Sept. 13 marks the 700th anniversary of Dante Alighieri’s death. The great Italian poet is being celebrated around the globe and especially in Italy where gala concerts, exhibits, and dramatic readings are underway. In this interview with the University of Notre Dame Press, Theodore J. Cachey — a Notre Dame professor of Italian, the Ravarino Family Director of Italian and Dante Studies, and the founder and co-editor of the William and Katherine Devers Series in Dante and Medieval Italian Literature — discusses the Devers series' contribution to the study of medieval Italian literature and Dante studies, its new publications, and what's ahead in the future.
Chinese majors take classes like Literary Dreams, An Asia of Global Affairs, and The Chinese Economy while developing skills such as language proficiency, critical thinking, communication, and empathy. After graduation, students go on to top graduate and professional schools and work in a variety of professions and industries. “I'm just certain Chinese is going to help regardless of what I do," said Chinese major Nick Abouchedid. "Whether I go into business, academia, journalism, teaching, or medicine, these four years are going to be well spent."
Notre Dame Law School’s Exoneration Justice Clinic welcomed its first cohort of summer interns this year, including three political science majors, who collectively contributed to more than 50 cases. Offering the internship experience to undergraduates as well as law school students gave those students an opportunity to do meaningful law-focused work, and helped solidify their intention to pursue law school. “My expectations were exceeded by miles,” law professor Jimmy Gurulé said. “These students are bright, hardworking, and passionate, and made an invaluable contribution to the work of the EJC.”
Entrepreneurial tycoons, inventors, and shop-floor workers are often celebrated throughout history, but the story of the engineer isn’t something that’s taught in school. Notre Dame historian Ted Beatty aims to change that, thanks to a $250,000 research grant from the National Science Foundation that will fund a book, several articles, and an interactive database that will showcase the critical-but-often-overlooked role engineers played in shaping society as we know it. He seeks to tell the story of the rise of engineers — not just at outdoor worksites and inside factories but also in corporate boardrooms and government agencies across the globe.
Throughout the College of Arts & Letters — and across Notre Dame’s campus — faculty and staff are launching podcasts to share engaging conversations with audiences everywhere. From the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture’s Ethics and Culture Cast to the Department of Theology’s Minding Scripture show to the Notre Dame International Security Center’s speaker series podcast, many programs have found the form to be an effective way of inviting the world into Notre Dame’s vibrant intellectual community. “I feel really committed to delivering content to a broad audience, especially to people who wouldn’t get it otherwise,” said Gabriel Said Reynolds, the Jerome J. Crowley and Rosaleen G. Crowley Professor of Theology. “It’s a gift to teach Notre Dame students, so I’m really grateful for the opportunity and I don’t take that for granted, but there are many people who will never have access to institutions like Notre Dame.”
What is the studio art major like at Notre Dame? "It's so supportive," Mallory Spiess said. “There's a whole different environment when you're surrounded by a lot of other creators and artists and designers." In studio art, you'll begin with required courses in drawing, 2D and 3D foundations, and art history, and then choose one of five concentrations. Majors pursue their passions while developing skills such as creativity, comfort with ambiguity, empathy, and communication.
As an Arts & Letters undergraduate, Sara Ferraro is contemplating big ideas like the pursuit of social justice and human dignity — and developing concrete, sustainable solutions for communities in need. And the Program of Liberal Studies and data science minor have enabled them to implement tangible strategies for organizations and communities from Appalachia to Guatemala. “I believe in the common good, and I want to figure out my place in contributing to it,” Ferraro said. “Health is the overarching term that I can apply to all my experiences so far, whether that is environmental health, physical health, emotional health, or resilience.”
Nicholas Roberts completed his Ph.D. in history at Notre Dame in May, focusing on modern Islamic history. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in music performance and history from Syracuse University in 2009 and his Master of Arts in global, international, and comparative history from Georgetown University in 2014. This fall, he is joining Norwich University as assistant professor of Middle Eastern history. In this interview, he discusses why he chose Notre Dame, his research on the history of the Omani Empire in the Indian Ocean, and why places like the Middle East, Africa, and the Indian Ocean should be more of a focal point in historical narratives.
What is the anthropology major like at Notre Dame? “You study human biology, human evolution, human behavior, language and culture — so many different aspects of what it means to be a human,” said anthropology major Noemi Toroczkai. Anthropology majors pursue their passions while developing skills such as critical engagement, data analysis, empathy, and a holistic perspective, then go on to top graduate and professional schools and work in a variety of professions and industries.
Matthew Bisner believes knowledge is best used when applied to the real world — and that’s why he’s spent much of his time at Notre Dame using what he has learned in the classroom to strengthen the community. A senior political science and peace studies major with a gender studies minor, Bisner looks to his coursework for tools and inspiration to improve the world around him — from aiding students in the midst of a pandemic to campaigning for a more inclusive campus.
Dianne Pinderhughes, a Notre Dame professor of political science and Africana studies, has been elected president of the International Political Science Association (IPSA), the leading scholarly association dedicated to developing political science across the globe. Pinderhughes will serve a two-year term through 2023. She’ll lead a sprawling network of more than 4,000 scholars from 61 countries.
Abigail Jorgensen ’16 first began exploring women’s relationships with politics for her senior thesis in the College of Arts & Letters. That experience not only sparked a passion for research, but also laid the foundation for her career in academia. Now a Ph.D. candidate in Notre Dame’s Department of Sociology with a graduate minor in gender studies, she is finalizing her dissertation on motherhood, fertility intentions, and political behavior, titled “Becoming the Mommy Politic.” While existing research on voting behavior often divides women into “mothers” and “non-mothers,” Jorgensen argues that scholars should take a more expansive view of when the shift into motherhood begins and how long it takes.
Nina Glibetić, an assistant professor in the Department of Theology, and Gabriel Radle, the Rev. John A. O’Brien Assistant Professor of Theology, have been appointed by Pope Francis as consultors for the Congregation for the Eastern Churches. The congregation assists in the development and protects the rights of the Eastern Catholic Churches, while maintaining the heritage of the various Eastern Christian traditions alongside the liturgical, disciplinary and spiritual patrimony of the Latin rite.
Luis Fraga, the Rev. Donald P. McNeill, C.S.C., Professor of Transformative Latino Leadership at the University of Notre Dame, testified via Zoom at the House of Representatives Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties hearing on “The Need to Enhance the Voting Rights Act: Practice-Based Coverage.” The hearing took place as Congress is considering amending section 4 of the Voting Rights Act via the John Lewis Voting Rights Act (also known as H.R. 4) that would revive and strengthen parts of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The John Lewis Voting Rights Act addresses a 2013 Supreme Court decision that eliminated preclearance rules.
The spread of COVID-19 was rapid and relentless, and so were its effects on economies worldwide. Knowing how state economies withstand economic shocks in near-real time can be beneficial for policymakers who have the power to enact strategies to counteract the negative impact. Notre Dame researchers developed the first near-real-time dashboard that tracks weekly state-level economic conditions.
The University of Notre Dame received $222.7 million in research award funding for fiscal year 2021. This is more than $42 million over the previous record and the first time the University has surpassed the $200 million mark.
Luis Fraga, the Rev. Donald P. McNeill, C.S.C., Professor of Transformative Latino Leadership at the University of Notre Dame, was invited to testify at the House of Representatives Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties hearing on “The Need to Enhance the Voting Rights Act: Practice-Based Coverage.” Fraga, who is an expert in Latino politics, politics of race and ethnicity, urban politics and voting rights policy, also provided a report to the subcommittee on “Vote Dilution and Voter Disenfranchisement in United States History.” In the report, Fraga chronicles myriad attempts to keep different minority groups from voting beginning with the founding of the country, through the 1975 expansion and renewal of the Voting Rights Act.
Ava Preacher, a professional specialist emeritus who served for 25 years as an assistant dean in the College of Arts and Letters, died Wednesday, July 14, at her residence. She was 67. Preacher first came to Notre Dame in 1985, teaching in what was then the Department of Communication and Theater for six years, then serving as director of the Gender Studies Program for three years. From 1993 until her retirement in 2018, she served in the College of Arts and Letters’ Office for Undergraduate Studies as an assistant dean, advising hundreds of undergraduates every year, including students from across campus who were pursuing law school.
In less than six minutes, the new film “Breaking the Cycle” invites caregivers, parents, policymakers, and anyone concerned with child development to adopt more collaborative and peace-inducing strategies for child rearing. The new film, a companion to the website EvolvedNest.org, grew out of groundbreaking research by Darcia Narvaez, Kroc Institute faculty fellow and professor emerita of psychology, with support from current peace studies and psychology Ph.D. student Mary Tarsha.
In new research that is the first to elucidate exactly what occurred at secret facilities in the USSR, Ian Johnson, the P. J. Moran Family Assistant Professor of Military History at the University of Notre Dame, details the inner workings of the German-Soviet alliance that laid the foundation for Germany’s rise and ultimate downfall in World War II. His book, Faustian Bargain, traces the on-again, off-again relationship from the first tentative connections between the sworn enemies in 1919, made “almost before the ink had dried on the treaties ending the First World War,” to Hitler’s betrayal of Joseph Stalin and invasion of the USSR in 1941.