Acclaim for English professor’s new Thoreau biography shows transcendentalism’s resonance with modern audiences

Author: Carrie Gates

The first edition of Laura Dassow Walls' new biography, Henry David Thoreau: A Life, sold out even before the official publication date of July 12, 2017, Thoreau’s 200th birthday. And Walls has been interviewed by NPR and the BBC, along with receiving positive book reviews from The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and The Wall Street Journal. “Laura’s book is quite remarkable, and it’s been exciting to see it getting such a wonderful reception,” said John T. McGreevy, the I.A. O’Shaughnessy Dean of the College of Arts and Letters. “It’s certainly gotten more attention than any book of ours in recent memory.”

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Irish studies and English professor Barry McCrea awarded Princeton Humanities Council fellowship

Author: Carrie Gates

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 a prestigious fellowship from the Princeton University Humanities Council. McCrea will spend the spring 2018 semester at Princeton as a visiting professor in the Humanities Council and the Faber Fellow in Comparative Literature. While there, he will continue work on his upcoming novel, tentatively titled Thorn Island, and will teach an advanced literature course to a mix of undergraduate and graduate students.

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‘Uncharted territory’: Creative writing students draw inspiration from Ireland’s rich literary history

Author: Carrie Gates

They wrote poetry in Dublin coffee shops over plates of scones and artfully embellished cappuccinos — the curl of steam and lilt of Irish conversation rising and fading in the background. They wrote prose on the grassy shores of Lough Pollaacapull, where the towers and crenellations of Kylemore Abbey reflect in the waters below. They wrote in the Abbey’s common room into the wee hours of the morning. And everywhere, the 16 students in Notre Dame’s first Creative Writing Workshop in Ireland found inspiration — in the landscape, in the country’s literary history, and in each other.

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Graduate students travel to Greece for humanities consortium that fosters cross-disciplinary discussion and networking

Author: Carrie Gates

The retreat was sponsored by the International Network for Comparative Humanities (INCH), an interdisciplinary group of literary scholars from across the U.S. and Europe dedicated to promoting comparative study. Co-directed by Notre Dame professor Barry McCrea and Maria DiBattista of Princeton University, the organization seeks to develop a new model for networking and scholarly collaboration in the humanities — one that stresses the importance of collaboration across generational, national, and institutional boundaries.

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Renowned author Barry Lopez ’66 returns to Notre Dame, urging students to commit to social responsibility

Author: Carrie Gates

Barry Lopez believes we are on the verge of global upheaval — in the way democracies function, in the way economies work, in the way countries cope with unprecedented numbers of refugees and the effects of climate change. But he also believes that Notre Dame students are “unusually qualified to do something about it.” A renowned essayist, fiction writer, and former Department of American Studies faculty member, Lopez received his bachelor’s degree from Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters in 1966 and a master’s degree in 1968. He returned to his alma mater last month to give a lecture on sustainability — and to offer his encouragement to current students.

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English graduate student wins Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship

Author: Carrie Gates

César Soto wants to know how the spark of political revolution can transform religious concepts of community and inclusion. To better understand the issue, he’s turning to the literature of England, Ireland, and Mexico in the late 1700s and early 1800s. Soto, a Ph.D. candidate in Notre Dame’s Department of English, has been awarded a Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship for 2016-17 to support his project.

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English Honors Colloquium Brings Support, Collaboration to Senior Thesis Projects

Author: Carrie Gates

English Honors Colloquium

When Elizabeth Troyer began diving into her senior thesis research, she wasn’t alone. She was one of 17 seniors in Notre Dame’s Department of English honors concentration—all of whom participated in a colloquium as they embarked on their senior thesis projects. Students in the class discussed their thesis research in small groups, offered feedback, completed outlines and bibliographies, and shared presentations on their main ideas with the class. It’s just one example of how faculty members have worked to build a sense of community in the department and in the honors concentration.

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English Major Austin Hagwood Follows Research Interests Around the World

Author: Carrie Gates

Austin Hagwood icon

English major Austin Hagwood ’15 doesn’t dream small. He took a train past the Arctic Circle to meet the only living Finnish rune singer. He interned in Paris at the Shakespeare and Company bookstore. He taught English courses at Al-Azhar University in Egypt. He ventured to New Zealand to research Maori folklore and literature. And that’s not all.

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English Professor Laura Dassow Walls Awarded NEH Fellowship

Author: Carrie Gates

Laura Dassow Walls

Laura Dassow Walls, the William P. and Hazel B. White Professor of English, has been awarded a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to complete a biography of Henry David Thoreau. A renowned scholar of American transcendentalism, Walls began working on the book with the support of a John Simon Guggenheim fellowship during the 2010-11 academic year. She plans to publish the book to coincide with the 200th anniversary of Thoreau’s birth in 2017.

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Professor John Sitter Receives 2014 Sheedy Award

Author: Carrie Gates

John Sitter

John Sitter, the Mary Lee Duda Professor of Literature in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters, will be presented with the 2014 Sheedy Excellence in Teaching Award on December 2. The Sheedy award is the highest teaching honor in the College. It was founded in 1970 in honor of Rev. Charles E. Sheedy, C.S.C., who served as dean of Arts and Letters from 1951–69.

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