For Thomas Anderson, it’s hard not to be fascinated with Cuba. Anderson, a professor of Spanish and chair of the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, has written two books on Cuban literature and culture and has published an edited volume of a leading Cuban author’s letters. Currently, he is working on a book that focuses on images of the U.S. civil rights movement in Cuban poetry. “I think for a lot of people, Cuba has always been seen as this forbidden country, and it’s something people are drawn to,” he said. “But it’s also a country with an incredibly rich literary and cultural history.”
From the beginning, there’s an end in sight. For students in Notre Dame’s new Ph.D. in Italian and Ph.D. in Spanish programs — each of which launched in 2016 — the focus is on ensuring students complete their dissertations and earn their degrees within five years. The programs are attracting high-caliber students from around the world, helping to strengthen a flourishing community of scholars that includes students in successful master’s of arts programs already operating in each area.
In Notre Dame International's study abroad program in Puebla, Mexico, students can enroll in a unique pre-medicine track, taking classes on health-related topics at the Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla. Participants in this track also shadow doctors twice per week in two Mexican public hospitals, learning about different specialties and gaining valuable clinical experience. They return with valuable language and cultural experience and a new perspective on health care, which they can apply to their future health professions at home or abroad.
In summer 2016, Notre Dame senior Andrew Grose studied abroad in Spain — taking a headfirst dive into a language and culture he loved and had studied for years. The experience confirmed for him that whatever path he takes after graduation, Spanish will be a part of it. Grose, a Spanish and preprofessional studies major, is planning a career in medicine and knows his language skills will be a valuable asset — a fact that was underscored in a course on Latin America he took last fall.
Building scholarly bridges between North/South and South/South was the goal of a recent conference organized by María Rosa Olivera-Williams, professor of Latin American Literature in Notre Dame’s Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, and Javier Uriarte, an assistant professor in the Department of Hispanic Languages and Literature at Stony Brook University.
JoAnn DellaNeva, a professor of French in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, has been appointed academic director of the University of Notre Dame’s London Global Gateway, where her duties will include overseeing the London undergraduate program and efforts to enhance the University’s research profile in London and beyond.
Through Notre Dame International, the University also maintains Global Gateways in Beijing, Dublin, Jerusalem, and Rome, where another faculty member from the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures has played a vital role.
Theodore J. Cachey Jr., Ravarino Family Professor of Italian and director of the William and Katherine Devers Program in Dante Studies, recently completed a three-year term as the inaugural academic director of the University’s Rome Global Gateway, where he fostered collaborations with institutes of higher education and implemented the Rome Seminar and Rome International Scholars Program.
The French phrase extrême contemporain is the perfect description for what Sonja Stojanovic is most passionate about — the study of French literature written in the past decade or so. She waits with great anticipation for her favorite authors to release new books and enjoys talking with those writers because she is “right there as it is happening.” “Sometimes you are the first one to write on an author, which is very exciting,” she said. Stojanovic joins Notre Dame’s Department of Romance Languages and Literatures this fall as an assistant professor of French.
DellaNeva, a professor in the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures, will hold full academic oversight of the Gateway during her two-year term, including the London undergraduate program and efforts to enhance the University’s research profile in London and beyond. A faculty member since 1982, DellaNeva also served as chair of her department from 1989-96 and as associate dean for undergraduate studies in Notre Dame’s College of Arts and Letters from 2010-17.
Libby Hasse ’08 always knew she wanted to join the Peace Corps. She just didn’t realize what an impact it would have on her career. The experience still resonates today in her work as an attorney at the Tahirih Justice Center — a national nonprofit that provides pro bono legal services to immigrant women.
At the 172nd Commencement Ceremony, May 21, 2017, a number of outstanding faculty from the College of Arts and Letters were recognized for their contributions to the academy and their achievements in stimulating the learning environment and mentoring students in various disciplines.