Summer 2018 registration has begun! Online course offerings include RELI 283/ASIA 300: The Buddhist Tradition: India, Nepal, Tibet, taught by Professor Leve, and RELI 162: Catholicism Today: An Introduction to the Contemporary Catholic Church, taught by Professor Marienberg. Details below:
Josue Menjivar is a part-time student who balances his role as a full-time language translator in the UNC Hospital system with his studies. Last summer, he participated in the Study Abroad 2017 Huqoq excavation with Jodi Magness, Kenan Distinguished Professor for Teaching Excellence in Early Judaism. Since 2011, Professor Magness has led archaeological excavations at the site of Huqoq in Israel’s Galilee, where she and her team have garnered international attention for their discovery of an ancient synagogue building with stunning mosaic floors.
Josue discusses his experience in this unique UNC Study Abroad program and how it helps him in his full-time job:
Last Sunday, March 11, Lauren Leve, Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Director of Graduate Studies, was the keynote speaker at the International Women’s Day 2018 program for the North Carolina Nepali Community, organized by the Non-Resident Nepali Association National Coordination Council North Carolina Chapter and the Nepal Center of North Carolina. Prof. Leve spoke on “Gender-based Violence and Awareness in the Cultural Interface.”
On Jan. 25, Carl Ernst, Kenan Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies, spoke on “Sufi Martyrs of Love” at the Jaipur Literature Festival, an event described as the “greatest literary show on Earth.” The festival brings together the world’s most renowned literary talents across a number of fields and subject areas for intellectual discussion, thoughtful debate and more.
Read the profile of Prof. Ernst’s work connecting Carolina to the Middle East by UNC Global, and watch the recorded lecture here!
Duke-UNC Graduate Middle East and Islamic Studies Conference
The 15th Annual Duke-UNC Graduate Middle East and Islamic Studies Conference on “Map, Territory, and Boundary” was held last week on Feb. 9-10 at Duke University, with participation from graduate students and faculty from both institutions. The conference explored geography and territoriality as not only the subjects of ongoing contestation, but also compelling paradigms to engage with broader interrelated questions pertaining to the modern makeup of the Middle East. Participants discussed the myriad of ways the themes of map, territory, and boundary open up new possibilities of insight in the contexts of the Middle East, Muslim communities, and their connected geographies. Congratulations to the conference organizers and participants on a successful conference!
The annual dinner for Religious Studies majors was held last night, Monday, Feb. 5, and it was a huge success! Students and faculty had the chance to chat over a delicious dinner organized by the Director of Undergraduate Studies, Professor Jessica Boon, and the Undergraduate Studies Committee. The meal was followed by inspiring words from RELI graduates Robbie Jessup ‘08 (Law ’11), and Mark Rothrock ‘10, introduced by Professor Randall Styers. Thank you all for joining us!
On Wednesday, January 31, Dr. Shahla Talebi joined us for the first of our McLester Colloquia for the Spring semester. Dr. Talebi is Associate Professor of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies at Arizona State University.
In a lecture entitled “Traversing Religiopolitical Metaphors in Contemporary Iran,” Dr. Talebi discussed the significant metaphor of the event of Karbala in the history of Iranian Shi`i tradition. The lecture was thought-provoking and generated questions and responses from the faculty and graduate students present. As usual, the lecture was followed by casual conversation over refreshments.
Harshita Kamath Wins Tanner Award for Undergraduate Teaching
Professor Harshita Kamath, who teaches Hinduism and South Asian religions in our department, was one of 25 faculty members honored for university-wide teaching awards during halftime of the UNC men’s basketball game on Jan. 20th vs. Georgia Tech. Prof. Kamath received the Tanner Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, which “was established to recognize excellence in inspirational teaching of undergraduate students, particularly first- and second-year students.”
For the full list of faculty members receiving awards, click here.
Final Performance for “Dance & Embodied Knowledge” Course
On Saturday, December 2nd, students in the course RELI/ASIA/COMM 386, “Dance & Embodied Knowledge in the Indian Context,” held their final performance. This course, taught by Prof. Harshita Kamath, combines discussions of Indian aesthetic theory, Hindu religious narratives, and performance theory with instruction in the basic movements of the South Indian classical dance style of Kuchipudi. As part of the course, students spent the semester learning the piece Narayaniyam in the Kuchipudi style, which they performed on Saturday in full costume with dance bells. See below for pictures from the event:
Study Abroad: 2018 Huqoq Excavations with Jodi Magness
Since 2011, Prof. Jodi Magness has led archaeological excavations at the site of Huqoq in Israel’s Galilee, where she and her team have garnered international attention for their discovery of an ancient synagogue building with stunning mosaic floors. She is returning to Huqoq in summer 2018 and invites students to participate in the excavation through UNC’s Study Abroad program.
This coming season, the excavations will take place May 31–July 2, 2018. The deadline to apply for the program is February 14, 2018. The field school program (CLAR 650) offers students 6 hours of academic credit.
For more information, including instructions for the online application, see the UNC Study Abroad link here. You can also see the excavation website at www.huqoq.org.