News Archives

History alumna wins MacArthur ‘Genius’ Grant

Author: Josh Weinhold

Nikole Hannah-Jones, a 1998 Notre Dame graduate, has won a fellowship from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation — commonly known as a “Genius” Grant. Hannah-Jones, who majored in history and African American studies (now Africana studies), is an investigative reporter for The New York Times Magazine, covering issues of racial inequality, especially in education. In 2015, she produced three Peabody Award-winning radio stories for This American Life illustrating how school desegregation can lessen the achievement gap between white children and students of color, and her first-person article, “Worlds Apart: Choosing a School for My Daughter in a Segregated City,” won a 2017 National Magazine Award. Read More

2 years, 35 students, $125,000 in funding: History seminar prepares undergraduates to do research around the world

Author: Carrie Gates

In the past two years, 35 history majors in Paul Ocobock’s honors seminar have received more than $125,000 in funding to do original research around the world. And every student in his course who applied for funding received it — using the grants to explore archives in France, Ireland, Uganda, China, and South Korea, among other places. But to Ocobock, there is something even more important than his students’ 100 percent success rate in securing funding — the sense of community they develop as they plan their projects together, travel the globe to conduct research, then return to his classroom to begin work on their senior theses. Read More

Through history Ph.D. program, students develop innovative lines of research

Author: Brian Wallheimer

Looking through new lenses, a Ph.D. candidate and two recent alumni of Notre Dame’s Ph.D. program in history have developed innovative lines of research that are adding depth to the topics of British imperialism, comparative colonialism, and human connections to animals. All three have obtained either tenure-track faculty positions or fellowships, and two finished their degrees in five years — a lofty goal set by the department and College of Arts and Letters and incentivized through the 5+1 Postdoctoral Fellowship Program. Read More

Historian of modern European Catholicism joins Arts and Letters faculty

Author: Tom Coyne

An intellectual and cultural historian of modern Europe, Sarah Shortall joins the Department of History this fall as an assistant professor. She recently finished a junior research fellowship at Oxford University, is working on a book tentatively titled Soldiers of God in a Secular World: The Politics of Catholic Theology in Twentieth-Century France. The book examines the impact of Catholic theology on French politics after the separation of church and state in 1905, which she said is different from the separation of church and state in the United States. Read More

Department of History introduces undergraduate minor

Author: Carrie Gates

The Department of History has launched a five-course undergraduate minor, allowing students in any department or college to build a strong foundation in the discipline. The minor begins with an introductory history workshop in which students learn to weigh evidence, evaluate arguments, and understand the nature of historical debate and ends with a capstone seminar focused on research. Students also choose three elective classes from a variety of subfields — from economic history to the history of science and medicine — that can be tailored to fit their interests or course of study. Read More

A letter from the chair

Author: Jon T. Coleman

Jon Coleman 600Jon T. Coleman

It takes a long time to do history. Graduate students spend an average of three to four years researching and writing their dissertations, the longest stretch in the humanities. After the Ph.D., a book can take a decade to complete — if you are quick.  Read More

History faculty members explore American saints in Catholicism, imperial reform in revolutionary America

Author: Todd Boruff

In two installments of a new College of Arts and Letters video series highlighting faculty research, Kathleen Sprows Cummings, the William W. and Anna Jean Cushwa Director of the Cushway Center for the Study of American Catholicism, discusses her study of American saints. Patrick Griffin, the Madden-Hennebry Family Professor of Irish-American Studies, talks about his work integrating American history with British and Irish history. Read More

Cushwa Announces Postdocs for 2017–2018


Cushwa Announces Postdocs for 2017–2018

The University of Notre Dame’s Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism is pleased to announce two incoming postdoctoral fellows for the 2017–2018 academic year. Peter Cajka and Benjamin J. Wetzel will join the center for appointments beginning in July. Read More

History professor receives two major honors from Medieval Academy of America

Author: Josh Weinhold

John Van Engen, the Andrew V. Tackes Professor of Medieval History, received two significant honors from the Medieval Academy of America at its annual meeting in Toronto last month. A member of Notre Dame’s Department of History since 1977, Van Engen received the association’s Robert L. Kindrick-CARA Award for Outstanding Service to Medieval Studies and was elected president of the Fellows of the Medieval Academy of America, a group formed more than 90 years ago to promote the study of the Middle Ages and recognize scholars around the world who make important contributions to the field. Read More

Three historians win ACLS fellowships

Author: Brian Wallheimer

Associate Professor Mariana Candido will study accounts of African women who accumulated wealth during the 19th century. Associate Professor Deborah Tor will write about the Seljuq Dynasty, which reshaped Islamic society in the 11th and 12th centuries. Assistant Professor Evan Ragland will explore how experimentation became integral to the practice of science in the 17th century. Read More

Video: History Ph.D. candidate Adam Foley on winning the Rome Prize

Author: Todd Boruff

Adam Foley won a 2015-2016 Rome Prize fellowship, awarded by the American Academy in Rome. The Rome Prize supports innovative and cross-disciplinary work in the arts and humanities. Fellows are given a stipend, room and board, and individual work space at the Academy’s eleven-acre campus in Rome. Read More

In Memoriam: Luis Laita

Author: Arts and Letters

Distinguished mathematical logician Luis Laita, the first person to receive a doctorate from the University of Notre Dame with training in the history and philosophy of science, died on February 24 after a distinguished career teaching artificial intelligence in his native Spain. As a Ph.D. student at Notre Dame, Laita studied for a period in the Department of Philosophy with prominent logician Boleslaw Sobocinski before transferring to the Department of History to focus on the history of mathematics. His 1976 dissertation, A Study of the Genesis of Boolean Logic, was directed by Michael Crowe, who is the the Rev. John J. Cavanaugh, C.S.C., Professor Emeritus of the Humanities in the Program of Liberal Studies and Graduate Program in History and Philosophy of Science. Read More

Arts and Letters students receive funding for internships around the world

Author: Megan Valley

Since it began in 2010, the Arts and Letters Summer Internship Program (ALSIP) has awarded over $600,000 in funding to more than 250 students who gain experience and explore career options in a real-world environment—anywhere from C-SPAN in Washington, D.C., to a product design firm in New York City, to a nonprofit organization in Cape Town, South Africa. Read More

Two Department of History faculty offered NEH fellowships

Author: Carrie Gates

Associate Professor Darren Dochuk, who received a National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship and an NEH Public Scholar award, will write a book exploring connections between religion and the U.S. oil industry. Associate Professor Karen Graubart will research how legal jurisdiction shaped the formation of ethnic and racial classification across the Iberian empire. Read More

Video: Historian Patrick Griffin on imperial reform and revolution

Author: Todd Boruff

Patrick Griffin is the Madden-Hennebry Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame. His research interests include colonial and revolutionary America, early modern Irish and British history, and Atlantic history. In this video, he discusses how his research integrates American history with British history and Irish history to examine trends and dynamics that connected the old world to the new world. Read More

Video: History major interns at U.S. Embassy in Rome

Author: Todd Boruff

“An internship abroad is a great starting point for a career abroad,” said Margaret Swinehart, a senior history major in the College of Arts and Letters. Swinehart spent the summer of 2016 interning at the United States Embassy in Rome, Italy. She worked in the non-immigrant visa unit of the consular section, collecting documents and helping applicants prepare for their interviews. Swinehart learned about the internship through the Notre Dame Career and Internship Fair hosted by the Career Center. “The internship started as just something I was intrigued about,” she said. “It has shown me that I would like to pursue a career in government.” Read More