Two faculty from Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters — Declan Kiberd and Dianne Pinderhughes — have been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s oldest learned societies and independent policy research centers. They are among more than 200 members of the 239th AAAS class, which includes former first lady Michelle Obama, author Jonathan Franzen, gender theorist Judith Butler, former Indiana governor Mitch Daniels, NPR host Michel Martin, and neuro-oncologist Robert B. Darnell.

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Arts and Letters graduates Jeremy Cappello Lee, Lily Falzon named 2019 Yenching Scholars

Author: Erin Blasko

Categories: Internationalism, Alumni, Research, Undergraduate News, General News, and National Fellowships

Arts and Letters graduates Jeremy Cappello Lee and Lily Falzon, both members of the class of 2018, have been invited to study at the Yenching Academy of Peking University in Beijing, China, as two of approximately 125 Yenching Scholars from across the globe. Established in 2014, the Yenching Academy offers a one-year master’s degree program for students with outstanding academic backgrounds and broad curiosity. The program pushes the study of China beyond the traditional boundaries of the humanities and social sciences.

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PLS major turns fascination with King Arthur into unique senior thesis — an original, illustrated book

Joan Becker, a 2019 graduate of the Program of Liberal Studies, has traveled to Germany, Belgium, France, and Wales to explore real-world places important to the Arthurian legends. Now, Becker is funneling her experiences abroad and in her PLS classes into a unique senior thesis — a handmade and hand-bound book about King Arthur, in the style of the first books printed in the late medieval era. 

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Film professor emeritus receives lifetime achievement award from Society for Cinema and Media Studies

Author: Josh Weinhold

Categories: Faculty News, Research, and General News

Donald Crafton — a Notre Dame film, television, and theatre professor widely considered the pre-eminent scholar on early animation — received the Distinguished Career Achievement Award from the Society for Cinema and Media Studies last month. “Don Crafton’s work has set a high standard for historical scholarship and also has contributed vitally to the study of animation within our field,” said Heather Hendershot, an MIT professor of film and media, in her introduction of Crafton at the awards ceremony.

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Theology, studio art, and Irish studies come together in undergraduate’s creative research project on Ireland’s holy wells

Author: Hailey Oppenlander

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

Junior Anja Renkes will bring her three academic disciplines together in an international research experience this summer at the Dublin Global Gateway in the Irish Internship Program. She plans to create paintings of Ireland’s holy wells — small springs with devotional significance — that capture the area’s landscape as pure gift from God.

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American studies professor awarded Whiting Public Engagement Fellowship to support work on Latinx murals of Pilsen

Author: Carrie Gates

Categories: Faculty News, Research, and General News

Chicago is home to hundreds of works of Latinx public art that are both captivating and politically provocative. But there’s no good place to go for comprehensive information on where they are, who made them, or how they reflect the Latino experience in Chicago. Jason Ruiz is changing that. Ruiz has been awarded a Whiting Public Engagement Fellowship to create a set of walking tours and digital tools to explore Pilsen — the changing neighborhood at the heart of Chicago’s Latinx community — through its vibrant, historic murals.

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Month spent living at Japanese temple with Zen monk inspires English and philosophy major’s senior thesis

Colin Rahill’s time at Notre Dame has been defined by learning from some of the world’s great thinkers — whether it be on paper or in a temple on the other side of the globe. An English and philosophy major whose senior thesis focuses on the works of Percy Shelley and Soren Kierkegaard, Rahill spent six weeks last summer in Japan, including a month living at the Shoganji Temple with a Zen monk, Jiho Kongo.

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