Engaging Distinguished Visitors

The NDIAS has attracted some of the world’s most distinguished scholars to visit the University of Notre Dame as guests of the Institute. The Institute maximizes the impact of these visits for the Notre Dame student body, by coordinating a full slate of seminars, workshops and classroom visits, drawing in as much of the Notre Dame community as time allows.

These sessions use classroom discourse as a platform for thinking about larger questions of value, the nexus of theory and application, and how research and innovative thought can truly make a real and profound impact on not just the academy, but contemporary society at large. In sessions such as these students are encouraged to think and question in new ways and, hopefully, discover meaning in both these newly found ideas and the pursuit for knowledge and the unity of truth.

Selection of Past Seminars & Workshops

"Modern Medicine in the Ancient World," with Dr. Heinrich von Staden, Professor Emeritus of Classics and History of Science, Princeton Institute for Advanced Study School of Historical Studies

In this seminar, Professor von Staden met with a special group of students to discuss the practice of medicine in the ancient world, the ethical issues that plagued ancient physicians and their patients, as well as the challenge of translating these ancient scientific documents from Latin to English. Dr. Heinrich von Staden has written on a variety of topics in ancient science, medicine, philosophy, and literary theory, from the fifth century BC to the fifth century AD. Drawing on a wide range of scientific, philosophical, and religious sources, he has contributed to the transformation of the history of ancient science and medicine, particularly of the Hellenistic period. Dr. von Staden also lectured on these topics to a larger group, including students and others from the Notre Dame community.

"Religion and Metaphysics in Poetry," by Dr. Ludwig Steinherr, German Poet, Editor and Co-Founder of Das Gedicht with Anton G. Leitner, and former Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Eichstätt

Dr. Ludwig Steinherr led a workshop on poems from his twelfth book, Before the Invention of Paradise, with Dr. Susannah Monta's Graduate Student Seminar on Religion and Literature. In addition to discussing the religious content, imagery and other devices of many of the poems, Dr. Steinherr led an open discussion on the nature and impact of translating poetry (with his poems translated from German into English by Richard Dove), as well as how his views of metaphysics influence his writing.
Click here to read student reactions.

"The Discovery of Göbekli Tepe and the Origins of Religion and Ritual in the Near East," by Dr. Klaus Schmidt, Professor of Archaeology and Discoverer of the Temples at Göbekli Tepe

Dr. Klaus Schmidt visited with students from the Archaeology classes of Professors David Hernandez and Donna Glowacki to discuss the discovery of Göbekli Tepe, which predates Stonehenge by 6,000 years and is considered by many to be the site of the world's first Temples. Dr. Klaus Schmidt is the German archaeologist directing the Göbekli Tepe excavation in southeastern Turkey. Göbekli Tepe is regarded as an archaeological discovery of the greatest importance since it profoundly changes our understanding of a crucial stage in the development of human societies. It seems that the erection of monumental complexes was within the capacities of hunter-gatherers and not only of sedentary farming communities as had been previously assumed. In other words, as excavator Klaus Schmidt puts it: "First came the temple, then the city." Click here for more information about the Göbekli Tepe excavation.