Current Graduate Courses

2017-2018

CLASSICAL, NEAR EASTERN, AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES

CLST 501: Topography and Monuments of Athens

Term 1, Thurs, 11am-2pm (Room TBA)

A study of the topography and monuments of ancient Athens from the Bronze Age to Late Antiquity.

CLST 502: Topography and Monuments of Rome

Dr. Matthew McCarty
Term 2, Tues, 2pm-5pm (BUCH C203)

A study of the topography and monuments of ancient Rome from the Iron Age to Late Antiquity.

CLST 518A: The Archaeology of Ancient Cyprus

Dr. Kevin Fisher

Term 2, MW, 4-5:30pm (Room TBA)

An in-depth look at the fascinating past of the island of Cyprus—the legendary birthplace of the goddess Aphrodite. This course examines the development of Cypriot society from the island’s initial colonization in the 10th millennium BCE through the period of its rule as a province of the Roman Empire in the 4th century CE. We’ll explore a number of themes: new discoveries that are revolutionizing our understanding of the Cypriot Neolithic and the role of Cyprus in the origins and spread of agriculture in the Near East; Cyprus’s rapid transformation from an insular, village-based and largely egalitarian society, to an urbanized “civilization” during the Late Bronze Age; Cyprus’s role in the Late Bronze Age “world system”, in which various societies of the eastern Mediterranean and Near East were increasingly interconnected through trade, warfare, and diplomacy; the emergence and growth of city kingdoms during the early Iron Age, Archaic and Classical periods and the growing influences of Greek and Phoenician culture; the role of domination and resistance as Cyprus fell under the control of a succession of empires (Persian, Ptolemaic, and Roman), and the effects of this on Cypriot identity and material culture; the development of Cypriot archaeology from its 19th-century antiquarian roots to a modern, scientifically-based discipline; and the role of colonialism and modern politics in the interpretation of Cyprus’s past. We’ll investigate these themes through lectures, seminar discussions and hands-on work with Cypriot artifacts from the Museum of Anthropology. This course provides important background for a proposed archaeological field school on Cyprus to be held in Summer 2018.

CNRS 500B: Gender in the Ancient Mediterranean

Dr. Kat Huemoeller
Term 1, Tues, 11am-2pm (Room TBA)

This course offers an overview of recent approaches to gender in the Ancient Mediterranean.  We will start with some theoretical readings on gender as a category of analysis and then examine recent approaches in a variety of fields, partly dictated by student interest.

CNRS 503B / RELG 502A Synagogues and Judaism in the Greco-Roman World

Dr. Gregg Gardner
Term 1, Tues, 3pm-6pm (BUCH C203)

This course will study the rise of synagogues during the Greek, Roman, and Byzantine ages. In doing so, this seminar will introduce students to the history, literature, and material culture of Jews and Judaism from the fourth century B.C.E. through seventh century C.E. This course will trace how synagogues became the preeminent Jewish religious and communal institution, as well as how they influenced the development of churches in Christianity. This seminar will incorporate close readings of archaeological finds and literary sources, such as the Hebrew Bible, Apocrypha, Dead Sea Scrolls, classical rabbinic literature, and other Jewish texts from the Hellenistic and Roman ages. We will address the notion of sacred space, Greco-Roman social and religious influence, ancient art and architecture, and other topics that related to the development of synagogues in the Mediterranean world. All texts will be read in English translation. No prerequisites.

CNRS 503D: The Ancient Book

Dr. Cillian O’Hogan
Term 2, Tues/Thurs 9-10:30am (Room TBA)

This course explores the material book in antiquity. We will take a cross-cultural approach, looking at evidence from across the ancient Mediterranean, but our focus will be on the book between the Hellenistic era and Late Antiquity. We will explore topics such as writing and literacy; authors and readers; scribes, binders, and artists; the economics of book production; libraries and collections; the shift from bookroll to codex; books in literature; religious books; book destruction; and the afterlife of ancient books. Throughout the semester we will make use of theoretical approaches from the field of book history, and explore how best to apply these approaches (especially those relating to gender, race, class, and intermediality) to the ancient world. Students will be given some basic orientation in the technical subdisciplines (papyrology, palaeography, codicology, and voluminology), and we will make use of some of the items at UBC’s Rare Books and Special Collections Library. No knowledge of ancient languages is required to take this course, though students will find it helpful to be familiar with the Greek alphabet, in particular

CNRS 504/RELG 500B: The Use and Abuse of the Bible in Modern Contexts

Dr. Sara Milstein
Term 2, MW, 10-11:30am (Room TBA)

From indie films to New Yorker comics, or political rallies to hip-hop songs, the Bible is everywhere. In some cases, the radical reuse of the Bible can make us reexamine the “original” in refreshing new ways. In other cases, the reuse of the Bible can be problematic, especially when it is used as a tool for oppression. Together, we will probe a wide range of these expressions, with the aim of understanding how and why the Bible continues to be recycled in so many different contexts. Please note that course content is bound to be provocative.

GREK 401A/501A: Biography (Xenophon and Plutarch)

Dr. Florence Yoon
Term 1, MWF 2pm-3pm (UCLL 101)

In this course, we will read some of the earliest Greek attempts to write an account of a person’s whole life. We’ll start with the first book of Xenophon’s Cyropaedia, a biography of the founder of the Achaemenid Empire, which became the model for medieval writings like Machiavelli’s The Prince. We’ll then move on to two of the Parallel Lives of Plutarch (to be chosen by the class), which compare the lives of some of the greatest figures from Greek and Roman myth and history. We may also read some of Diogenes Laertius’s Lives and Gnomai of Eminent Philosophers. We will consider the aims and techniques of the authors, the question of national bias, comparative material from other sources for these biographies, and the reception of these works in modern times and genres.

GREK 502B: Greek Tragedy

Dr. Florence Yoon

Term 2, MWF, 1-2pm (BUCH C203)

Depending on the interests of the class, we will choose either a complete play to read, or a selection of scenes containing a common theme or element. Possibilities include “comic” scenes in tragedy, a figure such as Apollo or Heracles, or endings (e.g. questions of resolution, expectations, and interpolation). Students enrolled will be consulted by email in November so that class materials will be organized for January.

LATN 401C/501C: Inscribed History

Dr. Kat Huemoeller
Term 1, MWF, 10am-11am (ORCH 3052)

This course examines “alternative facts”—when historians tell us one thing about Roman history and inscriptions tell us another.  We will begin with an introduction to Latin epigraphy and then move on to analyze particular historical events that were recorded in both literary and epigraphic form including the Bacchanalian conspiracy, Claudius’ speech to the Gauls, and the death of Germanicus.

LATN 402B/502B: Epyllion and Epic

In this course, we will study the controversial genre epyllion. The term is used by modern scholars to describe short mythological epics notable for their erotic themes and prominent female characters, as in Catullus 64. But ‘epyllion’ is also used by some to refer to short episodes inset within larger epics, such as the account of Orpheus and Eurydice in Virgil’s fourth Georgic, and the narratives of Ovid’s Metamorphoses. In this class, all students will read Catullus 64, the second half of the fourth Georgic, and Book Ten of the Metamorphoses in Latin, as well as reading additional Greek and Latin texts in translation. Students enrolled in LATN502B will also read Book Eight of the Metamorphoses. We will look at some of the issues that have particularly preoccupied critics of Latin poetry over the past quarter of a century: above all genre, intertextuality/allusion, and ekphrasis (vivid description, often of a work of art). Above all, we will attempt to answer for ourselves the perennial question of whether this genre actually exists at all.

RELG 500B/CNRS 504: The Use and Abuse of the Bible in Modern Contexts

Dr. Sara Milstein
Term 2, MW, 10-11:30am (Room TBA)

From indie films to New Yorker comics, or political rallies to hip-hop songs, the Bible is everywhere. In some cases, the radical reuse of the Bible can make us reexamine the “original” in refreshing new ways. In other cases, the reuse of the Bible can be problematic, especially when it is used as a tool for oppression. Together, we will probe a wide range of these expressions, with the aim of understanding how and why the Bible continues to be recycled in so many different contexts. Please note that course content is bound to be provocative.