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.”
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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.
What do Stephen Colbert and an ancient Greek political satirist have in common? After taking the advice of a professor to pursue any topic that interested her, junior Ella Wisniewski decided to answer that question in a research project on political comedy. That simple suggestion from Collin Meissner, an assistant dean for undergraduate studies, during a Glynn Family Honors Program seminar set her on a path that included a trip to New York, adding a second major, and embracing learning for the sake of learning.
The challenge for President Joe Biden’s administration is finding ways to emphasize the common values of religious and secular voters, Notre Dame researchers said.
Two professors from the University of Notre Dame and the Institute for Educational Initiatives are among the 200 scholars named to the 2021 Edu-Scholar Public Influence Rankings, an annual listing published by Education Week of academics who had the year’s biggest impact on educational practice and policy. Ernest Morrell, the Coyle Professor in Literacy Education and director of the Notre Dame Center for Literacy Education, ranked 92nd in the 2021 list. Mark Berends, a professor of sociology, an associate vice president of research at Notre Dame and the director of the Center for Research on Educational Opportunity, placed 167th.
The University of Notre Dame has launched the Initiative on Race and Resilience, a new interdisciplinary program focused on the redress of systemic racism and the support of communities of color both within and beyond the Notre Dame campus. Led by the College of Arts & Letters with additional support from the Office of the Provost, the initiative will bring together scholars and students in the humanities, arts, social sciences, and other disciplines to challenge systemic racism and promote racial equality through research, education, and community empowerment.
Notre Dame theologians from the World Religions World Church program will embark on a virtual teaching series examining the Catholic Church in a global religion context starting Jan. 26 and running through October. This program, hosted by ThinkND, will enable learners to enrich their understanding of the Church’s relationship with believers of other faiths around the world. Gabriel Reynolds, the Jerome J. Crowley and Rosaleen G. Crowley Professor of Theology, will lead the first four sessions that delve into the overlap between the Bible and the Quran, the historical relationship between the Church and Islam, and the theological tensions and harmonies between believers in both traditions.
Three faculty members from Notre Dame’s Department of Philosophy — Richard Cross, Katharina Kraus, and Samuel Newlands — have been offered fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Scholars in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters have received a total of 68 NEH fellowships since 1999 — more than any other university in the country.
Professor O. Carter Snead’s new book, What It Means to Be Human: The Case for the Body in Public Bioethics, has garnered a great deal of attention since Harvard University Press released it in October. The book has been reviewed in numerous newspapers and magazines and discussed by top legal and political scholars on podcasts and academic panels. And now, the Wall Street Journal has named it one of the year’s top 10 books.
Sophie White, a professor in the Department of American Studies, has won the prestigious 2020 Frederick Douglass Book Prize for her work, Voices of the Enslaved: Love, Labor, and Longing in French Louisiana. The prize, sponsored by Yale University’s Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, recognizes the best book published in English on slavery, resistance, or abolition. It is considered one of the most distinguished awards for the study of global slavery.
Neeta Verma’s teaching and research examines a range of social inequities facing the local community — including homelessness, poverty, and the digital divide. But the issue she finds most pressing is youth violence — and she believes that art and design can play a key role in breaking its vicious cycle. With a grant from the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, she is launching a two-year project that will use community-designed public art installations and youth programming to address this systemic problem.
Catherine Bolten discusses her research and upcoming presentation for the Health and Well-being Initiative's "COVID-19: What Comes Next?" virtual forum on December 4.
Four Arts & Letters undergraduates have been named winners of the 2020 University of Notre Dame Library Research Award. This annual award, given by the Hesburgh Libraries, recognizes undergraduate students who demonstrate excellence in research skills by using a breadth of library resources and services for their course assignments, research projects, and creative endeavors.
Each summer and school year, a dimly lit computer lab in the basement of Jenkins-Nanovic Hall on Notre Dame’s campus hums with the activity of undergraduate interns working to find solutions to complex, poverty-related issues. As an intern for the Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities, Emily Merola ’20 helped collect data for the Catholic Charities Fort Worth's Stay the Course project and Padua program. “It was really great to be close to the actual operations of the provider and know that each data point is a person,” Merola said. “I think everybody knows, but sometimes you need that salient reminder.”
La Donna Forsgren, an associate professor in the Department of Film, Television, and Theatre, has won the American Society for Theatre Research's Oscar G. Brockett Essay Prize. The award, given annually to the best essay of theatre research in a scholarly English-language publication, honored Forsgren’s “The Wiz Redux; or Why Queer Black Feminist Spectatorship and Politically Engaged Popular Entertainment Continue to Matter,” which appeared in Theatre Survey. She was also appointed this month as associate editor of Theatre Survey, which will lead to her becoming editor of the journal in two years.
While early modern artist Giovanni Battista Piranesi has been principally known for his drawings and etchings of ancient Rome, new research from Heather Hyde Minor, a Notre Dame professor of art history, reinterprets Piranesi’s artistic oeuvre by flipping the works over and reading what is written on the backs. Minor’s Piranesi Unbound, examines nearly 200 of Piranesi’s engravings and drawings. The research, recuperative in method, serves as a biography of Piranesi’s books, bringing text and image together to reveal a learned mind alive with biting wit and unflinching big-picture questions.
What’s senior Liam Karr’s secret to juggling three majors, writing a thesis, and still finding time to practice and perform with the Notre Dame Glee Club? A little time management and a lot of love for what he does.“I just totally do the whole ‘study what you love’ thing, and don’t really care if my schedule looks a little busy,” he said. A self-described “history nerd” with an interest in politics, Karr quickly discovered how much natural overlap there is between his first two majors. Deciding to pursue a third major — Arabic — was more of an unexpected development.