News

For musicologist studying the ‘middlebrow,’ interdisciplinary opportunities make PLS the perfect home

Author: Emily McConville

For Christopher Chowrimootoo, there’s nothing unusual about a musicologist teaching in the Great Books program. That’s because, like his research, the Program of Liberal Studies is fundamentally interdisciplinary. He primarily tries to bring music into wider conversations about the “middlebrow” in literature, film studies, and cultural history. This originally pejorative term implied cultural aspiration, using “highbrow” art to achieve a higher social and aesthetic status. 

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English professor Laura Dassow Walls wins 2018 Phi Beta Kappa Book Award

Author: Carrie Gates

Laura Dassow Walls, the William P. and Hazel B. White Professor of English at the University of Notre Dame, has won the 2018 Christian Gauss Award from Phi Beta Kappa for her biography, Henry David Thoreau: A Life. The prize, which recognizes outstanding books of literary scholarship, will be presented at a reception in Washington, D.C., in December.

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A legacy shared: Maria Irene Fornés, mother of Latinx theatre

Author: Lauren Melancon

Honoring the legacy of Maria Irene Fornés, mother of Latinx theatre, the annual Fornés Playwriting Workshop aims to pass Fornés’ unique writing style on to a new generation of Latinx theatre artists. Conceived by Anne García-Romero, an associate professor in Notre Dame’s Department of Film, Television, and Theatre, this weeklong workshop in Chicago brings together 14 writers from across the country to work intensely with award-winning playwright and Fornés protégé Migdalia Cruz.

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Professor uses cutting-edge technology to conduct ‘engaged anthropology’ at prehistoric Illinois site 

Author: Jack Rooney

Mark Schurr, professor and acting chair of Notre Dame’s Department of Anthropology, is dedicated to research that doesn’t just serve academic ends, but can also do good for the world. At his latest research site — the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie near Joliet, Illinois — he is exploring what life was like for 17th-century Native Americans and working to determine how to best restore the area to a natural environment that allows visitors to enjoy and learn from the land. 
 

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Lilly Endowment awards $1.6 million grant for Sacred Music at Notre Dame program

Author: Carrie Gates

The University of Notre Dame has received a $1.6 million grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to support the Sacred Music at Notre Dame (SMND) program and its transformative work with graduate students and the community. This is the program’s second grant from the Lilly Endowment — a private, philanthropic foundation that supports the causes of religion, education, and community development — following a $1.9 million grant in 2012 that helped launch SMND.

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Notre Dame research funding reaches record-breaking levels

Author: Joanne Fahey and Brandi Klingerman

The University of Notre Dame has received $138.1 million in research funding for fiscal year (FY) 2017, surpassing the previous record of $133.7 million set in FY 2015. Approximately 57.8 percent of the research awards came from federal funding, while 26.9 percent came from foundations or other sponsors, and 15.3 percent came from industry.

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With NEH fellowship, Notre Dame philosopher breaks new ground on Aristotle’s concept of objectivity

Author: Carrie Gates

Can humans truly attain an accurate, objective view of reality? Or is our perspective inescapably colored by who we are and what we’ve experienced? Philosopher Sean Kelsey asserts that this problem is central to Aristotle’s text De Anima — and that Aristotle argued we can, a point his predecessors had tried and failed to make.

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In new study, professor and undergraduate find economic benefits of admitting refugees outweigh costs

Author: Patrick Gibbons

Although working-age adult refugees who enter the United States often initially rely on public assistance programs, a study by researchers at the University of Notre Dame indicates that the long-term economic benefit of admitting refugees outweighs the initial costs. The study, published as a National Bureau of Economic Research working paper this week, was conducted by William Evans, Keough-Hesburgh Professor of Economics, and Daniel Fitzgerald, undergraduate research assistant at Notre Dame’s Wilson Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities. 

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FTT faculty lead effort to restore a piece of 20th-century popular culture

Author: Brandi Klingerman

One of the most innovative and new pieces of popular culture emerged in 1914 when Winsor McCay, a famous cartoonist and vaudeville performer, incorporated an animated cartoon called Gertie into his act. Despite its popularity at the time, the original film and the paper drawings for it have all but been forgotten over the past 100 years. But now, faculty members in Notre Dame's Department of Film, Television, and Theatre are working to change that by collaborating internationally to restore the film and to research the history surrounding its cultural impact.

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Notre Dame political science professor wins Carnegie Fellowship to study political implications of secularism

Author: Tom Coyne

David Campbell, the Packey J. Dee Professor of American Democracy at the University of Notre Dame, has been selected as an Andrew Carnegie Fellow for his creative thinking and innovative research on the rise of secularism in the United States and its political implications. Campbell, chair of the Department of Political Science, will use the prestigious grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York, announced Wednesday, to study the growing number of people in America who identify as nonreligious and the political force they could become.

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Notre Dame philosopher Alvin Plantinga awarded 2017 Templeton Prize

Author: Amanda Skofstad

Alvin Plantinga, the John A. O’Brien Professor of Philosophy Emeritus at the University of Notre Dame, was named the 2017 Templeton Prize Laureate on Tuesday (April 25) by the John Templeton Foundation. Over his 50 years of research in philosophy of religion, epistemology and metaphysics, Plantinga has advanced landmark arguments for the existence of God, returning the questions of religious belief to the common discourse of academic philosophy.

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