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Tuesday, May 21, 2024
The Observer

Notre Dame Research awards grants to local, international projects

There were 24 awards for the Fall 2022 Notre Dame Research Internal grant cycle announced in three categories: The Faculty Research Support Program (FRSP) Regular Grant, The Faculty Research Support Program (FRSP) Initiation Grant and the Flip the Script grant. Those receiving awards not only spanned every college at Notre Dame, but also ND Learning, the Office of the Provost, Notre Dame International and Notre Dame Research.

Some grants awarded are being used to bring new projects straight to Notre Dame’s campus. Assistant professor of violin Patrick Yim’s project, “Chen Yi and Zhou Long at Notre Dame” will do just that. Long and Yi will leave University of Missouri-Kansas City to come to Notre Dame’s campus for the spring 2024 semester, and while here, “they will work with our students, put on a program of their music, and Zhou Long will write a brand new piece, never heard before,” according to Yim.

Not only this, but “Grammy award winning recording engineers” will come to campus along with an “all star cast” of musicians to record three previously written pieces of music of Yi and Long’s, as well as Long’s new piece that will be composed specifically for this project, Yim said.

One of Yim’s motivations for this project is to “diversify the repertoire” of classical music as “the defining feature of their music is combining Western culture and Chinese tradition,” and in doing so, prevent “the concert hall from just being a museum.”

Other projects that the grants are funding will take place a little further from South Bend. 

In the Roman Catholic Cardinals’ Pre-Conclave speech, the assembled cardinars talked about the church needing to go to the margins and the “peripheries”, leaving their comfort zones in order to reach those that are excluded in one way or another. This inspired Professor Clemens Sedmak, director of the Nanovic Institute for European Studies and social ethics professor in the Keough School, to create the pilot program of his project “The Contribution of ‘Peripheries Research’ to European Studies.”

In conjunction with the Catholic University in Ruzomberok (Slovakia), a research team will soon embark on a year-long stay in a remote Slovakian village in order to assess the “sense of hope, sense of belonging, and sense of identity” of its inhabitants, Sedmak said. This is intended to be the first of many case studies that will research not only those that are not in a powerful location and geographically peripheral, but those who are on the peripheries of society as well. A symposium in October will highlight the findings of the research in Ruzomberok, as well as determine where the project might go next. 

Inspiration for these projects come from a variety of places. For professor of American Studies, Sophie White, the idea for her project “His Master’s Grace: Extrajudicial Violence, Punishment, and Mercy, A Digital Humanities Comparative Study of Britain and France’s Slave Societies’” arose while she was writing her book “Voices of the Enslaved: Love, Labor, and Longing in French Louisiana.” This book examined how the courts treated enslaved people, but as she delved deeper into the judicial source material, she “realized there was a lot of information about extrajudicial violence” and found that “the word that comes up over and over again is asking for a masters ‘grace,’” she said.

"One of the things I found is that alongside the endemic violence there were also mechanisms for negotiating pardon … you would go before your slave owner and there would usually be some sort of protocol and performance of contrition or penitence,” White explained. She delving into this aspect of everyday life for those enslaved and researching “another way of thinking about the burdens of being enslaved.”

White hopes to provide information not just to scholars and academics about this period, but the general public. By publishing a digital humanities website, users can navigate the original sources as well as helpful hyperlinks while reading White’s work in order to make exploring this content more accessible and to discourage any “cynicism that some quarters have about this material.” 

The full list of grants can be found on Notre Dame Research’s website