2017-2018 Course Development Grant Recipients

2017–2018 Course Development Grant Recipients

The World in Rome: Pathways of Migration and Citizenship

Maurizio Albahari
Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology
Concurrent Associate Professor, Keough School of Global Affairs

This course grounds its knowledge production and pedagogy in Rome, Italy, to explore the causes, lived experiences, debates, and consequences of contemporary global migrations. It privileges a multiple perspective that incorporates anthropology and the social sciences, aesthetics, and Catholic Social Teachings. How and why, in particular, do some of the roads taken by migrants (including refugees) lead to Rome? What are some of the challenges faced by migrants upon their arrival, and on their path to citizenship? How does civil society intervene to mitigate those challenges, and facilitate forms of mutual civic engagement? What are some of the distinctive features of Roman lay and Catholic approaches to migration? What is our students’ role not only as Notre Dame scholars, but also as engaged citizens of the academy and of the world? This latter question is particularly stimulating in relation to Catholic Social Teachings and encounter-based pedagogy, as the students will not be Italian citizens, but will likely feel moved to civic action together with/as a result of the knowledge they’ll acquire in Rome. More generally, students will incorporate a deep reflection on issues of democratic representation and civic participation within diverse societies.

The Philosophy of Religion

Kate Finley
Ph.D. Graduate Student, Philosophy

Far too often we examine important questions in philosophy of religion in isolation from the lived experiences of ourselves and others.  In this course, students will explore issues in philosophy of religion including: religious experience, free will, social justice, the problem of evil, race, gender and disability.  In addition to engaging with classic and contemporary philosophical works, and relevant films and other works of art, students will also be required to regularly (weekly) attend either an off-campus worship service and/or regularly (weekly) participate in the work of an off-campus faith-based service organization.  The class will also regularly visit faith-based community organizations in South Bend and engage with community partners through roundtable discussions, and more informally over meals.  Students will be regularly asked to reflect on their own experiences, and the experiences of others in their communities and bring them to bear on course discussions; as well as to engage with individuals in their communities concerning issues discussed in class.  Students and community partners together will gain deeper insight into the topics we explore, and will develop conceptual skills to critically evaluate positions on these topics especially in light of their implications for the experiences of those in faith-based communities.

Theological Perspectives on Poverty and Health

Mark Fox, M.D., Ph.D., MPH
Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Theology and Associate Dean, IU School of Medicine, South Bend

This is an upper-level Theology course with substantive community engagement related to health-related social needs. This course combines the study of epidemiologic data related to disparities in health status, access, and outcomes, with the examination of theological texts from various traditions (the Social Gospel, Prosperity Gospel, and Catholic Social Teaching). Community engagement with an agency addressing health-related social needs (but NOT health care delivery) will be an integral part of the course, providing experiential basis for the study of the relationship between poverty and health, and how we as a community are compelled to respond.

Polymer Chemistry and Materials

Haifeng Gao
Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Ruilan Guo
Assistant Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

In this course development, Professors Gao and Guo plan to integrate their research on polymer synthesis and nanomaterials into public education to raise the public awareness of these new technologies on both opportunities and concerns. We propose to include an outreach program to actively engage the students from local high schools and community colleges to the topics of ethical and social impact of these advanced nanotechnologies. We and our graduate students will visit two high schools once a year to deliver lectures within the next five years. The lecture will start with a 20 min. presentation on the concept of nanotechnologies and their recent advances before we lead into an open discussion and encourage students to ask nanotechnology-related questions. Other topics will include the changes that nanotechnologies bring to our lives, the relation of nanomedicines with life expectancy, nanotechnology in global anti-terrorism, and whether nanotechnology will alter our evolutionary path and create us into “trans-human.” Notre Dame’s Center for Social Concerns agree to use established connections with the neighboring schools and clubs to identify interested partners and teachers.

Social Innovation

Charlice Hurst, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Management and Organization, Mendoza College of Business

Social innovation can take place within or across the nonprofit, public, and private sectors and is defined as “a novel solution to a social problem that is more effective, efficient, sustainable, or just than current solutions” (Stanford Graduate School of Business Center for Social Innovation). With its focus on justice, social innovation is a valuable tool for realizing the principles of Catholic Social Teaching. The purpose of the course is to ground students in the theory and practice of social innovation as it relates to economic insecurity. Students will conduct field projects with partners in the South Bend community, focusing on (1) processes within organizations that affect their capability to engage in social innovation and (2) building organizations’ capacity to leverage relationships with other entities, particularly businesses, to generate and implement innovative solutions to problems related to economic insecurity. We will be collaborating with Dr. Heidi Beidinger-Burnett at the Eck Institute of Global Health, along with the Institute's network of community partners, on addressing a recently-identified problem with elevated lead levels among children in South Bend. I will continue to identify other community partners as the design of the course progresses.

Theatre and Social Concerns: Devising Theatre and Film narratives with Refugees as co-Creators
Anthony (Anton) M. Juan, Jr., DFTT

Professor/Theatre and Film Director, Fellow, Nanovic Institute for European Studies and Kellogg Institute for International Studies

Theatre and Social Concerns: Students and Refugees Devise Refugees' Narratives as performed by the refugees in a theatrical and film and media production, raising their quests and questions. Addressing the issue of  globalized indifference" amidst crisis and the need for humane and involved migration regime, the course applies learned premises and processes of social engagement and performance ethnography to the praxis of the course. This creative research toward a production is geared toward transforming the view of refugees as the unheard "Other," and making them empowered voices and Creators of their stories and trajectories, speaking to the world.

Visualizing Global Change

Tamara Kay
Associate Professor of Global Affairs and Sociology

The goal of the course is to compare the processes by which social scientists and filmmakers/photographers engage in social documentation. Students explore how global social problems such as rural and urban poverty, race and gender inequalities, immigration, and violence are analyzed across the social sciences, and depicted in a variety of documentary film and photography genres. The course also explores the role that documentary photography and film play in promoting rights and advocating for social change, particularly in the realm of human rights and global inequality. It examines the history of documentary film and photography in relationship to politics, and to the development of concerns across the social sciences with inequality and social justice. It also looks at how individual documentarians, non-profit organizations and social movements use film and photography to further their goals and causes, and issues of representation their choices raise. The course is also unique because it requires students to engage in the process of visual documentation themselves by incorporating an activity-based learning component. For their final project, students choose a human rights or social problem that concerns or interests them (and which they can document locally — no travel is required), prepare a documentary “exhibit” on the chosen topic (10-12 photographs), and write a 12-15 page paper analyzing how 2-3 social scientists construct and frame the given problem. Students also have the option to produce a short documentary film.

Introduction to Translation and Interpreting, Theory and Practice

Elena Mangione-Lora
Associate Special Professional Faculty, Department of Romance Languages and LiteraturesThis course will be a CBL designated course at the 300 level for Spanish majors and non-majors who have completed at least the

Advanced Intermediate Spanish language course and preferably one additional Spanish language or literature course. Students will explore translation theory, ethics, preparations, procedures and techniques by means of Monica Baker’s In Other Words: A Coursebook on Translation. Together with an advanced language text to improve language skills, and selected readings to provide a strong preparation for meaningful interaction with their community partners, the course will provide real-world opportunities for application and feedback for the skills the students develop.There are two complementary areas of social concern that the ITITP course addresses: 1) the language barrier that limits those residents in our community who have not yet developed sufficient English language skills for everyday tasks, and 2) the difficulties that some English speaking residents of South Bend may have in understanding and interacting with Latinos as residents of the same community. The larger goal is a step towards acceptance and the eventual positive integration of parallel communities by promoting mutual understanding, appreciation, and collaboration.

VCD 8: Social Design: Initiatives, Challenges & Innovation

Neeta Verma
Robert P. Sedlack Jr. Associate Professor, Faculty of Visual Communication; Department of Art, Art History, & Design; College of Arts & Letters

The aim of the five-week proposed classroom is to expand the footprint of Social Design; a course offered in the Department of Art, Art History, & Design at The University of Notre Dame and to experience it within a global context. The course will be undertaken in collaboration with the National Institute of Design (NID) located in Ahmedabad, India. With emphasis on problem solving and innovation, the civic learning goal for the students would be to explore problems related to sustainability, diversity and accessibility, equity and equality through a cross cultural prism. The actual project will be defined in collaboration and consultation with the host institution. Working through collaboration with students from India, the aim of the course would be to understand social problems within a new paradigm and socio-economic parameter of a rapidly evolving country and its pluralistic culture and returning home with renewed and reenergized perspectives on those very same issues. The institution partner, the National Institute of Design, is a premier institution in design education that places special emphasis on social and economic design engagement at the local, national and global levels. Within the course there are two community engagement components:
- a five-week international collaborative learning component (between UND and NID students where students work in India conducting research, covering field-work, and commencing initial explorations of ideas for the first 3 weeks and then return to UND for another 2 weeks to complete the project);
- an 11-week component when students of UND continue with the course after the students from India have left, working in local communities and translating some of their experiences from the international component and applying it to their local experiences.