Awards Ceremony and Graduation 2021

Awards Ceremony and Graduation 2021
 

In the past few weeks, we held two events commemorating the end of the 2020-2021 academic year–a year that was obviously beset with unprecedented challenges but that also demonstrated the resilience and capability of our wonderful students.

On April 28th, we held our annual awards ceremony in which we celebrated the achievements of our undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty. Worthy of special note were Eden Teichman, who was acknowledged (again) for winning the Halperin-Schütz Undergraduate Essay Award, as well as both Eden Teichman and Robert Rhinehart, who were co-recipients of the Boyd Prize for outstanding achievement by a senior undergrduate major. Among our graduate students, Emily Branton received both the Peck Teaching Award (as recognized by the faculty) and the Peer Recognition Teaching Award. We also noted the many book publications of our faculty over the past two years.

Awards 2021

2021 Year-End Awards Ceremony

May 14th was the date of our graduation ceremony. In addition to hearing a message from our department chair, Dr. Barbara Ambros, for our graduating seniors, we also acknowledged the names of our graduates, including those whose academic achievement earned them membership in the Theta Alpha Kappa Honor Society. The event concluded with an extended time for faculty and students to interact over conversation in smaller groups.

Grad 2021

Message to Graduating Seniors from our Chair, Dr. Barbara Ambros

Posted in Faculty News, Graduate Student News, News & Events, Undergraduate Accomplishments on May 22, 2021. Bookmark the permalink.

McLester Colloquium with Pamela Klassen

McLester Colloquium with Pamela Klassen
 

This Wednesday, February 26, we were pleased to hear from Dr. Pamela Klassen at this month’s McLester Colloquium on “Metals and Memory: Gold and the Metaphysics of Colonial Territory.”

Pamela Klassen is a Professor in the Department for the Study of Religion, cross-appointed to Anthropology, at the University of Toronto, where she is also Vice-Dean, Undergraduate & International in the Faculty of Arts & Science. She teaches in the areas of the anthropology and history of Christianity and colonialism in North America, religion in the public sphere, and religion, law, media, and gender.

We were grateful for the opportunity to hear from Professor Klassen on this fascinating topic.

Posted in Graduate Student News, News & Events on February 27, 2020. Bookmark the permalink.

McLester Colloquium with Paula Fredriksen

McLester Colloquium with Paula Fredriksen
 

Last Wednesday, January 29, Paula Fredriksen, the Aurelio Professor of Scripture emerita at Boston University, presented on the topic of “Urban Fires, Roman Emperors, and the Persecution of Christians” at the first McLester Seminar of 2020. Since 2009, Professor Fredriksen has been Distinguished Visiting Professor of Comparative Religion at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. A fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, she also holds two honorary doctorates in theology and religious studies. We were grateful for the opportunity to hear from Dr. Fredriksen on this fascinating topic, and the talk was followed by a wonderful time of conversation over refreshments.

Posted in Graduate Student News, News & Events on February 3, 2020. Bookmark the permalink.

McLester Colloquium with Dr. Carl Ernst

McLester Colloquium with Dr. Carl Ernst
 
For the department’s McLester Seminar last week, we were pleased to hear from our very own Carl Ernst, Kenan Distinguished Professor in Religious Studies, who presented on the topic of “Anglo-Persian Texts and The Colonial Understanding of Religion.” In characteristic fashion, Dr. Ernst examined a pair of often-neglected texts from the early British-Indian colonial encounter in order to uncover the concepts and taxonomies of religion they reflect. We were grateful for the opportunity to hear from Dr. Ernst on this fascinating subject, and the talk was followed by a wonderful time of conversation over refreshments.
Posted in Faculty News, Graduate Student News on November 4, 2019. Bookmark the permalink.

McLester Colloquium with Dr. Jon Bialecki

McLester Colloquium with Dr. Jon Bialecki
 

Dr. Jon Bialecki

Dr. Jon Bialecki

event-poster

The event poster

On Wednesday, September 25, we were pleased to hear from Dr. Jon Bialecki, an Honorary Fellow of The University of Edinburgh, for our first McLester Colloquium of the academic year. He lectured on “‘All Mormons are Transhumanists’: hybridity, double captures, double slits, and arrays”. We are grateful for the opportunity to host Dr. Bialecki for this event and for the discussion that his presentation generated!

Posted in Events, Graduate Student News on September 26, 2019. Bookmark the permalink.

Candace Buckner’s article in JAAR

Candace Buckner’s article in JAAR
 

bucknerCandace Buckner, a PhD candidate in Ancient Mediterranean Religions who specializes in the study of early Christianity, has just published an article in the June 2019 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Religion (JAAR). The article, titled “Made in an Imperfect Image: Race, Ethnicity, Disability, and Infirmity in the Life of Aphou,” examines constructions of race, ethnicity, and disability in a fifth-century Coptic text in order to explore key ideological features in the discourse of certain late antique Christian communities.

From the JAAR website:

The Journal of the American Academy of Religion is generally considered to be the top academic journal in the field of religious studies. This international quarterly journal publishes top scholarly articles that cover the full range of world religious traditions together with provocative studies of the methodologies by which these traditions are explored.

The article can be (pre)viewed here.

Join us in congratulating Candace on this achievement!

Posted in Graduate Student News on May 30, 2019. Bookmark the permalink.

Encountering Nepal’s Sacred Sites through 3D Models

Encountering Nepal’s Sacred Sites through 3D Models
 

In summer 2018, Prof. Lauren Leve won a CFE/Lenovo Instructional Innovation Grant from the UNC Center for Faculty Excellence to develop digital tools for visualizing sacred sites in Nepal, with the assistance of PhD candidate Brad Erickson. The goal was to enable students to explore, as authentically as possible, the wonder and beauty of these sites even if they were not able to visit them in person. Recently, they were featured on the Lenovo Story Hub for this work, which involved a five-day training session on photogrammetry and virtual reality techniques held in Kathmandu, with participants that included a wide variety of Nepali professionals interested in cultural preservation.

For the full story, see here.

To view Brad’s 3D models of the Swayambhunath site in Kathmandu (and of many other objects and sites), click here.

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Prof. Leve with camera equipment at Swayambhunath

workshop

The photogrammetry and VR modeling workshop (with Brad Erickson, top right)

Posted in Faculty News, Graduate Student News on May 21, 2019. Bookmark the permalink.

McLester Colloquium with Dr. Rebecca Anne Goetz

McLester Colloquium with Dr. Rebecca Anne Goetz
 

On Wednesday, April 24, our department held its last McLester Colloquium of the academic year. The speaker was Dr. Rebecca Anne Goetz, Associate Professor of History at NYU and a current fellow at the National Humanities Center, who lectured on “‘The Unbridled Greed of the Conquistadors’: Native Enslavement in the Southern Caribbean, 1498-1545.” The meeting capped off a wonderful series of McLester lectures in 2018-19, and we are already looking forward to next year!

goetz

Rebecca Anne Goetz

audience

The audience in the Anne Queen Lounge

Posted in Events, Graduate Student News on May 6, 2019. Bookmark the permalink.

Departmental Honors Event and Awards Ceremony

Departmental Honors Event and Awards Ceremony
 

On Wednesday, April 17, our department held two events celebrating the achievements of our students and faculty.

The first was an Honors Event that recognized the undergraduate students who completed a Senior Honors Thesis this year as well as those seniors whose academic excellence was sufficient to earn membership into Theta Alpha Kappa, the National Honors Society for students in the fields of religious studies and theology. The Honors Thesis writers each gave a description of their research, while the Theta Alpha Kappa inductees received certificates, pins, and cords to mark their achievement.

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Students describing their honors theses: Kristen Roehrig, Brodie Heginbotham, and Ashley Cantu

presentation

The presentation of certificates, pins, and cords

The second was our annual Awards Ceremony, in which we acknowledged the various achievements of our undergraduates, graduate students, as well as faculty. This year we had a number of honored guests, including former faculty members in our department, who joined to add special meaning to the ceremony. A great time was had by all.

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Our department chair, Barbara Ambros, welcoming everyone

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Display table with memorabilia

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Time of refreshments afterwards

Posted in Events, Faculty News, Graduate Student News, Undergraduate Accomplishments on April 30, 2019. Bookmark the permalink.

McLester Colloquium with Dr. Jeffrey Stout

McLester Colloquium with Dr. Jeffrey Stout
 

On Wednesday, February 20, we were pleased to welcome Dr. Jeffrey Stout, Professor Emeritus of Religion at Princeton University, for a meeting of our McLester Colloquium. His lecture was titled “Goodness beyond Melodrama: Compassionate Awareness in Ozu’s Tokyo Story,” and explored a film by Ozu Yasuji that is regularly ranked among the greatest films of all time. In addition to being co-sponsored by the Institute for Arts and Humanities, the Carolina Asia Center, and the Departments of Asian Studies and English & Comparative Literature, this talk also served as the second lecture in the American Academy of Religion’s 2019 American Lectures in the History of Religion, in which Dr. Stout explores–through a series of five lectures in North Carolina Triangle/Triad Region–the theme of “The Cinematic Sacred.” We are grateful for the opportunity to host Dr. Stout for this event and for the discussion that his presentation generated!

Stout-poster

The event poster

audience

The audience in Hyde Hall

Posted in Events, Graduate Student News on February 25, 2019. Bookmark the permalink.