Philip Byers
Research Fellow
405 Geddes Hall

Philip Byers is a doctoral candidate whose research and teaching interests include U.S. religion, political culture, and civil society in the 20th century. His dissertation is titled “How Firm the Foundation: The Lilly Endowment and American Religion, 1950–1989.” He has published work in Religions and the forthcoming Indiana University Press volume, Hoosier Philanthropy

Byers holds both a bachelor’s degree in history and a master’s degree in higher education from Taylor University. He also completed doctoral coursework at Washington University in St. Louis, where he was a graduate affiliate of the John C. Danforth Center on Religion and Politics. His work has received funding from sources including the Hagley Museum and Library, the Economic History Society (UK), the Business History Conference, and Notre Dame's Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts. In Fall 2019, he will be teaching “Religion and Politics in Modern America” for the history department.

Peter Cajka
Visiting Assistant Teaching Professor, Department of American Studies
401 Geddes Hall

Peter Cajka is a visiting assistant teaching professor in the Department of American Studies at the University of Notre Dame. He is also a faculty affiliate at the Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism. His research and teaching explore 20th century protest movements, both national and global, religious and secular. Cajka earned a Ph.D. in American religious history from Boston College in 2017. His book, tentatively titled, Follow Your Conscience: The American Catholic Church, War, Sex, and the Spirit of the Sixties, is currently under contract with the University of Chicago Press. The book explores how American Catholics invoked conscience rights in the Church and in disputes with the modern state. It shows that a profound attention to individual conscience is at the center of the modern American Catholic imagination. Cajka’s current research project investigates the role played by psychologists in forming 20th-century concepts of American Catholic sexuality.

Cajka’s research has been supported by a Louisville Institute Dissertation Fellowship, as well as grants from the Catholic University of America, the American Catholic Historical Association, and the Clough Center for the Study of Constitutional Democracy at Boston College. His work has appeared in American Catholic Studies, U.S. Catholic Historian and Ohio History. He writes for numerous scholarly blogs, including Religion in American History, Teaching United States History, Righting America, and Syndicate. He teaches numerous classes at Notre Dame, including “The Vietnam War and American Catholics,” “The Ideas That Made America,” “Witnessing the Sixties,” and “Civil Rights in America.”

Luca Codignola
Senior Fellow
Rome Global Gateway (Rome, Italy)

Luca Codignola joined the Cushwa Center in 2016. A historian of the early modern era, Codignola is former professor of Early North American History at Università di Genova (Italy), where he served on the faculty for 25 years. His career also includes four years as head of the Institute of History of Mediterranean Europe of Italy's National Research Council and recent affiliations with University of Toronto, Université Laval, and Saint Mary's University (Halifax).

The author of 10 books and editor of more than a dozen volumes, Codignola’s recent publications include Little Do We Know: History and Historians of the North Atlantic, 1492-2010 (2011); and the six-volume Calendar of Documents Relating to North America (Canada and the United States) in the Archives of the Sacred Congregation "de Propaganda Fide" in Rome 1622-1846 (2012).

Rose Luminiello
Research Associate
Research Institute of Irish and Scottish Studies, University of Aberdeen
Cushwa Center, University of Notre Dame

The Cushwa Center for the Study of American Catholicism is cosponsoring a postdoctoral research fellowship​ during the 2019–2020 academic year​​​ at the University of Aberdeen’s Research Institute for Irish and Scottish Studies​ ​(RIISS). Rose Luminiello will conduct research in Scotland, Italy, and Ireland for the project, “Irish Religious Women in the Anglophone World, 1840–1950.”

Luminiello holds a Ph​.​D​.​ History from the University of Aberdeen and an M​.​Sc​.​ in Modern British and Irish History from the University of Edinburgh. Her dissertation, “Confronting Modernity: Leo XIII, Rerum Novarum, and the Catholic Church in Ireland and Prussian Poland 1878-1914,” examines how Pope Leo XIII’s neo-Thomistic restoration of natural law reasoning in his 1891 encyclical Rerum Novarum was influenced by his experiences in Ireland and Prussia during the 1880s. It then examines these influences within the content of Rerum Novarum itself. The final chapter demonstrates how the wide distribution of the encyclical enabled its use outside of its intended scope by lower class Catholics in Ulster and Poznania to justify economic and political protest and resistance.