University of Notre Dame Associate Professor "Asher Kaufman’s latest book was born out of a coincidence. A research trip in 2001 for his previous book, Reviving Phoenicia, led the historian to diplomatic archives in Nantes, France, where he stumbled upon what he described as “an archival bonanza” of documents, sketches, and maps that told the convoluted story of a decades-long border dispute between Israel, Lebanon and Syria. The discovery eventually led to a new book, Contested Frontiers in the Syria-Lebanon-Israel Region: Cartography, Sovereignty and Conflict.
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Four faculty fellows from Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies have recently published their first books. The Institute will host a book launch and reception on Monday, February 3, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. in McKenna Hall, honoring affiliated faculty members Jaime Pensado, Yael Prizant, Ricardo Ramírez, and Jason Ruiz. There will be a brief presentation at 5 p.m.
“I started questioning the idea of ‘What do art and literature give to philosophy?’ at the same time as ‘What does philosophy give to the arts?’” says James Martell de la Torre, a sixth-year student in Notre Dame’s Ph.D. in Literature program. He chose to explore those ideas within the Ph.D. in Literature program because of its broad scope. “I was really thrilled by the interdisciplinary approach,” Martell de la Torre says, “and also by all the opportunities with different institutes to travel and to learn languages and to just keep enriching my whole experience.”
Notre Dame’s Department of Anthropology made a strong showing at the 2013 conference of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) in Chicago. Thirteen faculty members, along with seven undergraduate students, were invited to present at the annual event. This year’s theme was “Future Publics, Current Engagements.”
Building on the momentum of its recent Strategic Research Investment—which committed $80 million in internal resources to 14 research projects—the University of Notre Dame has announced the winning proposals in a new strategic hiring initiative. The initiative, which is a key component in the University’s Advancing Our Vision (AOV) program, will create approximately 80 faculty positions in 10 key areas of research across campus, drawing on $10 million in annual funds that have been reallocated from lower-priority expenditures to this academic priority.
Daniel Philpott, professor of political science and peace studies, has been appointed director of the University of Notre Dame’s Center for Civil and Human Rights (CCHR), effective Jan. 1. “Professor Philpott brings an ambitious vision for building the CCHR into a leading center for impactful research to his new role,” said J. Nicholas Entrikin, vice president and associate provost for internationalization. “He is a highly accomplished scholar who will support and enhance the center’s position as a beacon for civil and human rights, guided by the tenets of Catholic social teaching.”
Thomas Tweed, the W. Harold and Martha Welch Professor of American Studies in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters, has been selected to lead the American Academy of Religion. Currently president-elect of the academy, he will serve as president in 2015.
Notre Dame’s Department of Economics is at the forefront of several initiatives that exemplify the University’s commitment to innovative research that can make a difference in the developing world.
In recognition of her research, Ning Jia, a Ph.D. student in the University of Notre Dame’s Department of Economics, recently received a dissertation grant from the Association for Institutional Research (AIR), with funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Two other graduate students in the department have also distinguished themselves by landing competitive research positions in the federal government. Kimberly Berg recently completed a dissertation internship at the Federal Reserve System’s Board of Governors, while Kevin Rinz is currently working as a staff economist at the President’s Council of Economic Advisers.
The Italian Research Seminar, a series directed by Notre Dame Professor of Dante and Italian Studies Zygmunt Barański, continues to grow in its third academic year, bringing scholars from around the world to the University. Jointly sponsored by the Devers Program in Dante Studies and Italian Studies at Notre Dame, with support from the Office of Research, the series aims to provide a regular forum for faculty, postdoctoral scholars, graduate students, and colleagues from other universities to present and discuss their current research.
Notre Dame junior Farrell Sheehan is a pre-medicine major with minors in theology and in Brazilian and Portuguese studies who doesn’t believe in the term “limits.” A Hesburgh-Yusko scholar from Rockville, Md., Sheehan is passionate about researching global health issues and exploring Latin American languages and cultures. In less than three years at the University, he has already gained experience learning, serving, and working in Chile, the Dominican Republic, Brazil, and Spain.
Fourteen Notre Dame students, along with two of their professors from the College of Arts and Letters, traveled to northern Spain over fall break to experience the Camino de Santiago—one of the most important Christian pilgrimages during medieval times. History Professor Olivia Remie Constable, the director of the University’s Medieval Institute, and Danielle Joyner, an assistant professor of medieval art history, say it was an academic adventure they won’t soon forget. And their students agree.
José Limón, the Notre Dame Professor of American Literature and Julian Samora Professor of Latino Studies, has been elected to the Fellows of the American Folklore Society in recognition of his outstanding work in the field of folklore studies.
As a new year approaches, the University of Notre Dame’s John J. Reilly Center for Science, Technology and Values has released its annual list of emerging ethical dilemmas and policy issues in science and technology for 2014. The Reilly Center explores conceptual, ethical, and policy issues where science and technology intersect with society from different disciplinary perspectives. Its goal is to promote the advancement of science and technology for the common good.
Notre Dame International (NDI) has awarded nine grants through its new Global Collaboration Initiative (GCI) program to Notre Dame faculty engaged in research with colleagues at partner institutions around the world. Five of the projects involve faculty from the College of Arts and Letters.
In her groundbreaking new book, Shaping the Motherhood of Indigenous Mexico (Vanderbilt University Press, 2013), Notre Dame anthropologist Vania Smith-Oka examines the impact of the widely praised Mexican cash-transfer program Oportunidades on women in the country’s marginalized indigenous communities.
Christopher Chowrimootoo, an assistant professor in Notre Dame’s Program of Liberal Studies, has been awarded the 2013 Kurt Weill Prize for outstanding article for his “Bourgeois Opera: Death in Venice and the Aesthetics of Sublimation.” The prize, which recognizes distinguished scholarship in music theatre, is awarded biennially by the Kurt Weill Foundation for Music.
Laura Miller ’08 grew up in a big, loving family, but her research at Notre Dame focuses on children who were less fortunate. A new faculty hire in the Department of Psychology and the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, Miller says her work integrates the quantitative and qualitative evaluations of children’s reactions to traumatic experiences, including exposure to violence.
Structural equation modeling and factor analysis might be difficult concepts to grasp for most people outside the world of statistics, but one thing should be crystal clear: Professor Ke-Hai Yuan’s groundbreaking work in these areas is a driving force behind the nationally recognized success of the quantitative psychology program in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters.
“As a clinical student, I can especially attest to the excellent training that I’ve received through that area,” says Allison Gaffey, a fourth-year student in the clinical psychology Ph.D. program at the University of Notre Dame. She also appreciates the Department of Psychology’s “very strong” quantitative program, allowing her to gain additional training in those methods.
Notre Dame economist Kirk Doran has been awarded the 2013 Albert Rees Prize for his dissertation, which focused on child labor in rural Mexico. The Rees prize is awarded every two years for a Princeton Ph.D. dissertation, completed within the past six years, judged to have made the greatest contribution to labor economics.
The University of Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development (NDIGD) was recently awarded a $375,000 contract from the Millennium Challenge Corp. (MCC) to conduct an evaluation of MCC’s water project in Ghana. Among the many faculty involved in the project is Joseph Kaboski, the David F. and Erin M. Seng Foundation Professor of Economics in the College of Arts and Letters.
Notre Dame’s Department of Economics has bolstered its strengths in development economics and healthcare policy with two new hires, who bring with them the invaluable experience of being advised by major figures in the field. Assistant Professor Kevin Donovan comes to Notre Dame from Arizona State University where his faculty adviser was Nobel laureate Edward Prescott, while Assistant Professor Ethan Lieber’s adviser at the University of Chicago was Steven Levitt, winner of the John Bates Clark Medal and author of Freakonomics.
The pre-school years are the most formative for young brains. Notre Dame Psychologist Kristin Valentino sees both the promise and vulnerability of children at this stage of life. That’s why Valentino, the William J. Shaw Center for Children and Families Assistant Professor of Psychology, developed an intervention program designed to improve communication between mothers and maltreated preschoolers and, ultimately, lead to happier, healthier families.
In a collaborative effort with Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters, College of Engineering Professor Paul McGinn led a team that recently adapted a 3-D printer for ceramics projects in the Department of Art, Art History, and Design.
The prevalence of HIV and AIDS in South Africa is an issue that continues to define the country and its citizens. It is estimated that more than six million South Africans live with HIV/AIDS. This is more cases than any other country in the world. In spring 2013, Robert Sedlack ’89, associate professor in Notre Dame’s Department of Art, Art History, and Design, traveled with a team of 11 students to Johannesburg, South Africa to gain first-hand perspective on the problem and collaborate with South African community organizations.
An ambitious international research effort to illuminate why democracies around the world succeed or fail has been awarded approximately $5.8 million over six years by the Swedish foundation Riksbankens Jubileumsfond. The Varieties of Democracy project, based in the U.S. at the University of Notre Dame’s Kellogg Institute for International Studies and in Europe at the University of Gothenburg’s Varieties of Democracy Institute, promises to make entirely new kinds of democracy research and policy assessment possible by quantifying democracy in all countries from 1900 to the present.
Vittorio Hösle, Paul Kimball Professor of Arts and Letters at the University of Notre Dame, has been appointed by Pope Francis to the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences. “We were very gratified to learn of Professor Hösle’s appointment to this truly distinguished body,” said Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., Notre Dame’s president.
Two professors in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters—medievalist Tim Machan and political scientist Benjamin Radcliff—recently received grants from the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program, which will allow them to travel to Europe to study their respective topics of interest.
Charles Leavitt, who received his Ph.D. in literature from Notre Dame in 2010, has accepted a position at the University of Reading as a lecturer in Italian studies—equivalent to assistant professor in the American university system. Located in Reading, England, the school is ranked in the top 1% of universities in the world.