Notre Dame hosts regional graduate conference on “The Common Good”

by Kara Fromke and Mike Westrate

Graduate students from the University of Notre Dame will host a regional conference this month for their colleagues in the humanities and social sciences, welcoming participants from eight Midwestern universities as well as two East Coast institutions.

The conference, titledFrom Res Publica to the Republic of Letters: The Common Good in Transition and Translation,will be held Thursday to Saturday (Oct. 9 to 11) at Notre Dames Hesburgh Center for International Studies.

The event is sponsored jointly by Notre Dames Nanovic Institute for European Studies, Graduate School and Kellogg Institute for International Studies.

The purpose of the conference is for graduate students to gain experience by presenting research to their peers while participating in ongoing debateshistorical, philosophical, religious and politicalabout the common good.

Notre Dame students, faculty and the general public are invited to attend all sessions and presentations, including the opening address by David Nirenberg, professor of history and social thought at the University of Chicago, as well as two special guest lectures featuring Constance Furey, professor of religious studies and history at Indiana University, and Jonathan Daly, professor of history at the University of Illinois-Chicago.

The conference schedule is:

*Thursday (Oct. 9)

  • 6 -6:45 p.m.Opening Address: David Nirenberg
    “The Place of Judaism and Islam in Benedict
    XVI’s Dialectic of Faith and Reason

*Friday (Oct. 10)

  • 9-10:30 a.m.Panel:Contemplating the Common Good
    11-2:30 p.m.Panel:God, Us and Others
    1:45-2:30 p.m. Guest Speaker:Constance Furey
    Excluding All Others: Religious Affinities and the
    Common Good
    2:45-4:15 p.m.Panel:Gendering the Common Good in Early
    Modern EnglishLiterature
    2:45-4:15 p.m.Concurrent panel:Envisioning an American
    Common Good

*Saturday (Oct. 11)

  • 9-10:30 a.m.Panel:National Goods and Common Goods
    11-12:30 p.m.Panel:For Your Own (Common) Good
    1:45-2:30 p.m.Guest Speaker:Jonathan DalyHijacking the
    Idea of the Common Good
    2:45-4:15 p.m.Panel:Reading the Common Good

More information is available on the Web at

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