Chris Hedlin

Assistant Teaching Professor and Assistant Director, Sheedy Family Program

Assistant Teaching Professor and Assistant Director, Sheedy Family Program
203B O'Shaughnessy Hall
Notre Dame, IN 46556

I teach in, and help direct, the Sheedy Family Program in Economy, Enterprise, and Society. The program, housed in the College of Arts and Letters, brings together students of business and the liberal arts to explore big questions about work. Can our jobs be meaningful?, we ask. Can a capitalist society be just? My role is to design courses and programs where, drawing upon humanities methods, students can discern not only what they want to do with their lives but why.

I got my PhD in English from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and have since taught and researched at Valparaiso University in Indiana and Azusa Pacific University in California. I’m deeply invested in the public humanities and also worked for a time as a journalist at a local media nonprofit in Pittsburgh. I specialize in studying literature as it shapes people’s everyday lives and worldviews, both in history and at present.

My favorite moments in the classroom are when something happens that requires me and students to change our minds. For instance, we thought we had a story figured out, and then someone asks a question that wholly upends our interpretation. Those kind of ‘aha’ moments take careful, deliberate thinking. I love that, as a teacher, I get to help build communities where such thinking is possible.