Latest News

After winning 2017 Templeton Prize, Notre Dame philosopher’s legacy to carry forward with new video series

Author: Arts and Letters

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

The legacy of Notre Dame philosopher Alvin Plantinga will continue on for years thanks to support from the John Templeton Foundation. He was named the 2017 Templeton Prize Laureate this spring — joining the ranks of previous winners Mother Teresa, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Charles Taylor, Jean Vanier, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the Dalai Lama — and his work will now be chronicled in a series of 10 short, animated videos, which will present many of his central arguments in a visually captivating style designed to appeal to a wide audience. With funding from the Templeton Foundation, the project will be led by two Notre Dame philosophy professors.

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Cardinal Onaiyekan and Bishop Farrell to headline Notre Dame conference on interreligious and ecumenical dialogue

Author: Amanda Skofstad

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

The conference titled “The Whole is Greater than its Parts: Christian Unity and Interreligious Encounter Today” will be held at the University’s Rome Global Gateway Jan. 8-10. This is the second such international gathering hosted by Notre Dame’s World Religions World Church program.

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Arts and Letters students use academic breaks to advance research, pursue learning opportunities away from campus

Author: Teagan Dillon

Categories: Undergraduate News, Research, and General News

Break can act as a time for restoration after a week of midterm exams. Or it can be a time to pursue learning opportunities outside the classroom. For some Arts and Letters students, the week free of classes is the perfect chance to dive into their senior thesis research. For others, it’s a chance to travel to attend a film festival in Chicago or a museum in Washington, D.C. “That’s why I’m in the College of Arts and Letters — I’m very interested in the humanities,” said Jahlecia Gregory, a sophomore Africana studies major who visited the National Museum of African American History and Culture during break. “This trip has inspired me to find other ways that I can learn about different subjects that aren’t exactly in my major, but that I’m still really curious about.”

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Political scientist wins NEH fellowship, continuing Notre Dame’s record success

Author: Carrie Gates

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

Notre Dame political scientist Susan Collins has been awarded a 2018 fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities, extending the University’s record success with the NEH. Since 1999, faculty in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters have won a total of 62 NEH fellowships — more than any other university in the country.

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Philosophers awarded Templeton Foundation grant to explore the nature of the self

Author: Renee Peggs

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

Philosophy faculty members Michael Rea and Samuel Newlands have been awarded a grant from the John Templeton Foundation to pursue questions related to the nature of the self. The grant supports the planning phase of a large, interdisciplinary project Rea and Newlands are developing — “Narrative Conceptions of the Self in Psychology, Philosophy, and Theology.” In January, the philosophers will bring together scholars in philosophy, psychology, neuroscience, anthropology, and theology to present cutting edge research from their fields toward answering the question, “how can we understand and make sense of the narrative conceptions of the self?”

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Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program supports Notre Dame students’ creative projects and research endeavors

Author: Teagan Dillon

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

From the capital of Uganda, to American Indian reservations, to museums across the country, Notre Dame students travel around the world to carry out academic projects with help from the College of Arts and Letters’ Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program. With UROP’s financial support, students are able to engage in on-site research that can be used as the basis for a variety of independent projects, including a senior thesis. The experiences made possible through UROP not only lead to meaningful results, but also provide students with valuable life experiences they might not otherwise have.

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Video: Medieval Institute director and historian on interreligious interaction in the Mediterranean

Author: Todd Boruff

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

“The medieval Mediterranean world is the one really impressive laboratory we have for studying how Jews and Christians and Muslims interacted with each other over a long period of time,” said Thomas Burman, professor of history and Robert M. Conway Director of the Medieval Institute at the University of Notre Dame. Burman’s research focuses on the scholars of the Middle Ages in Spain and the Middle East. His current project is on Ramon Marti, a Dominican priest who was proficient in Arabic and read extensively on Islam, yet almost exclusively engaged with Judaism in his writings. 

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English and theology major awarded Gilman Scholarship to study in Rome

Author: Erin Blasko

Categories: Undergraduate News, National Fellowships, Internationalism, and General News

Junior Katherine Smith has been selected for the Benjamin A. Gilman Scholarship to study or intern abroad during the spring 2018 academic term. Smith, an English and theology double major from Saint Charles, Minnesota, will study in Italy through the Notre Dame Rome Global Gateway. 

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Notre Dame seminar for educators explores how popular culture, media shape ideas about race

Author: Erin Blasko

Categories: General News and Faculty News

Led by Jason Ruiz, associate professor of American studies, the two-day seminar brought local educators together with Notre Dame Professors to examine a variety of cultural objects, from early textbooks to modern dramas, to understand how media and popular culture shape “ideas about race” in America. The seminar, part of the Teachers as Scholars program, also provided practical strategies for approaching sensitive topics of race in the classroom setting.

 

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Psychologist publishes major new paper examining methods of classifying mental disorders

Author: Brittany Collins Kaufman

Categories: Research, General News, and Faculty News

Lee Anna Clark, the William J. and Dorothy K. O’Neill Professor of Psychology, along with a small team of other experts, wants researchers and clinicians to revisit how mental illnesses are approached. In a new paper published in the invitation-only journal Psychological Science in the Public Interest, Clark and her team present the challenges in using three major diagnostic manuals from a scientific perspective and offer some recommendations for re-conceptualizing the mental disorders they describe.

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Notre Dame anthropologist explores how Mexicans use expressive culture to construct meaningful communities

Author: Paloma Garcia-Lopez

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

Notre Dame anthropologist Alex E. Chávez published a new book, Sounds of Crossing: Music, Migration, and the Aural Poetics of Huapango Arribeño through Duke University Press this week. Chávez came to his research not only as a trained scholar, but also as a performer, trained in classical and jazz. At an early age, he was also exposed to huapango arribeño. This understudied folk music originates in Guanajuato, San Luis Potosi, and Queretaro, in the heart of Mexico.

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The Reilly Center releases its 2018 Top 10 List of ethical dilemmas in science and technology

Author: Jessica Baron

Categories: Research, General News, and Centers and Institutes

The John J. Reilly Center for Science, Technology, and Values at the University of Notre Dame has released its sixth annual list of emerging ethical dilemmas and policy issues in science and technology. The annual list is designed to get people thinking about the ethics of potentially controversial technology, but the 2018 list shows that many of these issues are already here.  

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2017 Sheedy Award winner Jessica Collett praised for enthusiasm and innovation in teaching sociology

Author: Carrie Gates

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

The first social psychology course that Jessica Collett took as an undergraduate left her wanting more. While the topic was fascinating, the examples in the textbook were dated and didn’t resonate with her or her fellow students. Now an associate professor in Notre Dame’s Department of Sociology, Collett has won the 2017 Sheedy Excellence in Teaching Award, the highest teaching honor in the College of Arts and Letters. And she’s now the co-author of that same textbook from her first sociology class.

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English professor wins NEH grant to bolster major digital humanities research database

Author: Emily McConville

Categories: Research, General News, and Faculty News

Associate Professor of English Matthew Wilkens is fascinated by the use of geography in literature over time. How, for example, did the Civil War affect the importance of certain places in American literature, and what can literature tells us about Americans’ sense of place? The answer can be found in books written during that period — potentially thousands of them, many more than Wilkens could ever read and analyze himself. He was recently awarded a $325,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to bolster Textual Geographies, a database and suite of tools he is developing that allow users to find, map, and analyze more than 14 billion place name mentions from books and journals in English, Spanish, German, and Chinese.  

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Internships in the Middle East and Washington, D.C., shape PLS major’s career plan

Author: Teagan Dillon

Categories: Undergraduate News, Research, and Internationalism

Notre Dame senior Sarah Tomas Morgan has always had an interest in global issues. And the College of Arts and Letters has enabled her to explore that passion through her coursework and a variety of international and internship experiences. Coming into her first year, Tomas Morgan intended on majoring in political science. But after completing a University Seminar in the Program of Liberal Studies (PLS), her plans changed.

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Theology graduate students travel to Germany, Jordan, and Israel with Fulbright Awards

Author: Carrie Gates

Categories: Research, National Fellowships, Internationalism, Graduate Students, General News, and Catholicism

Four students in Notre Dame’s Ph.D. program in theology have received 2017-18 research grants from the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, the U.S. government’s flagship international educational exchange program. Ashley Edewaard, Stephen Long, Andrew O’Connor, and Joseph Riordan, SJ, are among 30 students from the College of Arts and Letters to receive awards in another record-breaking year for the University and the College.

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Music and FTT major comes through in the clutch to compose soundtrack for Notre Dame football introduction video

Author: John Heisler

Categories: Undergraduate News, General News, and Arts

Notre Dame junior Alex Mansour admits he's not much of a sports fan. Yet, when confronted with a crunch-time challenge, he came through with a prime-time performance befitting any Irish athlete making a game-winning play. Mansour's assignment? Create the musical score for the 80-second video that would be shown on the Notre Dame Stadium video board just before the Irish team took the field. Three days before the 2017 Irish season opener against Temple, the video remained incomplete — and Mansour was on the spot.

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