Friends of Cushwa news and notes

Author: Shane Ulbrich

The Academy of American Franciscan History is accepting applications for four dissertation fellowships, each worth $15,000. As many as two of these fellowships will be awarded for projects dealing with some aspect of the history of the Franciscan family in Latin America, including the United States Borderlands, Mexico, Central and South America. Up to another two fellowships will be awarded to support projects dealing with some aspect of the history of the Franciscan Family in the rest of the United States and Canada. The application deadline is February 1, 2020. For more information, visit

Robert Bauman (Washington State University) has published a new book, Fighting to Preserve a Nation’s Soul: America’s Ecumenical War on Poverty, with the University of Georgia Press.

Paolo L. Bernardini and Elisa Bianco, both of the University of Insubria, have been awarded a Collaborative Cluster Fellowship at the John Carter Brown Library (Brown University) for the research project “The Italians and the Expansion of Europe to the West 1450–1800.” They visited Brown in June 2019. As a first result of the project, they have planned a book exhibition, “Italiana-Americana 1800–1493,” which includes 24 books presented at the John Carter Brown Library in reverse chronological order, all introduced and commented on by Bernardini and Bianco. This will be the first exhibition of its kind at Brown since “The Italians and the Creation of America” of 1976–1977 (also on display at the Smithsonian Institution in 1982–1983).

Shaun Blanchard (Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana) reports that Oxford University Press will publish his book, The Synod of Pistoia and Vatican II: Jansenism and the Struggle for Catholic Reform, in November 2019. In August, Blanchard’s chapter on John Carroll, “Was John Carroll an ‘Enlightened’ Catholic? Resituating the Archbishop of Baltimore as a ‘Third Party’ Prelate,” was published in Katholische Aufklärung in Europa und Nordamerika, edited by Jürgen Overhoff and Andreas Oberdorf (Göttingen: Wallstein, 2019), pp. 165–182. 

Stephanie N. Brehm (Northwestern University) reports that Fordham University Press has published her new book, America’s Most Famous Catholic (According to Himself): Stephen Colbert and American Religion in the Twenty-First Century

Donna Whitson Brett and Edward T. Brett’s new book, Martyrs of Hope: Seven U.S. Missioners in Central America (Orbis Books, 2018), was awarded Honorable Mention in the biography category from the Catholic Press Association.

Rosa Bruno-Jofré (Queen’s University) has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in the Humanities Division of the Academy of Arts and Humanities. At the end of November, University of Toronto Press will release her new book, The Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions: From Ultramontane Origins to a New Cosmology.

Katie Bugyis became assistant professor in the Program of Liberal Studies at the University of Notre Dame in fall 2019. Her book, The Care of Nuns: The Ministries of Benedictine Women in England during the Central Middle Ages, was published by Oxford University Press in May.

In July, Heath W. Carter began a new appointment as associate professor of American Christianity at Princeton Theological Seminary.

Sister M. Finbarr Coffey, C.S.C. (Cardinal Vaughan Memorial School, London), has an article, “Ministry and Leadership in Early Christianity,” in The Furrow 70, no. 5 (May 2019). The Furrow is a monthly journal published at St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth.

The Francis and Ann Curran Center for American Catholic Studies at Fordham University invites applications for its first annual competition for the New Scholar Essay Prize for Catholic Studies in the Americas. The center invites the submission of essays penned by new scholars (Ph.D. or Th.D. awarded no earlier than 2013) and offering cutting edge research about Catholics and Catholicism in North, Central, or South America and/or the Caribbean. The prize comes with a $1,500 award. The application period closes February 15th, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. Learn more and apply at

Elisabeth Davis’ first article, “The Disappearance of Mother Agnes Spencer: The Centralization Controversy and the Antebellum Catholic Church,” was published in the summer 2019 issue of American Catholic Studies.

Theresa Keeley (University of Louisville) has published “Clothes Make the Nun? Feminism, Fashion, and Representations of Catholic Sisters in the 1980s,” in Gender & History 31, no. 2 (July 2019), pp. 480–499. The article grew out of a paper from The Nun in the World: Catholic Sisters and Vatican II, a symposium hosted by the Cushwa Center at Notre Dame’s London Global Gateway in 2015.

Suzanne M. Krebsbach’s essay “Rome’s Response to Slavery in the United States” appears in the spring 2019 issue of The Catholic Historical Review. She presented an earlier version of this essay at the Cushwa-sponsored conference “North Atlantic Catholic Communities in Rome, 1622–1939,” held in Rome in June 2017.

Latin American/North American Church Concerns invites undergraduate and graduate students in all programs at Notre Dame to submit a paper proposal for the Romero Days 2020 Conference, Óscar Romero and Catholic Social TeachingProposed papers must address either Romero or Catholic Social Teaching, with a strong preference for works that address both. Proposals should be no more than 300 words in length. The submission deadline is December 1, 2019. Visit the LANACC webpage for more information.

Bronwen McShea (recipient of a 2018 Mother Theodore Guerin Travel Grant) has published her first book, Apostles of Empire: The Jesuits and New France (University of Nebraska Press, July 2019). The book offers a revisionist history of the 17th- and 18th-century French Jesuit mission among indigenous North American peoples and is part of the UNP series “France Overseas: Studies in Empire and Decolonization.” McShea is an associate research scholar of the James Madison Program at Princeton University.

Monica Mercado (Colgate University) has joined the 2019–2020 cohort of research associates in the Women’s Studies in Religion Program at Harvard Divinity School, where she is serving as visiting assistant professor of women’s studies and North American religions.

The National Shrine of St. John Neumann recently celebrated the opening of its new museum dedicated to the life and times of Saint John N. Neumann, fourth bishop of Philadelphia. The museum is a project of the Redemptorists of the Baltimore Province. Its grand opening week featured a series of cultural events, including a Hesburgh Lecture by Cushwa Center director Kathleen Sprows Cummings on her latest book, A Saint of Our Own

The Newberry Seminar on Religion and Culture in the Americas has posted its 2019–2020 schedule. View the full schedule and request paper copies at

In March 2019, Jonathan D. Riddle (Wheaton College) defended his dissertation, “Prospering Body and Soul: Health Reform, Religion, and Capitalism in Antebellum America,” at the University of Notre Dame. 

Maria Cecilia Ulrickson has joined the Catholic University of America as assistant professor of American church history in the School of Theology and Religious Studies.

Brandon Vaidyanathan (Catholic University of America) has published Mercenaries and Missionaries: Capitalism and Catholicism in the Global South with Cornell University Press (May 2019).

Maria Williams (Institute of Education, University College London) has completed her doctoral thesis, “The Contribution of Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini (1850–1917) to Catholic Educational Practice in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries,” now available at Maria writes that her research benefited from insights gained at Cushwa events including the center’s Rome Seminar (2014), the conference Too Small a World (2017), and the symposium Pedagogy of Peace (2018), as well as opportunities to discuss archival sources on Mother Cabrini with Kathleen Sprows Cummings, who was working on A Saint of Our Own.


These announcements appear in the fall 2019 issue of the American Catholic Studies Newsletter