Faculty Stories

Faculty at Notre Dame come from communities and cultures all over the world. They conduct research and scholarship on topics and issues that span numerous academic disciplines. They share with students not just their areas of expertise but also their questions and concerns about the enduring issues and latest developments that shape our times.

But their role in broadening and sharpening the lenses through which we understand ourselves and the world around us extend well beyond individual research projects, classroom lectures, course syllabi, or a list of academic programs.

The selection of stories below helps illustrate the many other ways Notre Dame faculty foster diversity, support inclusion, and enliven the entire Notre Dame community.

Anthropologists’ new books iIlluminate challenges of human migration that span centuries

Brian Wallheimer

Their subjects are separated by hundreds of years and thousands of miles, yet two recent books by Notre Dame anthropologists have striking similarities on the driving forces behind human migration. The books have played a major role in establishing Notre Dame’s Department of Anthropology as a source of insight and perspective on significant social issues.

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Arabic professor wins book award for research on medieval Islamic plays

Tom Lange

Before Li Guo could tell the story of one of Islam’s most impactful artists, he spent nearly 15 years translating and studying the man’s work. A professor of Arabic and director of Notre Dame’s Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies Program, Guo is the author of The Performing Arts of Medieval Islam: Shadow Play and Popular Poetry in Ibn Daniyal’s Mamluk...

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Not Irish? There’s still reason to celebrate on St. Patrick’s Day

Notre Dame News

Why do so many people celebrate and recognize St. Patrick’s Day – even if they’re not Irish at all? Diarmuid Ó Giolláin, professor of Irish language and literature at the University of Notre Dame and expert on popular religion in Ireland, as well as folklore and popular culture, explains the history and cultural significance of Lá Fhéile Pádraig, "the Day...

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Notre Dame faculty discuss the right to vote

Lauren Love

While Americans tout the right to vote as the cornerstone of democracy, a number of states across the country have recently passed measures making it harder for citizens to vote. Studies have shown these new rules — including voter identification laws, voter list purging, and cutting into the number of early voting days — have disproportionately affected low-income and minority...

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Robert O. Smith named academic director of Jerusalem Global Gateway

Amanda Skofstad

Robert O. Smith, historian and specialist in American Christian theologies concerning the Israeli-Palestinian context, has been appointed the first academic director of the Jerusalem Global Gateway by Nick Entrikin, vice president and associate provost for internationalization. Smith is concurrent faculty in the Department of Theology and Keough School for Global Affairs.

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Notre Dame scholars address challenges for Latino Catholic education

Michael O. Garvey

Luis Ricardo Fraga, Arthur Foundation Endowed Professor of Transformative Latino Leadership, Joseph and Elizabeth Robbie Professor of Political Science and co-director of the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies, served as co-editor of a special issue of the Journal of Catholic Education, its first issue ever to focus specifically on Latinos and Catholic education.  

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Notre Dame economists help small business owners in Kenya find success

Carrie Gates

In a dense Nairobi slum best known for its toxic garbage dump, the crowded streets are lined with roadside stands. With no job prospects, residents’ best chance to eke out a living comes from selling foods and handcrafted goods at these tiny stalls. Three assistant professors in Notre Dame’s Department of Economics—Wyatt Brooks, Kevin Donovan, and Terence Johnson—are researching ways...

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English assistant professor wins Ford Foundation fellowship

Aaron Smith

Z’étoile Imma, an assistant professor of English at Notre Dame, has received a prestigious Ford Foundation fellowship in support of her research in South Africa on 20th-century activist Simon Nkoli. Imma is one of 116 top scholars to receive an award through the foundation’s fellowship program, which seeks to increase diversity among university faculties, maximize the educational benefits of diversity,...

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Irish Studies and English professor wins René Wellek Prize for ‘Languages of the Night’

Mary Hendriksen

Barry McCrea, the Donald R. Keough Family Professor of Irish Studies and a professor of English, Irish language and literature, and Romance languages and literatures, has been awarded the René Wellek Prize by the American Comparative Literature Association for the best book in the past year in comparative literature. McCrea’s Languages of the Night: Minor Languages and the Literary Imagination...

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Crossing the border

Marisel Moreno

A literature professor who teaches about the U.S.-Mexico border reflects on the troubled lives and deaths of would-be migrants — from the southern side of the desert wall built to keep them out.

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The strength of leadership

Anthony DePalma

By any measure, Father Theodore M. Hesburgh’s influence on higher education — both during the 35 years he served as president of Notre Dame and over the many years after he retired — was oversized: broad, deep and enduring, touching everything from athletics and academics to the very essence of what makes a modern university, especially a modern Catholic university.

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Political science, peace studies associate professor wins grant to study war's hidden costs

Renée LaReau

Tanisha Fazal, associate professor of political science and peace studies, has been awarded a research grant from the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation to investigate the human and financial costs of war. The costs of caring for wounded veterans are not traditionally or accurately factored into government assessments, Fazal said. 

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Inaugural Ursula Williams Faculty Fellow develops hybrid Chinese language course

Anne Daly

The Center for the Study of Languages and Cultures has partnered with the Kaneb Center for Teaching and Learning to offer the Ursula Williams Faculty Fellowship. The fellowship connects foreign-language faculty with technology experts and supports research to help faculty members determine which technological tools are most helpful in language classrooms. Chengxu Yin, associate teaching professor of Chinese, was awarded...

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A transformative journey: Notre Dame experiences life at the border

Brendan O’Shaughnessy

A dozen Notre Dame faculty members and community partners from South Bend went to Tucson, Arizona, to hear migrants’ stories during a four-day Mexican Border Immersion seminar in early January. The faculty and student groups participated in activities ranging from talks with community activists to hikes through the desert with humanitarians who deliver water, and from witnessing border violation court...

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Institute for Latino Studies report analyzes role of gender in Latino savings and retirement

William G. Gilroy

A new report by the University of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies examines how gender affects Latino men’s and women’s savings for retirement and concludes that there is a need to develop programs to empower lower-income women and men to save for retirement. The research report, directed by Karen Richman, a Notre Dame cultural anthropologist, applies a novel, interdisciplinary...

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Scholar of Chinese literary and internet culture appointed director of Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies

Joan Fallon

Michel Hockx has been appointed director of the University of Notre Dame’s Liu Institute for Asia and Asian Studies within the new Keough School of Global Affairs. Hockx is professor of Chinese and director of the China Institute at SOAS, University of London. He will join the Notre Dame faculty in August 2016 and teach in the Department of East...

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