ReSEARCHING for Justice

May 8, 2023

This year, the center launched a new fellowship for graduate students from across campus whose scholarship intersected with questions of justice. The diverse group of 14 came from the College of Arts and Letters, College of Engineering, Keogh School of Global Affairs, the Law School, and College of Science. The goal of the fellowship was simply to create an interdisciplinary community and offer a space to engage and reflect on various questions of justice. 

At the end of April, the 14 students gave a set of reflections in front of an overflowing crowd in a celebratory forum, ReSEARCHING for Justice. The deeply thoughtful reflections were a mix of moving and humorous and focused on one of two questions: why research justice or how to research justice. Carlos Alejandro Noyola Contreras kicked the event off with a framing piece about the relationship between the pursuit of justice and the pursuit of truth which is at the heart of Notre Dame’s mission. Sara Chan in Philosophy led off the section sharing insight into her work on epistemic injustice and cognitive disabilities. Some other reflections included, among others, Tracey Porter, a second year biology graduate student, talking about her commitment to diversifying the biological sciences and being a role model for future generations of scientists. Laura Lopez-Perez shared how an encounter in Mexico with families of the disappeared led her to pursue a Ph.D. in political science. Geneva Hutchinson in Art, Art History, and Design described how she used photography and mixed media arts to further understand purity culture in the United States. And Spencer French in English shared a poem he wrote in the aftermath of the protests around the murder of George Floyd. The range of motivations and approaches was insightful and inspiring. Law student Erika Patterson moderated the event. 

The application for our second cohort of fellows is open now.