Addressing Global Questions with International Leaders

Throughout the academic year, University of Notre Dame students are invited to participate in a program of NDIAS seminars and workshops, led by international scholars and public intellectuals. These seminars and workshops are designed to engage undergraduate and graduate students on global issues of modern relevance that complement or extend their classroom experiences. Drawing on a range of skills and academic training, students in these seminars are asked to probe significant questions in meaningful ways, integrating their knowledge of multiple subjects per the Catholic intellectual tradition.

Selection of Past Seminars & Workshops

"German Politics and Culture" with Dr. Horst Koehler, former German President

Dr. Horst Koehler served as President of the Federal German Republic and previously served as Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Undergraduates studying German language and culture enjoyed the exceptional experience of discussing German politics and culture over lunch with the former German president and doing so only in the German language. Click here to read student reactions.

"Rare Diseases: A Challenge for our Societies" with Mrs. Eva Luise Koehler, Patroness of the German Alliance for Rare Diseases (ACHSE)

Meeting with students from a number of disciplines in the sciences and liberal arts, Mrs. Koehler discussed the University of Notre Dame Center for the Study of Rare and Neglected Diseases' rare disease database project, how students in computer science, natural science, and liberal arts majors could be aided in their research by Mrs. Koehler's work with people and organizations who are building communities and networks to overcome isolation inherent to rare diseases, how to incentivize innovation through social marketing in neglected diseases, and how the Center's faculty and students might benefit from President Koehler's experiences and contacts with Africa. Click here to read one student's reaction.

"The JFS Case – Public Education, Discrimination, and Freedom of Religion," led by Dr. Joseph Weiler, Professor of Law, New York University

Dr. Weiler was one of several attorneys who argued before the European Court of Human Rights and contributed to the March 2011 decision in Lautsi v. Italy, which held that Italian law providing for the display of the crucifix in public schools does not violate the European Convention on Human Rights. This seminar focused on a major judgment of the House of Lords in 2009 and the questions surrounding religious rights and freedom of religion as well as the role of government in protecting these freedoms. Click here to read student reactions.