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Religious Studies in the News

Shepardson, Darby Honored at Annual Faculty Awards Banquet

Shepardson, Darby Honored at Annual Faculty Awards Banquet

Each year, faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences are recognized for their contributions to the college, the university, and the impact of their teaching and research at the annual faculty awards dinner. Two members of the Department of Religious Studies received awards at this year’s event, which took place Thursday, December 1, 2016.

The Excellence in Research/Creative Achievement awards recognize faculty excellence in research and creative achievement at three levels: the early career, midcareer, and senior career.

Tina Shepardson, Lindsay Young Professor in the Department of Religious Studies, received a midcareer award for making her mark in the history of early Christianity, particularly the Mediterranean world of late antiquity, with her second book, Controlling Contested Places: Late Antique Antioch and the Spatial Politics of Religious Controversy. She followed that up with a prestigious 2016-2017 NEH Fellowship, which is enabling her to study a fifth-century schism within Christianity that in her view constitutes an important chapter of Muslim-Christian relations with significance for the modern world. Professor Shepardson is the recipient of several other awards, including a 2009-2010 ACLS Fellowship, and a 2008 NEH Summer Stipend. She is renowned for her academic leadership internationally, nationally, and specifically on our campus through her highly successful faculty research seminar on Late Antiquity. Professor Shepardson loves sharing her research with local community groups and is an excellent teacher to boot.

Erin Darby, assistant professor of Hebrew Bible and Early Judaism, received an early career research award. Many of her publications, including her first monograph, draw upon her knowledge of ancient female figurines in Israel and surrounding cultures to elucidate key features of Near Eastern religion. Professor Darby’s research has been supported by several awards that have taken her to Jordan, Cyprus, Syria, and Israel, including, most recently, an NEH Fellowship at the W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem. She is currently co-editing two books about Near Eastern figurines and conducting new research on an ancient shrine at the site of 'En Hazeva in southern Israel. She is also the co-director of the 'Ayn Gharandal Archaeological Project, excavating a Nabataean-Islamic period site in southern Jordan, and leads the UT Dig Jordan study abroad program.

Congratulations to our award winners for their achievements.

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