Student and alumni success stories, faculty videos, grad student Q&A + more
Student and alumni success stories, faculty videos, grad student Q&A + more

How an English major combined her academic interests through a love for German and theatre

In the past three years alone, Notre Dame student Mary Elsa Henrichs’ passions for English literature, theatre, and German have converged in many memorable ways. In her acting and directing on campus, from FTT productions to the Not-So-Royal Shakespeare Company, she's relied heavily on her English major. “Especially when it comes to directing Shakespeare, we always go back to the text. The most fascinating part of it for me is how you use poetry to convey action,” she said. “And the skills I’ve learned in English — to analyze texts to find evidence and to think critically — are really helpful for making certain choices on stage.”
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Quesada and Robles strengthen department’s expertise in global and multicultural literature

The Department of English’s expertise in global and multicultural literature is broadening with two faculty members, both of whom have close ties to Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies. Sarah Quesada, who received her Ph.D. at Stanford University, came to Notre Dame in 2017 after a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Illinois. Her research and teaching interests include 20th- and 21st-century Latinx and Latin American literatures, Francophone West African literature, decolonial and spatial theory, and heritage tourism of the African diaspora. Francisco Robles received his Ph.D. at Princeton University and was a visiting assistant professor at Connecticut College before coming to Notre Dame last year. He focuses on multiethnic American literature of the 20th century, particularly African American, Chicanx, Southwestern, postcolonial, and LGBTQ literature.
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English alumna Evelyn Diaz uses liberal arts education to lead the charge against poverty

Evelyn Diaz’s career has taken her to the top of Chicago’s governmental, social service, and nonprofit sectors. And at every stop along the way, Diaz ’92 has relied on skills she cultivated as an English major at Notre Dame. She’s served as deputy chief of staff to former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, ran Chicago’s Department of Family and Support Services, and is now CEO of Heartland Alliance, which provides housing, health care, jobs, and justice services to vulnerable populations.
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Laura Dassow Walls wins Phi Beta Kappa Book Award and Los Angeles Times Book Prize

Laura Dassow Walls, the William P. and Hazel B. White Professor of English, won the 2018 Christian Gauss Award from Phi Beta Kappa and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for biography for her latest work, Henry David Thoreau: A Life. The first edition of the book  — the first comprehensive biography of Thoreau since 1965 — sold out even before its official publication date, and was praised in reviews by The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal, among others.
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Q&A with Arnaud Zimmern, English Ph.D. candidate

Arnaud Zimmern, a Ph.D. candidate in English who is also pursuing a graduate minor in the history and philosophy of science, discusses why he chose to apply only to Notre Dame, the value of the digital humanities, and conducting research that matters.
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5 faculty members discuss their research passions

In this series of videos, English professors highlight what they've been studying and why Notre Dame is a great place to pursue their research. Watch (clockwise, from upper left) Kate Marshall discuss the poetics of the outside in contemporary novels, Ernest Morrell highlight why equitable literacy is essential, Matthew Wilkens outline how big data can help literary studies, Mark A. Sanders review print culture in the Americas among the African diaspora, and Michelle Karnes explain marvels in medieval literature and philosophy.

Sounds like home: Alumna reflects on music and songwriting abroad in Dublin

Julia Steiner ’14 writes songs and plays them in a Chicago-based rock band called Ratboys. She grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, before attending Notre Dame, where she graduated with a degree in English. Steiner studied abroad in Dublin and attended Trinity College, then returned in summer 2014 to intern in the sports department at RTÉ, Ireland’s national broadcaster. Here, Steiner reflects on her time in Dublin and the influence it had on her music.
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