Past Research Themes

In 2020, ISLA established yearly grant competitions that focus on particular research themes of timely importance to society.  This competition is open to students enrolled in Ph.D., DMA, and MFA programs as well as all regular faculty members with a primary appointment in the College of Arts and Letters. This page contains information about our previous themes, including the people and projects that were funded. 

Research Theme for AY 2021-2022: A Time to Heal

The COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 US presidential election, horrific recent acts of violence against BIPOC and other marginalized groups, and the pall of climate change have brought striking physical, emotional, and mental pain to the lives of millions of people.  How shall we respond to this pain?  In Fratelli Tutti, Pope Francis stated “There are only two kinds of people: those who care for someone who is hurting and those who pass by; those who bend down to help and those who look the other way and hurry off” and he then pointed asked “Will we bend down to touch and heal the wounds of others?”  His question is a pointed call to healing to which we must all rise but, healing is rarely a straightforward process. ISLA seeks to facilitate scholarly engagement with the question of what it means to heal, and how healing occurs across individuals, cultures, geographies, and periods of time.

Graduate Student Projects

Natalia Salamanca Balen -- Hope and Healing: Initial Analysis of a New Integrative Theory of Hope

Anna Gabur -- Empathy: A Sociological Approach

Helal Khan -- Peace While in a Pandemic: Healing and Well-being Activities by Rohingya Refugees during the COVID 19 Pandemic in the US Midwest

Alyssa Paylor -- Who Needs to Heal? Reconciliation in Contexts of Oppression and Violence

Jacob Turner -- How Citizens meet the State: Origins of Institutional Trust in South Bend, IN

Faculty Projects

Alex Chavez -- Sonorous Present

Melissa Miller -- Doctors as Storytellers: Narrative Medicine during the Russian Revolution

Emilia Justyna Powell -- Islam in Small Communities

Luis Schiumerini -- Class and Affective Polarization

Aidan Seale-Feldman -- Is Another Psychiatry Possible? Healing and the Politics of Psychedelic Medicine

Sophie White -- “His Master’s Grace”: Extrajudicial Violence, Punishment, and Mercy in French Slave Societies

Research Theme for AY 2020-2021: Race and Ethnicity in the United States

The global COVID pandemic, disturbing instances of police violence, political polarization, and protests across the country and around the world brought discussions of racism and racial/ethnic inequality into the national conversation in a way not seen since the civil rights era. Informed by Notre Dame’s mission to be a powerful force for good, ISLA sought to facilitate student and faculty engagement with questions raised by these events and the longer histories that inform them by sponsoring new scholarship that explored race and ethnicity in the United States. Such work is vital to developing a deeper understanding of our society and how we can make it more just.

Graduate Student Projects

Roger Cadena, Sociology — #HispanicsforTrump: Identity, Racialization, and the Paradox of Hispanic Republicans?

Hades Chavanne, English — The Nikole Hannah-Jones Community Resource Library

Melissa Coles, History — Segmenting Landscape: Indigenous and Catholic Spaces, 1930-1954

Sara Judy, English — “We assume a sovereignty ourselves”: Reimagining the Prophet in Gwendolyn Brooks’ Protest Poetry

Oliver Ortega, English — Critical Representations of Education and the American Dream in Latinx Literature

Monica Perez, Psychology — Past, Present, and Future: An Examination of Stress, Coping, and Well-Being across Generations of Latinas with Doctoral Degrees

Faculty Projects

Clinton Carlson, Art, Art History, and Design — Community Activated Design: Fostering Sustainable, Adaptable, and Community-led Restorative Justice Practices

Tracie Canada, Anthropology — Integrating Tobacco Road Football, 1965-1975

Ying Cheng, Psychology — Testing Experiences of Students and Instructors during COVID-19: Issues of Equity, Validity, and Mode Effects of Online and Remote Testing

Korey Garibaldi, American Studies and Emily Wang, German and Russian Languages and Literatures — Reconsidering Race in the Age of Pushkin: Bridging American and Russian Studies

Gerald Haeffel, Psychology — Cognitive Vulnerability to Depression in Black Americans

Anton Juan, Film, Television, and Theatre — Blues for Mrs.

Daniel Schlosberg, Music — Recording Project with Violinist Caitlin Edwards

Sophie White, American Studies — Hearing Slave Voices in Early America: A Digital Humanities Project