News

Sounds like home: Department of English alumna embraces music and songwriting in Dublin

Author: Colleen Wilcox

Julia Steiner ’14 writes songs and plays them in a Chicago-based rock band called Ratboys. She grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, before attending Notre Dame, where she graduated  with a degree in English. During her third year at the University, Steiner studied abroad in Dublin and attended Trinity College. She returned in summer 2014 to intern in the sports department at RTÉ, Ireland’s National Broadcaster. Here, Steiner reflects on her time in Dublin and the influence it had on her music.

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Q&A with Arnaud Zimmern, Ph.D. candidate in English

Author: Carrie Gates

Arnaud Zimmern, a Ph.D. candidate in English who is also pursuing a graduate minor in the history and philosophy of science, discusses why he chose to apply only to Notre Dame, the value of the digital humanities, and conducting research that matters.

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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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English professor wins Lannan Foundation fellowship in honor of his fiction writing

Author: Josh Weinhold

Roy Scranton, an assistant professor in Notre Dame’s Department of English, has won a fellowship from the Lannan Foundation in recognition of his fiction writing. Since 1989, the foundation has given literary awards and fellowships to both established and emerging writers “of distinctive literary merit who demonstrate potential for continued outstanding work.”

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English professor wins NEH grant to bolster major digital humanities research database

Author: Emily McConville

Associate Professor of English Matthew Wilkens is fascinated by the use of geography in literature over time. How, for example, did the Civil War affect the importance of certain places in American literature, and what can literature tells us about Americans’ sense of place? The answer can be found in books written during that period — potentially thousands of them, many more than Wilkens could ever read and analyze himself. He was recently awarded a $325,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to bolster Textual Geographies, a database and suite of tools he is developing that allow users to find, map, and analyze more than 14 billion place name mentions from books and journals in English, Spanish, German, and Chinese.  

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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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New professor Mark A. Sanders brings multilingual and multicultural approach to English and Africana studies departments

Author: Renee Peggs

Mark Sanders is pushing the geographical boundaries of the study of English literature. Through his scholarly work, he aims to expand the traditional English canon beyond the United Kingdom and United States and to broaden the corpus of black writing, particularly that of black Atlantic authors. Sanders, who joins Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters this fall after 25 years at Emory University in Atlanta, specializes in early 20th-century American and African American literature and culture, as well as Afro-Cuban and Afro-Latino literature and culture. 

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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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Scholar of medieval literature joins department

Author: Tom Coyne

Michelle Karnes believes imagination is the key to understanding medieval meditations about the life of Christ. When readers picture themselves holding Jesus as a baby or feeding him, it evokes powerful emotions, she said. “There are good cognitive reasons why imagining yourself participating in Christ’s life helps you engage with the narrative,” she said. “It causes you to invest yourself in a more profound way.” Karnes joins the faculty in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters this fall as an associate professor of English, after eight years at Stanford University.

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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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Ernest Morrell Combines Faith, Love of Teaching in New Role at Notre Dame

Author: Theo Helm

Ernest Morrell’s passion to better serve at-risk youth and their families and help break the cycle of poverty led him to embark on a prolific academic career, where he has formed a generation of future teachers, scholars, and leaders dedicated to improving the lives of marginalized urban youth. Morrell joins Notre Dame’s faculty this summer, as he assumes the Coyle Professorship in Literacy Education, with appointments in the Department of English, the Department of Africana Studies, and the Institute for Educational Initiatives.

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Laura Dassow Walls commemorates 'American icon' Thoreau with new biography

Author: Carrie Gates and Brittany Collins Kaufman

As the 200th birthday of American icon Henry David Thoreau is celebrated around the world on July 12, Laura Dassow Walls, author of the comprehensive biography Henry David Thoreau: A Life, will be commemorating the date in Concord, Massachusetts, Thoreau’s birthplace. Walls, the William P. and Hazel B. White Professor of English, is a leading scholar of Thoreau. Thoreau: A Life, the first comprehensive biography of the life of Thoreau since Walter Harding’s The Days of Henry Thoreau was published in 1965, was officially released by the University of Chicago Press Wednesday.

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Ph.D. alumna receives 2017–2018 Mellon University Press Diversity Fellowship

Author: Notre Dame Press

English Ph.D. alumna Ana Jimenez-Moreno has been awarded the 2017–2018 Mellon University Press Diversity Fellowship at the University of Georgia Press. Jimenez-Moreno began her apprenticeship in scholarly publishing when she was awarded an inaugural 5+1 Postdoctoral Fellowship from the College of Arts and Letters, enabling her to work throughout the academic year with Stephen Wrinn, director of the University of Notre Dame Press.

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