Graduate Students

The Nanovic Institute supports, mentors, accompanies and fosters the professional development of graduate students whose research focuses on topics within European studies.

The Institute provides funding for research and writing, and opportunities to present and discuss work-in-progress. Importantly, Nanovic also provides graduate students with a community in which they can collaborate and support each other's scholarship, and help shape the Institute's intellectual life.

The Institute currently awards dissertation fellowships to support graduate students writing on topics within European studies. The Paul G. Tobin Dissertation Fellowship and the Dominica and Frank Annese Fellowship in Graduate Studies fund graduate students over the course of an academic year as they conduct research and write their dissertations. These awards allow students to devote full attention to their project for an entire academic year.

Nanovic has also developed a new program to bring graduate students in European studies more closely into its life and operation. A complementary cohort to the advanced graduate students who have won dissertation completion fellowships, these graduate fellows are already closely involved in several exciting new initiatives, including the "Europe in the World" project.

  • Sedva Arslan Graduate Fellow Spring 2019 Web

    Sevda Arslan

    Graduate Fellow, 2019-20

    Sevda Arslan

    Graduate Fellow, 2019-20

    Sevda is a Ph.D. candidate in anthropology and is a linguistic and sociocultural anthropologist specializing in mobility and ethnic minority studies. Her dissertation research aims to understand the underlying complexities and variations in self-identification processes of minority migrant groups. By taking a multi-sited approach with the focus on the Zazaki speakers in Germany and Turkey, Sevda examines the daily experiences and the role of language and religious practices in identity formation and negotiation by utilizing ethnographic methods. Sevda holds an M.A. degree in Political Science from Western Michigan University where she also completed a year of graduate course work in the Anthropology Department. In 2013, Sevda received her B.A. degree in European Studies from Maastricht University, in the Netherlands. 

     

  • Alex Athenson Spring19 Headshot 600x

    Alex Athenson

    Graduate Fellow, Spring 2019

    Alex Athenson

    Graduate Fellow, Spring 2019

    Alex is a master's student in architecture. He is particularly interested in researching architecture as a permanent embodiment of political and economic power, especially in areas of diverse cultural amalgamation. He has spent the greater part of the past two years studying the history of Georgian architecture and urban forms both in North America and Great Britain. He holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Chicago, where he graduated in 2016.

  • Mette Bjerre

    Mette Evelyn Bjerre

    Dissertation Fellow, 2020-21

    Mette Evelyn Bjerre

    Dissertation Fellow, 2020-21

    mbjerre@nd.edu

    Mette Evelyn (Eve) Bjerre is a Ph.D. Candidate in Sociology at the University of Notre Dame. Eve’s research focuses on racialisation processes and multiracial identities in Denmark. Historically, Nordic Europe has been overwhelmingly white but undergone significant demographic changes due to immigration from the European Union (EU), non-European countries, and increasing intermarriage rates during the last four decades. In response to increasing diversity, Denmark now has the most punitive immigration laws in the EU and a decidedly anti-immigration socio-political climate and public discourse. Despite the increase in racial diversity, race is notably absent from the public discourse. In place of a racial vocabulary, politicians and scholars substitute talking about race with ‘colour-blind’ and ‘race- neutral’ language, which result in a public discourse where the corporeality or race goes unrecognised. Taking these factors into account, Eve investigates how an increasing population of Ethnic-Danes with one immigrant parent come to embody a racial identity by way of navigating their mixed identity in a socio-political context where race is not a recognised social category.

    Eve was awarded the Frank and Dominica Annese Dissertation Fellowship for the 2020-21 academic year.

  • Shinjini Chattopadhyay Headshot Web

    Shinjini Chattopadhyay

    Graduate Fellow, 2019-20

    Shinjini Chattopadhyay

    Graduate Fellow, 2019-20

    A Ph.D. student in the department of English, Shinjini Chattopadhyay intends to explore how the urban texture is constructed in the works of James Joyce. She wishes to conduct a genetic study of the avant-textes of Joyce to understand how Joyce in his texts incorporates multiple urban fabrics within the overarching presence of the Hibernian metropolis.

  • Alex Chun Web

    Dong Hwan (Alex) Chun

    Graduate Fellow, 2021-22

    Dong Hwan (Alex) Chun

    Graduate Fellow, 2021-22

    Dong Hwan (Alex) Chun is a Ph.D. candidate in English examining the various ways in which early modern writers attempted to converse with the ancients. In particular, he looks at how literary productions of Renaissance humanists were influenced and shaped by their discourse with classical authors as well as by contemporary cultural interactions. He explores how they collaborated with classical authors to produce dynamic systems of meanings that spoke to early modern worldviews and socio-political conditions.

  • Francisco J. Cintrón Mattei

    Francisco Cintrón Mattei

    Graduate Fellow, 2021-22

    Francisco Cintrón Mattei

    Graduate Fellow, 2021-22

    Francisco J. Cintrón Mattei is a Ph.D. student in Medieval studies. His research centers on the legal status of religious minorities in the medieval Iberian Peninsula and the social dynamics that emerge from the convergence of pluralistic legal systems in medieval societies. He is interested in the social history of Christians living under Muslim rule in the medieval Mediterranean, as well as the development of canon law and Classical Islamic law concerning Muslim-Christian relations.  

  • Jake Coen Web 600x

    Jacob Coen

    Dissertation Fellow, 2020-21

    Jacob Coen

    Dissertation Fellow, 2020-21

    jcoen@nd.edu

    Jacob (Jake) Coen studies violence and political rhetoric. His dissertation research focuses primarily on the concept of tyranny in ninth- and tenth-century France and Germany, though he is also interested in working with vernacular literary and legal traditions across Europe. He is currently co-piloting his first course as instructor of record, which explores the relationship between medievalism, transmedia storytelling, and the film industry through the lens of the Harry Potter movie series. Originally from the East Coast, Jake did his undergraduate studies in history and French at Providence College and is passionate about teaching, cooking, exploring new languages and places, and spending time outdoors. Above all, Jake hopes that his time as a Nanovic Graduate Fellow will inspire more fruitful dialogue between students of various disciplinary backgrounds in the name of better understanding contemporary problems in European life.

    Coen was awarded Paul G. Tobin Dissertation Fellowship for the 2020-21 academic year.  He also served as a Nanovic Graduate Fellow during the 2019-20 academic year.

  • Sarah Crane, graduate fellow

    Sarah Crane

    Graduate Fellow, 2020-21

    Sarah Crane

    Graduate Fellow, 2020-21

    scrane1@nd.edu

    Sarah Crane is a Ph.D. student in the Department of History and the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. Her work focuses on legal responses to the Holocaust, examining how two trials, the Frankfurt-Auschwitz Trial in Frankfurt and the trial of Adolf Eichmann in Israel, challenge conventional understandings of the relationship between law, democracy, and the Nazi legacy in the decades following the end of WWII. 

  • Dean Headshot 2019

    Julian Dean

    Graduate Fellow, 2020-22

    Julian Dean

    Graduate Fellow, 2020-22

    jdean6@nd.edu

    Julian is a doctoral candidate in the English department where he is writing his dissertation on postcolonial tragedy. Julian's research looks at how theatre movements that sprouted up at the moment of decolonization in various geographical locations all utilized tragedy as a form to express resistance to colonization and yet reservation towards nationalism.

  • Roberto De La Noval Dissertation Web

    Roberto De La Noval

    Dissertation Fellow, 2019-20

    Roberto De La Noval

    Dissertation Fellow, 2019-20

    Roberto De La Noval, Ph.D. candidate in the history of Christianity in the department of theology, received a 2019-20 Paul G. Tobin Nanovic Dissertation Completion Fellowship. His research concentrates on Eastern Christianity, from Origen of Alexandria’s biblical exegesis to medieval Byzantine theologies of religious images to 19th and 20th exiled Russian religious thinkers. He brings critical theory to bear on the study of ancient religious texts in the service of fresh and transformative readings; in turn, he uses the resources of the tradition in order to stake interventions in contemporary debates. A native speaker of Spanish who works with Russian texts, his forthcoming book is a translation of writings by the early 20th c. Marxist-turned-Orthodox priest Sergius Bulgakov, a political dissident who was exiled from his homeland.  His popular writing has also appeared in a number of outlets for Catholic intellectual journalism, such as Commonweal, America Magazine, and Church Life Journal.

     

  • Timothy Derr 600x

    Timothy Derr

    Graduate Fellow, 2021-22

    Timothy Derr

    Graduate Fellow, 2021-22

    Tim Derr is a Master of Global Affairs and MBA candidate pursuing a Graduate Minor in Peace Studies. As a global development professional, Tim has worked as an NGO project manager, private and social enterprise consultant, and graduate researcher in North Macedonia, Germany, Armenia, India, and the United States. His research focuses on economic empowerment, sustainable development, sustainability politics/policy, and corporate ESG strategy. Through this research, Tim aims to contribute to a just transition to a more inclusive, equitable, and restorative economy that creates shared value for society.

  • Ala Fink Dissertation Fellow Web

    Ala Fink

    Dissertation Fellow, 2019-20

    Ala Fink

    Dissertation Fellow, 2019-20

    Ala Fink, a Ph.D. candidate in English, received a 2019-20 Dominica and Frank Annese Dissertation Fellowship. Ala was able to complete and successfully defend the dissertation “Re-forming Righteousness: Milton’s Hebraic Poetics.” The dissertation argued that Milton’s theology and exegesis of righteousness was informed by Hebrew and Jewish exegesis, and that an ethics of righteousness shapes the poetics of Milton’s major poems. A second, long-term project involves the comparison of conceptualizations of literal interpretation in Reformation exegesis through an analysis of early modern discourse on literalism and the exegesis that attends it. She has presented papers at the Northeast MLA, the Newberry Library, and the RSA. She has served as an assistant editor for Milton Studies.

  • Imre Gabor Holtzer Mc7 7412 600x

    Imre Gabor Holtzer

    Graduate Fellow, 2021-22

    Imre Gabor Holtzer

    Graduate Fellow, 2021-22

    Imre Gábor Holtzer is a lawyer who is passionate about social issues which affect the East-Central European region. As a volunteer with the BAGázs Nonprofit Association, he provided legal assistance to members of the Roma community living in Hungarian slums. He also has volunteered with the SeriousFun Children’s Network, supporting the organization’s aim to provide life-changing experiences to cancer-afflicted and chronically ill children and their families. He has studied in Hungary, Germany, Italy, and in the United States, and he speaks Hungarian, English and German. Imre's research interest includes the drivers and possible solutions for corruption and low fertility rates in the ECE region.

  • Gaspar Anthony 600x

    Anthony Gaspar

    Dissertation Fellow, 2021-22

    Anthony Gaspar

    Dissertation Fellow, 2021-22

    agaspar@nd.edu

    Anthony Gaspar, a Ph.D. candidate in the department of history studying Byzantine/Mediterranean history, received a 2021-22 Dominica and Frank Annese Dissertation Fellowship.

  • Moritz Graefrath Headshot Web

    Moritz S. Graefrath

    Graduate Fellow, 2019-21

    Moritz S. Graefrath

    Graduate Fellow, 2019-21

    mgraefra@nd.edu

    Moritz S. Graefrath is a Ph.D. student in political science. Broadly speaking, his research interests include international relations theory, diplomatic history, and foreign policy analysis with a particular focus on Europe since 1919. His dissertation seeks to illuminate the role of power vacuums in international politics by answering a series of foundational questions: what are power vacuums? Why do states compete for control over some but not others? And what accounts for variation in the types of strategies they employ? 

  • Sehrazat G Mart

    Sehrazat Gulsum

    Graduate Fellow, 2020-21

    Sehrazat Gulsum

    Graduate Fellow, 2020-21

    smart@nd.edu

    Sehrazat Gulsum is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Sociology and Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. Her primary research interest lies in the socio-political forces and conditions that facilitate or obstruct participatory and deliberative urban governance and the role of urban movements in shaping the city.

  • Alec Hahus 2021 600x

    Alec Hahus

    Graduate Fellow, 2020-22

    Alec Hahus

    Graduate Fellow, 2020-22

    shahus@nd.edu

    Alec Hahus is a Ph.D. student in Political Science specializing in international relations and comparative politics. His dissertation focuses on how security competition among great powers affects financial flows in the global economy. He also conducts research on religion and politics, nationalism, political backlash to globalization, and security studies. Before coming to Notre Dame, Alec received an M.A. in International Relations from the University of Chicago and a B.A. in International Studies and History from Centre College.

  • Spencer Hunt

    Spencer T.B. Hunt

    Dissertation Fellow, 2021-22

    Spencer T.B. Hunt

    Dissertation Fellow, 2021-22

    shunt2@nd.edu

    Spencer T. B. Hunt is a Ph.D. candidate in Medieval Studies with Notre Dame's Medieval Institute. Spencer’s research interests include interreligious relations throughout the medieval Mediterranean with special focus on Christian-Muslim interactions in Medieval Spain.  Spencer served as a Nanovic Graduate Fellow during the 2020-21 academic year.  He received a Dominica and Frank Annese Dissertation Fellowship for 2021-22.

  • Jelena Jankovic Rankovic Headshot Web

    Jelena Jankovic Rankovic

    Graduate Fellow, Spring 2019

    Jelena Jankovic Rankovic

    Graduate Fellow, Spring 2019

    Jelena Jankovic-Rankovic, a Ph.D. student in anthropology, is a biocultural anthropologist specializing in migration and refugee studies. Her dissertation research work focuses on understanding the social processes and meanings underlying routinized social practices (RSPs) and their biological impacts, especially within encampment settings. By taking a within-site comparative approach to refugee populations living in Serbia, Jelena combines ethnographic analysis with physiological biomarkers to examine the impact of everyday lived experiences on social systems, values, identities, and health. Jelena holds an M. A. degree in International Peace Studies from University of Notre Dame and an M.A. degree in Strategies and Methods of Non-violent Social Change from University of Belgrade. She received her B. A. from University of Belgrade, majoring in Special Education and Rehabilitation.

  • Paul Mceldowney Dissertation Fellow Web

    Paul McEldowney

    Dissertation Fellow, 2019-20

    Paul McEldowney

    Dissertation Fellow, 2019-20

    A Ph.D. candidate in the department of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, Paul's research focuses on logic, the philosophy of logic, and the philosophy of mathematics. In his dissertation, Paul develops and defends a distinctively new model-theoretic approach to logicism inspired by recent work in model theory. He also has serious research interests in the history of 19th- and 20th-century philosophy (Kant, German Idealism, Early Analytic, Pragmatism, Phenomenology). Outside of philosophy, Paul is passionate about prison education and translating Vietnamese poetry. He received a 2019-20 Dominica and Frank Annese Dissertation Fellowship.

     

  • 600x Mora Hernandez Valeria

    Valeria Mora-Hernández

    Graduate Fellow, 2020-21

    Valeria Mora-Hernández

    Graduate Fellow, 2020-21

    vmoraher@nd.edu

    Valeria Mora-Hernández received her Ph.D. in Spanish May 2021. Her doctoral dissertation focused on the connections between violence and the process of constructing self-identity in texts by authors such as Cervantes, Zayas and Quevedo. Her research is a response, an attempt to understand violence in contemporary Spain by looking at its past through the representations of violence and identity in Early Modern Spanish Literature.

  • Eileen Morgan Web 2019 600x

    Eileen Morgan

    Graduate Fellow, 2021-22

    Eileen Morgan

    Graduate Fellow, 2021-22

    emwmorgan@nd.edu

    Eileen Morgan is a Ph.D. student in the Medieval Institute at the University of Notre Dame. Eileen studies the intersection of the liberal and mechanical arts with a special focus on the history of science, medicine, and technology from c. 1100-1550. Her research involves both the Arabic and Latin traditions. Other interests include the concept of technique, medievalism, and the digital humanities.

  • Clare Ohare Headshot Web

    Clare O'Hare

    Graduate Fellow, 2019-21

    Clare O'Hare

    Graduate Fellow, 2019-21

    cohare@nd.edu

    Clare O’Hare works at the intersection of comparative politics and international political economy. She is especially interested legal pluralism. Current projects examine the role of corporate lawyers and multinational corporations in the diffusion of English common law institutional structures to civil law jurisdictions in Europe.

  • Andrea Vasquez Web 600x

    Andrea C. Peña-Vasquez

    Dissertation Fellow, 2020-21

    Andrea C. Peña-Vasquez

    Dissertation Fellow, 2020-21

    apenavas@nd.edu

    Andrea Peña-Vasquez is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Political Science, with a focus on comparative politics, and a Dominica and Frank Annese Dissertation Fellow at the Nanovic Institute for European Studies. She is also affiliated with the Kellogg Institute for International Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Her research interests include transnational migration from Sub-Saharan Africa to Western Europe and the experiences of immigrants with the bureaucratic state. In her dissertation research, she studies how housing policy and the municipal registry system affect the political integration of African immigrants across Spain. Andrea is also a Notre Dame Presidential Fellow and her research has been funded by the J. William Fulbright Foundation, the Kellogg Institute for International Studies, and the John J. Reilly Center. Her work has been published in Surveyjournalen and Politics, Groups, and Identities (PGI).

    She successfully defended her dissertation, "Between the Patrón and the Padrón: The Local Dimensions of Legal Status in Spain" on November 22, 2021.

  • Roberts Sammy Headshot 600x

    Samuel Roberts

    Graduate Fellow, 2021-22

    Samuel Roberts

    Graduate Fellow, 2021-22

    Sam Roberts is originally from Louisville, Kentucky and after receiving his B.A. in History from Hillsdale College in 2019 he joined the Notre Dame History Ph.D. program in 2020. Sam is interested in the intellectual culture of early modern Europe and intends to study the ways in which Florentine Platonism influenced mid-sixteenth-century scholarship, ranging from early histories of philosophy to studies in natural magic and alchemy. Sam hopes to examine how intellectuals and missionaries of this period used narratives of "ancient theology" and "barbarian wisdom" to orient their understanding of indigenous cultures in the Americas and East Asia.

  • Carli Steelman 2016 1 600x

    Carli Steelman

    Dissertation Fellow, 2021-22

    Carli Steelman

    Dissertation Fellow, 2021-22

    csteelma@nd.edu

    Carli Steelman is a Ph.D. Candidate in Sociology and Peace Studies. Her dissertation will focus on collective memory of violence. She primarily works in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Northern Ireland. Additional projects use Geographic Information Systems to analyze religious and civi participation at the University of Notre Dame.

    Carli Steelman was awarded a Paul G. Tobin Dissertation Fellowship for the 2021-22 academic year.

  • Vincent Strand Sj

    Vincent L. Strand, SJ

    Graduate Fellow, 2020-21

    Vincent L. Strand, SJ

    Graduate Fellow, 2020-21

    vstrand@nd.edu

    Vincent L. Strand, SJ, is a Ph.D. student in systematic theology. He specializes in the theology of grace, particularly in nineteenth- and twentieth-century theology. His current research focuses on the German Catholic theologian Matthias Joseph Scheeben (1835–1888) and on the intersection of the theology of grace and church-state relations.  

  • Anna Vincenzi Headshot Web

    Anna Vincenzi

    Graduate Fellow, 2019-20

    Anna Vincenzi

    Graduate Fellow, 2019-20

    Anna Vincenzi graduated in May 2020 with a Ph.D. in history. With numerous populist movements gaining popularity across Europe and challenging the EU’s existence, Anna's research looks at a time when Europe was at a similar crossroad, the "Age of Revolution" (1765-1848). How could the inequalities of the Old Regime be solved? How could sovereignty be put in the people? How to pursue social and political change? These were crucial questions for peoples across Europe in the eighteenth century and remain crucial questions for European democracies today.