When Notre Dame senior Dan Jacobs signed up for an elective while studying in London last year, he wasn’t expecting that his course selection—seemingly unrelated to his industrial design major—would spark the idea for his B.F.A. thesis project, or potentially help thousands of children.
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College of Arts and Letters students made a strong showing at Notre Dame’s 4th annual Undergraduate Scholars Conference, which showcased nearly 270 research, scholarship, and creative projects from across the University.
To explore the interplay between one television director’s work and the fan culture it inspires, Notre Dame seniors Stephanie DePrez and Ellie Hall traveled to Southern California on Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program grants from the College of Arts and Letters’ Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts.
Notre Dame political scientist Eileen Hunt Botting has teamed up with a former Ph.D. student and four undergraduates to publish, for the first time, one of the few major histories of the American Revolution written by a woman. And not just any woman.
Notre Dame senior Rachel Roseberry and sophomore Rebecca Kibler were among just 20 Undergraduate Student Education Research Training Workshop fellows selected from a nationwide pool of applicants this year by the American Educational Research Association (AERA).
Alexander Skiles, a doctoral candidate in the Department of Philosophy, spent the last year delving into the study of metaphysics with the help of a Kaneb Pre-Doctoral Fellowship, which helped fund his recent research at Australian National University (ANU).
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.”
Professor Erika Doss, chair of Notre Dame’s Department of American Studies, has won the 2011 Ray and Pat Browne Award from the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association for her latest book, Memorial Mania: Public Feeling in America.
“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.
Maria Rogacheva, a doctoral candidate in Notre Dame’s Department of History, is working to reveal the secrets of “invisible” communities that once housed the former Soviet Union’s scientific research facilities.
Sean Walsh, a graduate of Notre Dame’s departments of philosophy and mathematics, has been awarded a Kurt Gödel Research Prize Fellowship—one of the most prestigious honors in the field of logic.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
A growing number of Ph.D. students in the University of Notre Dame’s Department of Sociology are attracting attention for their research and publishing papers in leading peer-reviewed journals.
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.
Who are we? Why are we here? Why do we do what we do? What makes humans unique? These are the universal questions at the heart of an ambitious new initiative led by Notre Dame anthropologist Agustín Fuentes.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Life is full of coincidences that in fiction would seem incredible. The story of Michael J. Crowe’s new book, Ronald Knox and Sherlock Holmes: The Origins of Sherlockian Studies has a startling number of coincidences—and just as many unlikely University of Notre Dame connections.
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.
Notre Dame’s third annual Graduate Research Symposium showcased the accomplishments of Notre Dame graduate students in the Graduate School’s four divisions: humanities, social science, engineering, and science.