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Ph.D. Student Examines Animal Imagery in Literature

Author: Mary Hendriksen

Categories: General News, Research, and Internationalism

Damiano Benvegnù, a student in Notre Dame’s Ph.D. in Literature Program, can point to the moment when he changed his academic focus from astronomy to literature. “Reading William Blake’s ‘Tyger’ in a literature class in my liceo scientifico (high school) was an epiphany. The poem was an amazing feat for Blake in the late 18th century—and then a revelation for me, as a reader, more than 200 years later.”

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Christian Davenport Examines Untold Stories of Northern Ireland’s “Troubles”

“Most people who are interested in the Troubles focus on the 4,000 deaths,” says Christian Davenport, professor of peace studies, political science and sociology at the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. “I thought much of the story was being missed.” An expert on political conflict, human rights violations, genocide, and government repression, Davenport for the past five years has been using quantitative research methods to study the ethno-political conflict that took place in Northern Ireland between 1968 and 1998.

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Abandoned Irish Island Offers a Window to the Past

Author: Kevin Clarke

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

The last 24 human inhabitants of the Irish island of Inishark departed together on October 20, 1960—a solemn end to a slow, steady decline. This small community’s collapse more than 50 years ago now offers Anthropology Professor Ian Kuijt and his students “a window” to Irish life in the 19th century. “These people were living little differently than they were in the 1860s,” he explains.

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Ph.D. Student Analyzes Religion’s Influence on War and Peace

Author: Joanna Basile

Categories: General News, Research, Internationalism, and Catholicism

No one would dispute that religious convictions can lead to conflict—even violence and war. Yet how is it that so often adversaries use their faith to justify opposing stances in the same dispute? That’s the question that intrigues Christopher Morrissey, a doctoral candidate in Notre Dame’s Department of Sociology.

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Doctoral Student Researches Violence in Guatemala

Author: Joanna Basile

Categories: General News, Research, and Internationalism

For the first time since their discovery in 2005, archival records chronicling police violence during the Guatemalan Civil War have been made available to academic researchers. And Ph.D. candidate Christopher Sullivan has become one of the first scholars to investigate the collection of more than 80 million documents at the National Police Archives in Guatemala City.

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Sociologist Christian Smith’s Book Wins International Prize

Author: Kate Cohorst

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

Notre Dame sociologist Christian Smith’s latest book is one of two winners of the 2010 Cheryl Frank Memorial Prize from the International Association for Critical Realism (IACR). What is a Person?: Rethinking Humanity, Social Life, and the Moral Good from the Person Up (University of Chicago Press) presents a new model for social theory that embraces the best of our humanistic visions of people, life, and society.

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Graduate Student Examines History of Native American Policies

Author: Joanna Basile

Categories: General News and Research

Although talk of extinction is often focused on plant and animal life, graduate student Myles Beaupre is researching what it means when extinction applies to an entire race of people. Beaupre, a doctoral candidate in the Department of History, is studying government policies on Native Americans throughout the development of the United States—from the British Empire-controlled colonies to the mid- to late-1800s of the newly formed country.

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Political Scientist David Campbell Receives Book Award

Author: Joanna Basile

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

American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us has been named the Best Nonfiction Book by the Religion Communicators Council (RCC). David Campbell, John Cardinal O’Hara, C.S.C., Associate Professor of Political Science at Notre Dame, and his co-author, Robert Putnam of Harvard University share this 2011 Wilbur Award for “excellence in the communication of religious issues, values, and themes in the secular media.”

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Anthropologist Rahul Oka Tracks Trade in Conflict Zones

Author: Aaron Smith

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

Even the most carefully planned humanitarian and development efforts are often stymied by the chaotic realities on the ground in war-torn zones such as Sudan and Northern Kenya. Notre Dame Economic anthropologist Rahul Oka aims to improve the success rate of these critical relief missions by studying how local trade networks are able to operate in the same areas with remarkable resilience and efficiency.

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Psychologist Nicole McNeil Studies Math and Cognition

Categories: General News, Research, and Faculty News

Trouble with algebra? Notre Dame Psychologist Nicole McNeil’s research shows that basic math may be to blame. The new study suggests that even though adults tend to think in more advanced ways than children do, those advanced ways of thinking don’t always override old, incorrect ways of thinking—especially in the domain of mathematics. The study was published in a recent issue of the Journal of Cognition and Development.

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Anthropologist Deb Rotman Takes Irish Oral Tradition Online

Author: Kevin Clarke

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

Deb Rotman is in a race against time. Rotman, director of undergraduate studies for Notre Dame’s Department of Anthropology, is keenly aware that the generation of Irish immigrants who can still share memories of the Irish Civil War and their experiences in early 20th century America will soon be lost forever. “Those generations have some really great stories that we’re trying to capture, but we can only do so much,” she says.

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First Year a Success for Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study

Author: Renee Hochstetler

Categories: General News, Research, Centers and Institutes, Internationalism, Catholicism, and Arts

What must we change in order to help us bridge the gap between the world as it is, and the world as it should be? In its first year, the Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study (NDIAS)—inspired by the classical values of beauty, goodness and truth—began transforming the academic landscape through an annual conference, lecture series and fellowships.

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Research Links “The Troubles” of Northern Ireland to Mental Health Problems in Children

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

A new study from University of Notre Dame Psychology Professor Mark Cummings examines the effect sectarian violence between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland has had on children. “Though exposure to both sectarian and non-sectarian violence are related to anti-social behavior, the emotional insecurity caused by politically-motivated community violence was more powerful than we had expected,” he says.

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Grants Support Student Research on Life Issues

Author: Chris Milazzo

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

Undergraduates in the College of Arts and Letters can now get up to $1,500 per month this summer to fund original research into life-related issues. Suggested topics range from the history of contraception to art about the dignity of life and the economics of the death penalty. The grants are part of a new Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP) track offered by the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts.

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Sociologist Mark Berends Researches Student Achievement

Author: Renee Hochstetler

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

As debate about how to improve education continues across the country, research currently underway at the University of Notre Dame will significantly contribute to the conversation. Mark Berends, a professor of sociology and education, is conducting two studies that seek to understand instruction’s role in student achievement.

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Political Scientist Benjamin Radcliff Studies Benefits of Unions

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

As the Wisconsin battle over union benefits continues to rage, the passion and commitment of people on both sides reflect that the activists are fighting over “a perennial ideological debate in American politics: whether labor unions are good or bad for society,” says University of Notre Dame political scientist Benjamin Radcliff.

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Christian Davenport Develops Human Rights Tracking Tool

Author: Renée LaReau

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

A new Web-based database and research tool, developed by Christian Davenport, professor of peace studies, political science, and sociology at Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, will expand dramatically what academic researchers, international human rights advocates, journalists, students, and the public know about government repression.

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Candida Moss Receives International Award for Theological Promise

Author: Joanna Basile

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

Candida Moss, assistant professor in the Department of Theology, is one of only 12 scholars in the world to receive the 2011 John Templeton Award for Theological Promise. Awarded in collaboration with the Research Center of International and Interdisciplinary Theology at the University of Heidelberg in Germany, the John Templeton Foundation’s prize honors up-and-coming academics based on their doctoral dissertation or first post-doctoral book on the topic of God and spirituality.

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Notre Dame to Host Conference on Dimensions of Goodness

Author: Kate Cohorst

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

The University of Notre Dame Institute’s for Advanced Study (NDIAS) will host an international and interdisciplinary conference called Dimensions of Goodness, April 4-6, 2011 in the Notre Dame Conference Center (McKenna Hall). The event features 17 leading scholars and other experts from a wide variety of disciplines, including biomedicine, engineering, law, philosophy, political science, psychology, and theology.

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