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Classical and Near Eastern Studies

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News Archive

  • Announcing the Retirement of Tom Clayton

    Tom Clayton is retiring after 47 years of teaching at Minnesota. Best wishes for a meaningful and rewarding retirement! 

  • Congratulations to Fulbright Recipients Emily Parrent and Theresa Chresand

    MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL, April 16, 2015--Seven seniors at the University of Minnesota have been awarded grants to study and teach abroad following graduation by the Fulbright U.S. Student Program. Three were awarded study grants that will allow them to conduct research with faculty at foreign universities, one will complete a Masters degree, and three will work as teaching assistants in English language classes. The Fulbright grants cover all travel and living expenses for one academic year.

    Emily Parrent, a student in the University Honors Program and the College of Liberal Arts from Crystal Lake, Illinois, will complete an MA in Medieval Studies at the University of York. A major in both French/Italian and Classical Civilization, she will continue her studies of languages, paleography, and archaeology to develop skills to complete a Ph.D. and future research medieval history.

    Theresa Chresand, a 2014 graduate of the College of Liberal Arts and the University Honors Program, majored in Greek and Latin and has been continuing her studies at Cambridge University. As an undergraduate she studied papyrology and became involved in the Ancient Lives project, working with Professor Nita Krevans to crowd-source the transcription of thousands of fragmentary texts. She will continue her research on Greek papyri in Vienna, Austria at the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek and other archives.

    The Fulbright Program was created and funded by Congress in 1946 to promote international good will through the exchange of students and scholars in all areas of education, culture, and science. The program currently awards approximately 1,900 grants annually in all fields of study, and operates in more than 140 countries worldwide.
    Students at the University of Minnesota and recent graduates who are interested in the Fulbright Student Program should see the web-site at and contact Timothy Jones in the Office of National and International Scholarships (

  • CNES Mourns Loss of Colleague Sheila McNally

    CNES mourns the loss of our colleague Sheila McNally, Professor Emerita of Art History, who passed away on September 24 at the age of 81. Professor McNally was a member of CNES from 1987 until 2004 (before and after those years she was in the department of art history) and was closely linked to our programs throughout her decades at Minnesota. She was a distinguished scholar and dynamic teacher whose research (ranging from the palaces of Roman emperors to the ancient silk trade to Coptic monasteries) took her all over the world. We will miss her presence in our community greatly. Contributions in her honor can be made to theSheila McNally Fellowship Fund (c/o the Department of Art History), which supports graduate students pursuing the Ph.D. in Late Antique art and archaeology.

  • Welcome Fall 2014 CNES Faculty!

    We are pleased to announce that Dr. Patricia Ahearne-Kroll Ph.D. and Dr. Stephen Ahearne-Kroll Ph.D, will join the Classical & Near Eastern Studies Department in Fall 2014.

    Patricia Ahearne-Kroll joins the CNES faculty as assistant professor. Dr. Ahearne-Kroll's Doctoral training is in the Hebrew Bible, Second Temple Judaism, and rabbinic midrash. In 2010, Dr. Ahearne-Kroll received Ohio Wesleyan's Sherwood Dodge Shankland Award for Encouragement of Teachers. Her courses include CNES 3204 The Dead Sea Scrolls and CNES 1201/3201 The Bible: Context and Interpretation.

    Stephen Ahearne-Kroll joins the CNES faculty as associate professor and Sundet Family Chair in New Testament and Christian Studies. Dr. Ahearne-Kroll's teaching areas include: New Testament studies, Hellenistic religions, Second Temple Judaism, gender in ancient religion, family in the ancient Mediterranean world, ethnicity in the ancient Mediterranean world, ancient and modern hermeneutical theory, religious studies generally. His courses include GRK 5200 Biblical Greek and CNES 3072 The New Testament.

  • Welcome Nita Krevans!

    We are pleased to announce the appointment of Nita Krevans as chair for the department of Classical and Near Eastern Studies.

    Thank you Chris Nappa for all your hard work and dedication serving as department chair for the past six years.

  • Welcome Geoffrey Smith!

    Geoffrey Smith has recently joined the department as a post-doctoral associate in papyrology. He will assist in the initial phase of the NEH funded project, "Resurrecting Early Christian Lives: Digging in Papyri in a Digital Age." In consultation with Philip Sellew, Nita Krevans, and other members of the team Geoff will help procure databases of digitized Greek and Coptic manuscripts, develop a digital transcription tool for the Coptic language, and continue his research into Christian identity in Greco-Roman Egypt.He will also travel to England in July to work with members of the team at Oxford University.

  • CNES Joins Facebook!

    We are happy to announce the department of Classical & Near Eastern Studies joined Facebook today! Visit CNES on Facebook and "Like" our page.

    When someone clicks "Like" at the top of our Facebook Page, they become a fan of CNES and will receive department updates including events and other announcements.

  • Philip Sellew Awarded NEH Grant

    National Endowment for the Humanities has awarded Associate Professor Philip Sellew (Classical & Near Eastern Studies). Sellew is the principal investigator for "Resurrecting Early Christian Lives: Digging in Papyri in a Digital Age." Read More

  • CNES welcomes Assistant Professor Hanne Loeland Levinson

    Hanne Loeland Levinson received her PhD. from MF Norwegian School of Theology in Oslo where she also worked as an Associate Professor of Old Testament from 2007-2013. Dr. Loeland Levinson is the author of Silent or Salient Gender? The Interpretation of Gendered God-Language in the Hebrew Bible, Exemplified in Isaiah 42, 46, and 49. (Published by Mohr Siebeck in 2008). Her book won the John Templeton Award for Theological Promise. Dr. Loeland Levinson's field is Hebrew Bible and her special research interests are Women and gender studies, metaphor studies, narrative readings of the Hebrew Bible, and the understanding of death and dying in the Hebrew Bible. Dr. Loeland Levinson is a core faculty in the Religious Studies Program and the Center for Jewish Studies at the University of Minnesota. She is Chair of the Society of Biblical Literature program unit: Metaphor Theory and Hebrew Bible. During her years at the Norwegian School of Theology Dr. Loeland Levinson has been a visiting scholar at Stellenbosch University (South Africa), Luther Theological Seminary (St Paul), Duke University, the Hebrew University (Jerusalem) and at the Swedish Theological Institute (Jerusalem). To find more information visit her webpage.

  • Convergence and Divergence in Pentateuchal Theory: Bridging the Academic Cultures of Israel, North America and Europe

    The conference is co-organized by CNES faculty member Bernard Levinson and includes twenty-five leading scholars, among whom CNES Alum Molly Zahn. The international conference will discuss different approaches to the formation of the Pentateuch, and will be held at the Israel Institute for Advanced Studies in Jerusalem, where Professor Levinson is currently on research leave.

    For more information on the conference:

    Bernard Levinson's Academic Website:

    Date: May
    12-13, 2013

    Location: Israel
    Institute for Advanced Studies, The Hebrew University.

    The Pentateuch lies at the heart of the Western humanities. Yet despite nearly two centuries of critical scholarship, the human origins of this monument of civilization remain shrouded in the past. Indeed, the traditional conception of a unified, self-consistent foundation narrative has long been given up. Critical scholarship has isolated multiple layers of tradition, inconsistent laws, and narratives that could only have originated from separate communities within ancient Israel, and were joined together at a relatively late stage by a process of splicing and editing.

    Recent developments in academic biblical studies, however, jeopardize the revolutionary progress that has been made over the last two centuries. The so-called "Documentary Hypothesis" has dominated academic discourse on the Pentateuch since the end of the nineteenth century. More recently, however, the source-critical method has come under unprecedented attack. In fact, in many
    quarters it has been rejected entirely. While new perspectives are constantly being generated to replace traditional paradigms, the past forty years of scholarship have witnessed not simply a proliferation of intellectual models, but the fragmentation of discourse, especially among Israeli, European, and North American scholars.

    This conference seeks to further international exchange and re-establish a shared intellectual. Presentations will be offered by a group of twenty-five international scholars, drawn from the fields of Biblical Studies, Second Temple/Dead Sea Scrolls, and Jewish Studies, with extensive time for discussion and debate.

    Organizers: Bernard M. Levinson, University of Minnesota; Konrad Schmid, University of Zurich; Baruch J. Schwartz, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem; and Jan Christian Gertz, Heidelberg University.

    Speakers: Joel
    Baden, Yale University; Mark J. Boda, McMaster Divinity College; David Carr,
    Union Theological Seminary; Cynthia Edenburg, The Open University of Israel;
    Jan Joosten, University of Strasbourg; Reinhard G. Kratz, University of
    Göttingen; Christoph Levin, University of Munich; Noam Mizrahi, Tel Aviv
    University; Christophe Nihan, University of Lausanne; Thomas Römer, University
    of Lausanne and Collège de France; Christopher Rollston, George Washington
    University; Dalit Rom-Shiloni, Tel Aviv University; Michael Segal, The Hebrew
    University of Jerusalem; Jean Louis Ska, Pontifical Biblical Institute;
    Jean-Pierre Sonnet, Pontifical Gregorian University; Jeffrey Stackert,
    University of Chicago; Jakob Wöhrle, University of Münster; David Wright,
    Brandeis University; Molly Zahn, University of Kansas.

    For more information: