Narratives from the Hebrew Bible

Is the Biblical Garden of Eden synonymous with Paradise? Does Genesis 2-3 represent Eve as a sinful temptress? When does the plural noun Elohim refer to the singular God and to plural gods? How to translate the Hebrew term Adam? What does Exodus 3 recount about the secret name of God YHVH? What can the etymology of Hebrew names contribute to our understanding of specific Biblical narratives? Who are “woman wisdom” and the “strange woman” of the Biblical book of Proverbs? and the “most beautiful woman” of the Song of Songs? Join us to read together select biblical narratives, discuss conceivable meaning/s of fascinating Biblical accounts, explore possible ideological-cultural aspects embedded in the texts, and examine their reception, impact and multiple interpretations over the ages.

Students of Hebrew and students interested in reading narratives together are welcome to read together, uncover various layers of meanings, and examine the intriguing subtlety of foundational biblical stories. The meetings consist of close reading [with select commentaries]. Students interested in focusing on literary and conceptual aspects can take this course as RELG 475C /502 [no language prerequisite]. Students interested in focusing on Biblical Hebrew should take it as HEBR 479/509 [prerequisite: 2 years Biblical Hebrew]. The course will have different sets of evaluations according to students’ focus and level.


The Archaeology of Space and Place

This course explores the role of built environments – from single rooms to landscapes – in past societies.  Through participation in a series of lectures, seminar discussions, “hands-on” labs, and research projects, we’ll explore contemporary (and past) approaches that archaeologists use to understand buildings, settlements and built landscapes.  We’ll examine theories linking prehistoric and historic built environments to human and material agency, daily practice, power, identity and social reproduction, as well as concepts such as place, house and household, community and neighbourhood, cityscape, monumentality and memory. We’ll also emphasize the application of methods that can help us understand how various types of buildings affect human behavior, experience, and interaction by encoding and communicating meanings.  Case studies will be global in perspective.


Lucretius, De Rerum Natura

How does the physical world work? Where does everything come from? Lucretius’ De Rerum Natura is a poem that attempts to answer these questions, along with many, many others. It combines the structure of epic with the concerns of philosophy, and shows the influence of ancient authors as diverse as Homer and Cicero. Our primary concern will be Lucretius’ poetry, but we will also take up contextual issues including what it means when a Roman poet writes about Greek philosophy and the didactic use of poetry.


Virgil’s Aeneid: from Zero to Hero – Aeneas on the battlefield. Readings: book 2 (the fall of Troy) and sections of books 11 and 12 (war in Italy).


Pindar and Lyric Poetry

Epic is the beginning of Greek poetry and tragedy is fascinating, but if you want to read poetry about subjects that range from athletic champions to love and longing, look to lyric poetry. In this class, we shall explore the range of Greek lyric poetry beginning with Pindar, reading several of his famous epinician odes written for victors at the Panhellenic games. We shall also touch on several other famous poets from Archaic Greece, such as Sappho, Alcman, and Stesichorus. As we work through the great variety of lyric poetry, we shall also pay attention to issues including performance context, metre, dialect, and the interpretation of fragments.


Greek Orators: Murder, Adultery, and Government Corruption

In this course we will read selections from the courtroom oratory of Antiphon and Lysias. A number of specific cases will be read in Greek, and a few more selected from other Athenian logographers in English translation. Attention will be paid to the language of the speeches, their social and legal contexts, and the insights they offer into Athenian jurisprudence and intellectual and political history. The course will also contain a component on Greek epigraphy, utilizing the digital resources of the department’s online squeeze collection.


Roman Scandals: Representations and Receptions of Rome

Ancient Rome is notorious for its bloodthirsty gladiatorial shows and for its sensational luxury, manifested in fabulous feasts and awesome orgies. These are our modern images of Rome – but how well do they reflect Roman antiquity? The central aim of this course is to interrogate modern representations of Roman antiquity and to set them alongside ancient representations of Rome. We’ll commence by considering some 18th, 19th and 20th century constructions of Rome and the Romans, including Edward Gibbon’s The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, the experience of the Grand Tour, 19th century paintings of Rome, and several ‘Roman’ movies including Roman Scandals (1933), Quo Vadis? (1951) and Gladiator (2000). We’ll then study a selection of ancient sources, including Petronius, Tacitus, Suetonius, Juvenal, to see what light they shed on topics including gladiators, sexuality, feasting and decadence.

The course will not only provide an insight into Rome, Romans, and perceptions of Rome and Romans at later periods, but will also develop critical thinking and skills in written and oral presentation.

WARNING: this course involves study of explicit sexual material, visual and textual; please do not select this course if you are likely to be offended by this.


Cicero’s Philippics and their influence. We will read sections of Philippic II (including accounts of Antony’s unfortunate youth and propensity for inappropriate behaviour in public) and a short selection of other Latin authors (including Seneca the Elder and Quintilian) discussing the reception and impact of the Philippics as a whole.

Sara Milstein and Gregg Gardner are Top Teachers

CNERS professors Sara Milstein and Gregg Gardner were congratulated by the Dean of Arts for being among the very best teachers last year as measured by student-ratings of their effectiveness as instructors.  Their 2013 student evaluations place them in the top 5% of instructors within the Faculty of Arts. Congratulations Sara and Gregg!

Siobhan McEldruff Appointed Co-interim Director of UBC’s MAGIC Lab

Siobhan McElduff has been appointed interim director of MAGIC (Media and Graphics Interdisciplinary Centre) for 2014-2015.  Congratulations Siobhan.

Page 11 of 25« First...910111213...20...Last »