Jodie Boyer receives a hug from supervisor Pamela Klassen
The Department was well represented at the afternoon convocation ceremony on Friday November 15, 2013. Our Chair, John Kloppenborg, served as the Beadle and carried in the ceremonial mace, and Professor Jane McAuliffe (DSR PhD alumna 1984 and Chair of the DSR from 1992-99) received an honorary doctorate. Receiving their PhDs at convocation were our very own Jodie Boyer, Shari Golberg, Alex Green, Smita Kothari and Rick Last – congratulations!
Click the picture to see a slideshow of photos from the day, taken by current MA student Amy Clanfield.
John Kloppenborg acts as Beadle at convocation
Alex Green (L) & Shari Golberg (R)
Jennifer Harris and John Marshall after convocation
Whiteboard Meet and Greet event
Last night’s Whiteboard Meet & Greet was a great success! Students and professors from the Religion and History departments celebrated the launch of the academically-oriented social networking site for U of T students in the two units. Developed by a team of students and Profs Frances Garrett & Matt Price, Whiteboard is a site where students can set up a profile, meet others in their departments, read and write blog posts and course reviews, and ask questions of peers and professors. The pilot project is funded by an Arts & Science Instructional Technology Initiative Fund and the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario.
The department is pleased to announce that, through the generosity of Gaye Trombley and in memory of her sister, Jane Trombley, two new scholarships have been established for students in the Department for the Religion. Jane was a mature student who, after a career in the arts and business, entered University to pursue studies in religion. She took several courses in religion, and worked extensively with Leslie Hayes, pursuing her interests in the study of mediaeval and early modern witchcraft.
L-R: Ms. Pamela LaForge; Prof. Pamela Klassen; Ms. Gaye Trombley; Prof. John S. Kloppenborg; Prof. Leslie Hayes; Ms. Barbara Track
The Jane Trombley Undergraduate Scholarship will be awarded to an undergraduate student with financial need who has completed the Millie Shime Rotman Academic Bridging Program in Woodsworth College. Preference will be given to students who are not eligible for the Ontario Student Assistance Program and who are taking religion courses or pursuing a program in the Department for the Study of Religion.
The Jane Trombley Graduate Scholarship, which has been created under the Provost’s program of matching donor funds, will be awarded on the basis of academic merit to a PhD student enrolled in the Department for the Study of Religion. Financial need will be also considered.
The Department for the Study of Religion would like to congratulate the students below for successfully defending their dissertations. We also thank their supervisors and committee members for the support and guidance they have provided them throughout their program.
Sarah Rollens, Friday August 30th, “Framing Social Criticism in the Jesus Movement: The Ideological Project in the Sayings Gospel Q”, Supervisor: John Kloppenborg, Committee Members: John Marshall, Joseph Bryant.
Shari Golberg, Tuesday September 9th, “When Beruriah Met Aisha: Textual Intersections and Interactions among Jewish and Muslim Women Engaged with Religious Law”, Supervisor: Robert Gibbs, Committee Members: Pamela Klassen, Anver Emon.
Jodie Boyer, Thursday September 12th, “Sin and Sanity in Nineteenth-Century America”, Supervisor: Pamela Klassen, Committee Members: David Novak, Phyllis Airhart.
Tim Langille, Thursday September 12th, “Reshaping the Persistent Past: A Study of Collective Trauma and Memory in Second Temple Judaism”, Supervisor: Hindy Najman, Committee Members: John Marshall, Doris Bergen.
Smita Kothari, Friday September 13th, “Dāna and Dhyāna in Jaina Yoga: A Case Study of Prekṣādhyāna and the Terāpanth”, Co-Supervisors: Christoph Emmrich, Stephen Scharper, Committee Member: Srilata Raman
Rick Last, Tuesday September 17th, “Money, Meals, and Honour: The Economic and Honorific Organization of the Corinthian Ekklesia”, Supervisor: John Kloppenborg, Committee Members: John Marshall, Andreas Bendlin
Congratulations Sarah, Shari, Tim, Jodie, Smita and Rick, and all our very best wishes for the future.
From the Acting Chair, James DiCenso
After serving as Chair from 2002 to 2007, I spent the next five years, besides teaching and working with graduate students, mainly hunkered down trying to complete a book project on Immanuel Kant’s approach to religion with which I had been preoccupied for years. This ended up becoming two books, one published in 2011 (Kant, Religion, and Politics) and the other in 2012 (Kant’s Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason: a Commentary). Just as the second book was going into production, I was asked to fill in for the year while John Kloppenborg enjoyed a well-deserved sabbatical before returning for another five year term as Chair. The timing was right and, given John’s outstanding service to the Department, I couldn’t say no; hence I ended up back as Acting Chair for 2012-13.
It was an unusually intense year, particularly because of the external review being conducted, three UTSG and 2 UTM tenure cases, and shared searches in South Asian Religious Literatures with Historical Studies UTM, and Modern Hebrew with Jewish Studies. In fact, the final procedure for the external review occurred just the day prior to my writing this (April 16th), where the report and Decanal response were discussed at Governing Council. Both John Kloppenborg and I were present, in case there were questions or concerns, but the review was so positive we weren’t called upon at all. Indeed, it was a pleasure to see that we were assessed as “extremely successful, innovative, interdisciplinary … formidable.” Among the many strengths and achievements noted, the reviewers called us “a high quality Department that could serve as a model for others,” stated that our programs “make a necessary contribution to the Faculty’s goal of advancing a liberal education,” and that we have “one of the richest sets of course offerings in N. America.” At the graduate level, we were described as “a great program with areas of world-wide excellence.” To be sure, there are areas where we will need to continue to develop and grow, but we now have a strong basis for doing so.
Overall, it was a great pleasure to see how the Department had evolved and improved since 2002, and to get a better sense of the wide range of outstanding work being done by our colleagues. It was a particular pleasure to see people whom I had been involved in hiring (or whose positions I had designed) now excelling as scholars and teachers, receiving tenure and promotion, and in some cases serving as administrators. If I tried to name all those who had major achievements in the past year, who deserve special recognition, or who stepped up with extra service contributions when the need was so great, it would be overwhelming (and most of these are detailed within this Newsletter in any case). Hence I’ll restrict myself to thanking John Kloppenborg for his continued advice and support while he was on leave, Arti Dhand for her outstanding work as Associate Chair, and Jennifer Harris for her unparalleled contributions as Director of Graduate Studies. Finally, Irene Kao, Marilyn Colaco, and Fereshteh Hashimi were stellar in their administrative roles (and yes, the external reviewers did take note of our “extremely dedicated staff”).
Download the 2012-13 Newsletter
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE from the UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO
January 22, 2013
TORONTO, ON – An international collaboration between the University of Toronto and Columbia University’s research libraries will harness existing expertise in Tibetan collection services at both universities to increase the availability of Tibetan resources to a wider community of scholars in both Canada and the United States.
The faculties and students of both institutions will benefit from the innovative service model created by the partnership, which provides for jointly sponsored acquisitions trips to enhance the Tibetan collections at both universities, and a shared point of service for research consultations. Working in cooperation with the Head of Collection Development for the University of Toronto Libraries, Caitlin Tillman, and the Acting Head of the Cheng Yu Tung East Asian Library, Hana Kim, Columbia University’s Tibetan Studies Librarian, Dr. Lauran Hartley, will lead the work of coordinating Tibetan-language acquisitions at Columbia and the University of Toronto in this new pilot project. She will also provide research-support services to University of Toronto faculty and students via e-mail, phone and video conferencing and will visit the University of Toronto annually.
Continue reading University of Toronto and Columbia Libraries Launch Tibetan Studies Partnership