Notre Dame Rome Awards Graduate Research Fellowships in Rome

Author: Costanza Montanari


Notre Dame Rome in partnership with the Graduate School and the Center for Italian Studies has awarded semester-and year-long dissertation research fellowships at Notre Dame Rome to four advanced humanities PhD students in the College of Arts and Letters (one in the Fall 2024 and three in the Spring 2025).

The goal of this brand new residential fellowship is to facilitate dissertation research for students who demonstrate the need to conduct substantial work in Rome and its vicinity and to create a cohort of scholars engaged in the academic communities of Notre Dame Rome and of the city.

The following section features the awardees' presentation of their projects.


Rookshar Myram, Ph.D. in Italian Studies, University of Notre Dame

“I would like to spend the fall semester in Rome because it would be highly beneficial to my research. My dissertation, «In the Image and Likeness of God»: Deification and Imitatio Christi in Dante’s Comedy, aims to define Dante’s Christology in the Divine Comedy. Through an interdisciplinary approach to iconography, theology and literary criticism, I argue that Dante promotes the imitation of Christ’s divinity. While many of his contemporaries emphasized an imitation of the Passion, Dante’s choice to represent only the glorious dimension of Christ supports the possibility for human beings to attain deification. Through an analysis of the Comedy’s representation of Christ himself, its depiction of Christ-like characters and its broader Incarnational poetics, I show how the poem gives an account of Dante’s own deification.”


Gavin Moulton, Ph.D. in History, University of Notre Dame

“My dissertation From Church to Factory: Schisms and Strikes in the Slavic Industrial Belt, 1877-1941 follows four Slavic migrant groups (Poles, Rusyns, Croatians, and Slovaks) that share a history of prolonged conflict with the Roman Catholic hierarchy from 1887-1941. While in Rome I will conduct research in the Vatican Archives in support of my dissertation.
By participating in the Rome Global Gateway Graduate Fellowship, I aim to contribute my interdisciplinary perspective to Notre Dame’s intellectual community in Rome and take advantage of opportunities to connect with scholars and graduate students. The vibrant presence of research centers in Rome, including the Centro Studi Emigrazione Roma, will benefit the interdisciplinary nature of my project.”

Shasta Kaul, Ph.D., Political Science, University of Notre Dame

“My dissertation, titled Case Studies in the Realist Answer to Groundlessness: Kautilya, Machiavelli, and Arendt, seeks to define the parameters of political realism. Through the analyses of the works and lives of Kautilya—an ancient realist, and Niccolò Machiavelli—an early modern realist, I propose that Hannah Arendt is the contemporary flagbearer of political realism. While in Rome I plan to visit the archives of Niccolò’s Italy and to talk to Italian academics who continue to think about him and his legacy.”

Emmanuel Ojeifo, Ph.D. Department of Theology, University of Notre Dame

“As a third year doctoral student in theology, working in the area of ecopolitical theology and ethics, I have been drawn to questions related to eco-martyrdom as a theological and political reality. Eco-martyrdom is a vital theological motif for addressing salient questions related to how our ecological crisis is reshaping the church’s self-understanding and its approach to mission in a suffering world. To support my dissertation research entitled Eco-martyrdom in Catholic theological perspective: An ethnography of the Vatican’s institutional response, I plan to travel to Rome during the Spring semester of 2025 to carry out ethnographic study of the Vatican’s institutional response to eco-martyrdom.”

Learn more about Research in Rome.


Originally published by Costanza Montanari at on March 27, 2024.