“When we think about paramilitarism, we tend to think about a rather contemporary history around counterinsurgency warfare, but that moment is actually linked to a much longer history that goes back to the very formation of modern American states,” said Joshua Lund, associate professor of Spanish at the University of Notre Dame. Lund studies Latin American film, literature, and cultural politics. His published works include two books, The Mestizo State (2012) and The Impure Imagination (2006), a co-edited volume of scholarship on Gilberto Freyre, and essays on a range of cultural topics.
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The University of Notre Dame has received $128 million in research funding for fiscal year 2016 — the second highest in its history. In fiscal year 2015, the University’s research funding was its highest of all time, reaching $133 million.
“The research, scholarship and creativity of Notre Dame faculty continues to make a difference in multiple ways across our country and around the world,” said Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., the University’s president. “The growth in external funding is a tangible testimony to the importance of their work.”
Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, C.S.C., president of the University of Notre Dame from 1952 to 1987, was one of the nation’s most influential figures in higher education and national affairs and a well-known figure on campus. In the 1960s, a student named Robert Schmuhl, covering what Father Hesburgh called “the student revolution” for the Associated Press, began what would be a lifelong relationship with the president. Schmuhl, now the Walter H. Annenberg-Edmund P. Joyce Chair in American Studies and Journalism at Notre Dame, is the author of Fifty Years with Father Hesburgh: On and Off the Record, released Aug. 25 by University of Notre Dame Press.
When the Wauja people tell a story about their history and culture, the words they choose convey a deep meaning about the indigenous Brazilian tribe’s interconnectedness to its landscape. Christopher Ball wants to delve into that relationship between language and place. Funded by an American Council of Learned Societies fellowship, the assistant professor of anthropology is exploring how the Wauja people use words to create an identity that ties their culture to a nearby river and chronicling that meaning for future generations.
Kathryn Kerby-Fulton studies medieval texts, many of them on sheepskins and fragile after hundreds of years in conditions not always suited for preservation. The Notre Dame Professor of English studies the margins of these medieval texts, which contain thoughts scrawled by some of the brightest minds of the time. They are a layer of interaction and understanding that Kerby-Fulton will spend the next year studying, supported by a fellowship from the American Council of Learned Societies.
Marcio Bahia is coming to Notre Dame’s Department of Romance Languages and Literatures with his eyes focused squarely on Brazil. A scholar of Brazilian culture and language, Bahia will join the College of Arts and Letters faculty this fall with a focus on accelerating the growth of the Portuguese program.
A study of the Homelessness Prevention Call Center in Chicago by the Wilson-Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities found that such hotlines have a considerable effect on people facing homelessness, and that emergency financial assistance successfully prevents homelessness — if funding is available. The study, published in the Aug. 12 edition of Science, examines the impact of financial assistance for 4,500 individuals and families who called the HPCC between 2010 and 2012.
Arts and Letter junior Emily Vincent discovered Chunmiao Little Flower on a service trip during high school in 2013. There, she learned the extent of China’s issue with orphaned and abandoned children. There are an estimated 600,000 abandoned children in China—98 percent of whom have disabilities. That first experience at Chunmiao Little Flower set the course for Vincent’s future—and, ultimately, led her to choose Notre Dame, inspired by the University’s devotion to human solidarity and concern for the common good.
Notre Dame's sustainability program, open to all majors, seeks to inspire students to cultivate practices and ways of living that preserve natural resources for future generations. The minor is housed in the College of Science, but it has proven to be an ideal way for Arts and Letters students to connect their interest in science with their passion for the humanities.
The University of Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters has launched a new, guaranteed postdoctoral fellowship that will incentivize timely dissertation completion and prepare graduate students to launch their careers. Funded in part by a three-year, $1.5 million grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the 5+1 Postdoctoral Fellowship Program guarantees that students who finish their dissertations and complete degree requirements within five years of enrollment will receive a one-year postdoctoral fellowship. This fully funded transitional year will provide an ideal opportunity for new Ph.D.s to prepare for an increasingly competitive job market by furthering their research, expanding their teaching portfolio, or exploring career opportunities outside the academy.
Thomas E. Burman, an esteemed scholar of medieval Christianity and Islam, has been named the Robert Conway Director of the University of Notre Dame’s Medieval Institute. Burman, currently a professor of history at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, will begin his new role in January 2017.
Notre Dame alumna Ray’Von Jones ’16 wants to make a difference in the world of education. And her sociology and Spanish majors are going to help her get there. “Education doesn’t only happen inside schools,” Jones said. “It happens in communities and in neighborhoods. So it’s important for me to have a larger understanding of what’s going on in our country in terms of racial climate, what different communities look like, and how they interact.
Peter Casarella, professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame and interim director of Latin American/North American Church Concerns (LANACC), is a scholar of Latino theology. Before joining the Notre Dame faculty in 2013, he served as professor of Catholic studies at DePaul University where he was director of the Center for World Catholicism and Intercultural Theology. In an interview, he discusses his research, Pope Francis, and the future of Latin American/North American Church Concerns, of which he is interim director.
A member of the University of Notre Dame political science faculty since 2012, Patrick Deneen is the David A. Potenziani Memorial Associate Professor of Constitutional Studies. He teaches and writes about the history of political thought, American political thought, religion and politics, and literature and politics. Books he has published on these subjects include The Odyssey of Political Theory, Democratic Faith, Democracy’s Literature, The Democratic Soul, and Redeeming Democracy in America.
The Center for Theology, Science and Human Flourishing at the University of Notre Dame has named Rev. Terrence P. Ehrman, C.S.C., its assistant director of life sciences research and outreach. Ehrman will expand the center’s portfolio of life sciences research projects and oversee the center’s outreach efforts across campus and more broadly.
Christina Wolbrecht, associate professor of political science, C. Robert and Margaret Hanley Family Director of the Notre Dame Washington Program, and director of the Rooney Center for the Study of American Democracy at the University of Notre Dame, teaches and writes about American politics, political parties, women and politics, and American political development. Now at work on a study of the first 100 years of women as voters in American politics, she is co-author, with J. Kevin Corder, of the recently published book Counting Women’s Ballots: Female Voters from Suffrage through the New Deal.
For his book pulling together the complex history of philology and how Western humanistic learning split into the modern humanities that we know today, Notre Dame historian James Turner has received the Phi Beta Kappa Christian Gauss Award. The honor is given for books in literary scholarship or criticism and is named for a distinguished Princeton University scholar, teacher, and dean. Turner’s book, Philology: The Forgotten Origins of the Modern Humanities, looks at how learned researchers once included languages, history, and texts in a single broad field of study that came to be known as philology.
“Early literary encounters with the Holocaust tended to tell you about the whole event, but now when the Holocaust appears, generally speaking, it appears in small moments, in kind of passing glances,” said William Collins Donahue, the John J. Cavanaugh, C.S.C., Professor of the Humanities and chair of the Department of German and Russian Languages and Literatures at the University of Notre Dame. Donahue has researched extensively in the areas of literary realism and modernism, especially the work of Elias Canetti. Now focusing primarily on Holocaust literature, Donahue is developing an analogy for how the Holocaust appears in contemporary narratives. These small episodes, Donahue said, are similar to the Stolpersteine, a worldwide movement of small pavement stones, each commemorating a victim in the Holocaust.
“I tend to gravitate towards doctrines that seem inexplicable, and I try to understand what motivated the early Christians to formulate these doctrines in just these ways,” said Khaled Anatolios, professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame. Anatolios specializes in the theology of the early Church. As a Byzantine Catholic priest, he has a special interest in the doctrines of the Greek fathers as well as complementary ideas between the Eastern and Western traditions. His current research focuses on the doctrine of salvation, particularly the disconnect between classical sources and modern experience.
Seven students in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters have been awarded graduate fellowships from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for 2016. Another six have been recognized with honorable mentions. The NSF’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) honors and supports outstanding graduate students who are pursuing research-based degrees in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and social science disciplines. The award provides a stipend, tuition support, and research funds for three years.
“It’s my conviction that the best way to know about how early Christians worshipped — even what they believed — is to try to get as much information as we can about where they lived and what they saw, not just what they wrote and what they read,” said Robin Jensen, the Patrick O’Brien Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame. Jensen researches topics at the intersections of Christian art, architecture, liturgy, and theology. Her forthcoming book examines the history of the cross from a variety of liturgical and social perspectives, both in ancient times and in contemporary culture.
Evolutionary science stresses the contributions biology makes to our behavior. Some anthropologists try to understand how societies and histories construct our identities, and others ask about how genes and the environment do the same thing. Which is the better approach? Both are needed, Notre Dame biological anthropologist Agustín Fuentes argues in a forthcoming paper in the journal Current Anthropology.
Notre Dame historian Darren Dochuk’s research primarily focuses on the United States in the long 20th century, with emphasis on religion, politics, and the rising influence of the American West and Sunbelt Southwest in national life. His current project examines religion and politics in North America’s age of oil, 1890 to the present, through the lens of two prominent oil families, the Rockefellers and the Pews. “Oil sparked a certain imagination of progress, a certain ambition for American dominance in the world in the twentieth century, and then religion helped frame that imagination,” he said.
Augustine of Hippo is recognized as one of the most important church fathers and greatest thinkers of Christianity. While many theologians and philosophers study his work, Hildegund Müller, associate professor of classics and associate vice president for research at Notre Dame, takes a different approach to reading Augustine’s texts. Müller’s research is influenced by her philological background and study of literary detail in texts, especially in her current project, A Reading of Augustine’s Sermons, which includes an edition of a selection of his preaching on the Psalms.
Notre Dame and the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana, or Vatican Library, formalized a unique agreement of collaboration and exchange in a ceremony May 9 in the Hesburgh Room of the Morris Inn, where Notre Dame president Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., and Archbishop Jean-Louis Bruguès, O.P., archivist and librarian of the Holy Roman Church, together signed a memorandum of understanding.
Imagine you’ve got one arm tied behind your back to help understand what the daily life of an amputee feels like. How would you squeeze toothpaste out of a tube to brush your teeth? Assistant Professor of Design Ann-Marie Conrado’s first- and second-year course Design Matters, a gateway course to the Department of Art, Art History & Design’s new Collaborative Innovation Minor, considers questions such as this and looks for solutions.
Notre Dame Research has provided awards to more than a dozen College of Arts and Letters faculty members from its Internal Grants Program for 2016. The grant awardees spanned the University in four program categories: Faculty Research Support (Initiation), Faculty Research Support (Regular), Equipment Restoration and Renewal, and Library Acquisitions.
Sponsored by the Hesburgh Libraries and the Center for Undergraduate Scholarly Engagement (CUSE), the ULRA competition honors those who conduct original research and draws focus to the extensive sources and methods of scholarly inquiry that modern-day research libraries offer today’s students.
Twenty-four Notre Dame students who study in the College of Arts and Letters have received 2016-17 grants from the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program. 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 total number of finalists from Arts and Letters alone surpasses the previous University-wide Fulbright record of 17, set last year. In all, 30 Notre Dame students were named Fulbright finalists for 2016-17.
Tanisha Fazal, associate professor of political science and peace studies, has been awarded a research grant from the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation to investigate the human and financial costs of war. Those costs are escalating, she says, despite a reduced fatality count.