News

Alumnus Finds Success as Hollywood Screenwriter

Author: Gabriela Leskur

Behind the mask, the cape, and the suit of every superhero stands a seemingly ordinary individual blessed with an incredible gift. Behind Captain America stands Stephen McFeely ’91. The English and goverment major is part of the screenwriting duo behind the Captain America movies, the Narnia trilogy, and Pain & Gain, as well as the Primetime Emmy Award-winning biopic The Life and Death of Peter Sellers.

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English Professors Win Fellowships

Author: Arts and Letters

Two professors in Notre Dame’s Department of English—Sandra Gustafson and Tim Machan—recently won prestigious fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program. “Gustafson and Machan both explore broad swaths of time and crucial questions that are significant culturally, historically, and artistically,” says Professor Valerie Sayers, chair of the Department of English. “It is a delight to see their work honored with major fellowships.”

 

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English Major Pursues Medical Career, Lands on Capitol Hill

Author: Mary Kate Martin

During the spring of 2012, Dr. R. Joseph Shonkwiler ’04 reached a crossroads in his career. In a few months he would graduate with a master’s degree in public policy from Princeton University, and he needed to decide his next step. Shonkwiler could return to clinical medicine and finish his surgical residency at New York Presbyterian Hospital, or he could pursue a new career in the public policy field.

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Graduate Molly Hayes Awarded George Mitchell Scholarship

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Molly Hayes, a 2008 graduate of the University of Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters, has been awarded a 2014 George Mitchell Scholarship. Hayes, who studied English and Arabic while at Notre Dame, will use the Mitchell Scholarship to pursue a master’s degree in Irish literature at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. She is the first Mitchell Scholar from Notre Dame since 2007.

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Video: English Alumna Pursues Passion as a TV Writer/Producer

Author: Todd Boruff

“After graduating Notre Dame, would I have ever said, ‘Oh, I’m gonna be a TV writer in Hollywood?’ Never in a million years,” says Linda Gase, a Notre Dame graduate with a degree in English. She is currently co-executive producer of Switched at Birth, a one-hour drama on ABC Family. Gase has also written for ER, The District, Crossing Jordan, and Army Wives. She credits her strength as a writer to the time she spent at Notre Dame developing her critical thinking skills and examining her point of view. “The biggest challenge of a writer is to trust your voice, and I feel that at Notre Dame, I really honed my voice.”

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Global Dome Exchange Program Benefits Grad Students, Faculty

Author: Aaron Smith

Eight Notre Dame graduate students from the history and English departments joined eight peers from U.K. partner universities this summer for an intensive workshop designed to foster cross-disciplinary training, accelerate dissertation progress, and build international networks of young scholars. Held July 1-17, 2013 at the University of Notre Dame London Centre in Trafalgar Square, the first Global Dome Dissertation Accelerator was organized around the theme of transnationalism.

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New Hires Boost Transdisciplinary Scholarship and Teaching

Author: Andrew Deliyannides

The English Department is pleased to announce our newest faculty appointments, Jesús Costantino and Z’étoile Imma. Both originally came to Notre Dame as Moreau Postdoctoral Fellows, Costantino from the University of California, Berkeley in 2011, and Imma from the University of Virginia in 2012. "We are delighted to have such engaged and dynamic young scholars join the department," says Valerie Sayers, department chair. "The range of their interests underscores our commitment to transdisciplinary scholarship and teaching."

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Arts and Letters Alumnus Carves Out Golf Career

Author: Mary Kate Malone

Notre Dame College of Arts and Letters alumnus Peter Bevacqua ’93, was named Chief Executive Officer of the PGA of America in November. When Bevacqua considers the path that led him to a golf-lover’s dream job, the former English and film student credits his liberal arts education at Notre Dame, which gave him the freedom to let his career naturally take shape, he says.

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Video: English Professor Barry McCrea on Why Novels Matter

Author: Arts and Letters

“Why do we read novels and why do we write novels? We live inside of our heads, which is a place of dreams and fantasies and wishes and desires, but we live out our lives in this shared real world,” says Barry McCrea, the Donald R. Keough Family Professor of Irish Studies in Notre Dame’s Department of English. “Novels offer us not just a map of the human mind but a way to understand how the individual human mind interacts with the world outside.”

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English Ph.D. Students Receive Prestigious Research Fellowship

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“When you’re working on a dissertation, you’re stuck in your own head a lot, so I wondered if anyone cares about this other than me,” says Hilary Fox, who received her Ph.D. from Notre Dame’s Department of English in 2012. “Having a group of people tell you, ‘Yes, we actually do care and find it really interesting and important,’ that’s a psychological boost.”

The Mellon Foundation/American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS) Dissertation Completion Fellowship Fox received offered her that validation and quite a bit more. The fellowship awards exceptional doctoral candidates in the humanities a stipend and research funding to aid in the completion of a dissertation. ACLS awards just 65 fellowships per year nationwide.

Despite the competition, the English graduate program in the College of Arts and Letters has seen two of its scholars receive this honor in the past three years—Fox and current doctoral candidate Patrick Mello, who was awarded a fellowship for 2012-2013.

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