CNERS Department Faculty Among Recent Grant and Award Winners

CNERS Department Faculty Among Recent Grant and Award Winners

Rumee Ahmed is the recipient of a Dean of Arts Faculty Research Award. This award permits Rumee to have time away from administration and teaching to concentrate on completing his research project.

Sara Milstein is the recipient of a large Hampton Research Grant for her project entitled “Making a Case: The Impact of Mesopotamian ‘Lawsuits’ on the Hebrew Bible.”

Gregg Gardner is the recipient of a large Hampton Research Grant for his project entitled “Rabbis of the Lost Ark: Relics and Material Culture in Early Judaism.”

Thomas Schneider has been elected to the UBC Senate for 2014-17 as one of two representatives of the Faculty of Graduate and Post-Doctoral Studies.

Toph Marshall has been elected to the UBC Senate for 2014-17 as one of two representatives for the Faculty of Arts.  Prof. Marshall was also successful in his application for the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies Wall Scholars Research Award and has been selected as a Wall Scholar for 2014-2015.  He will, as a result, become a permanent Associate of the Peter Wall  Institute.

Congratulations to all.

Susanna Braund Honoured by the College de France

Last Sunday, the Assemblée of the Collège de France in Paris voted to elect Susanna Braund to a “chaire d’État”. She will hold the post of professeur at the Collège for the month of June 2014, during which time she will give four hour-long lectures in French on the reception of Virgil and Seneca in European literature.
Congratulations to Susanna for this prestigious appointment.

Ayesha Chaudhry’s Op-ed in the Globe and Mail

Ayesha Chaudhry’s op-ed “Does the Koran allow wife-beating? Not if Muslims don’t want it to” was published today in the Globe and Mail.  Her commentary can be found on the newspaper’s website.

Congratulations, Ayesha!

Ayehsa Chaudhry’s New Book Featured in the Vancouver Sun

Ayesha Chaudry’s recently published book, Domestic Violence and the Islamic Tradition, was featured in the Vancouver Sun yesterday. The book is making  a substantial contribution to discussions of a significant global issue.  Congratulations Ayesha!

Thomas Schneider Wins Killam Research Fellowship

Congratulations to Thomas Schneider who has been awarded a UBC Killam Faculty Research Fellowship from the “lzaak Walton Killam Memorial Fund for Advanced Studies,” Senior Category. The award will assist Thomas in undertaking the research project proposed in his application.

Congratulations to CNERS student Kris Rhude – UBC’s Top Academic Varsity Athlete!

Kristopher Rhude, a CNERS student majoring in Near Eastern Studies and Religious Studies, was named the top academic varsity athlete in 2013  by UBC President Stephen Toope.  Congratulations Kris!  See the full story here.

Congratulations to Christian Brady

UBC Library cIRcle and the Graduate Student Society has awarded MA student Christian Brady one of four GSS cIRcle Open Scholar Awards for his classics Podcast Prometheus Unbound entitled, Podcasting Lucan and the Classical World.

Congratulations Christian!


Islamic law has become something of a proxy in modern debates for larger theories and ideologies.  Muslims across the world call for a “return to Islamic law” as a panacea for the ills of modernity.  Several states in the United States have introduced bills that would ban Islamic law from being practiced and enforced within their borders.  Muslims and non-Muslims contest the definition and applicability of Islamic law, in what has become a heated global argument.

Beginning with the origins of Islamic law and tracing its trajectory alongside the political fortunes and misfortunes of the Muslim empire, this class will explore the development and application of Islamic law. We will read primary sources in translation that will help us understand how Muslims conceived of Islamic law, and we will read secondary texts that will situate those conceptions in a socio-historical context. Class lecture and discussion will center around complicating our ideas about what is “Islamic” as well as what constitutes “law.”


This course sits at the intersection of two highly contested topics, “Shari’a” and the role of “women” in Islam.  Both these issues have become increasingly politicized in contemporary global discourse.  For this reason, it is important to study the historical roots of their development, as well as their various manifestations in the contemporary world.  As such, we will begin with a basic introduction to Islamic law, paying close attention to the way that categories of gender were conceived and developed from early Islam to medieval Islamic jurisprudence.  We will then examine the impact of colonialism on the development, practice and legislation of Islamic law in various Muslim-majority nation states.  Finally, we will conclude with an investigation of how Islamic law, especially as related to issues of gender, is practiced and implemented in nation states where Muslims form either majorities or minorities.  We will pay close attention to the formal and informal role of “fatwas”, and by the end of the course, students will be expected to participate in a “fatwa-creation” exercise.


Topic for 2013-14: Ancient Jerusalem in Archaeology and Texts

This seminar will explore ancient Jerusalem from its beginnings as a Canaanite town through the Israelite (i.e. Iron Ages), Persian, Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine eras, up to the dawn of Islam (roughly 1000 B.C.E. to 640 C.E.). This seminar will incorporate close readings of archaeological finds and literary sources, covering the Hebrew Bible and the formation of Judaism and Christianity in the Greco-Roman Mediterranean. All texts will be read in English translation. Graduate standing is required; otherwise, no prerequisites.

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