History, Classics, and Religion

Casbah walls
Casbah walls

Welcome to the Department of History, Classics, and Religion!

The Department of History, Classics, and Religion offers a full range of undergraduate and graduate degrees in Classics (including Classical Archaeology), Religious Studies, and History. Classics is the interdisciplinary study of the ancient cultures and civilizations of the Mediterranean world, particularly those of Greece and Rome. History is the study of change over time within and across human societies, from any period and any part of the world. Religious Studies is the critical study of religious beliefs, practices, texts, institutions, and communities. Our courses and degrees help students develop their abilities in critical analysis, creative thinking, and effective oral and written communication. Our award-winning instructors and researchers teach nearly 9000 students in about 200 classes per year – and we welcome you to join us!


Undergraduate Programs

BA in History

The BA in History will give you an understanding of our society by studying the conflicts, ideas, and relationships that shaped global societies over time. Our History professors are passionate and creative teachers, eager to help you explore and understand the past and to develop your skills as researchers, thinkers, and communicators.

BA in Ancient and Medieval Studies

This interdisciplinary program allows students to explore past societies in the pre-modern period. Take courses from Anthropology, Classics, East Asian Studies, English, History, Philosophy, Scandinavian Studies, and Women’s and Gender Studies to explore the peoples, places, and cultures of the Islamic world in the Golden Age, Greco-Roman antiquity and an emerging Europe, as well as ancient and medieval Africa, India and Asia.

BA in Classics

The BA in Classics will give you a broad perspective on the cultures of the ancient Mediterranean, particularly those of Greece and Rome. Read some of the most influential texts from the Greco-Roman world (in English or in the original languages), and study the material culture of ancient civilizations whose influence remains profound in the modern era. Classics courses help students develop their abilities in critical analysis, creative thinking, and effective oral and written communication.

BA in Religious Studies

The BA in Religious Studies program provides you with the skills to critically study religious beliefs, practices, texts, institutions, and communities. We ask: What is religion? How has it functioned in societies past and present? How do religious groups answer the enduring questions of human existence? An undergraduate degree in Religious Studies will prepare you to do research, think, ask questions, and communicate your ideas.

Graduate Programs

MA and PhD in History

We offer graduate studies at both the PhD and MA level (course-based or thesis-based MA programs). Our faculty supervise on fields in Canadian and global history related to their geographic or thematic areas of study. Our coursework exposes students to diverse areas of historical inquiry and emphasizes training in the theory and methods of History as a discipline, as well as writing and research skills with a wide application beyond academia.

MA and PhD Programs in Classics

We offer PhD and MA programs in both Classical Archaeology and Classical Languages, as well as an MA program in Ancient Societies and Cultures. Our faculty supervise projects on a full range of topics relating to Ancient Greece and Rome. The training our students receive ranges from learning ancient languages to participating in archaeological fieldwork and provides a thorough foundation in the discipline of Classics, along with valuable research and writing skills.

MA and PhD in Religious Studies

Our MA and PhD programs offer advanced graduate training in the interdisciplinary study of Religion from an academic, non-affiliated perspective, and are suitable for students of any or no personal faith background. Our faculty, as well as affiliated colleagues in other programs, supervise projects on a range of world religious traditions, particularly Islam and the religions of South and East Asia. Students gain experience in the diverse methodologies applied in Religious Studies, in addition to transferable writing and research skills.

Fall Term 2023
TH 3:30 - 4:50 P.M.

HIST 219: Famine as genocide in the 20th century: the case of the Holodomor

This course is an exploration of the 1932-33 famine in Ukraine in the context of other 20th century famines, genocide, survivor experience, and Soviet history. Through a nuanced, comparative study of some of the worst tragedies in human history - and the efforts of interested parties to either memorialize or to deny them - the goal of this course is to develop an understanding for the deep crises currently afflicting our planet, and an appreciation for both the heroism and the horror that humanity can display in times of terrible hardship.

Dr. Henry Prown

fall Term 2023
TH 8-9:20 A.M.

HIST 318 - Modern ukraine

Ukrainian history is a fascinating intellectual pursuit. It goes far beyond contemporary national borders and touches on Russian, Soviet, Polish, Austrian, Turkish, and Canadian topics. Modern Ukraine appeared in the very center of the greatest geopolitical cataclysms of the twentieth century: two world wars; disintegration of the Russian and Austro-Hungarian empires; establishing and further disintegration of the Soviet Union; to say nothing of the ongoing Russian – Ukrainian war which has already acquired global dimension. Chronologically, the course covers 18th-21st centuries, but in the introductory lectures I also dwell upon Kyiv Rus' and the early modern (Cossack) periods of Ukrainian history. I pay particular attention to the issues of the borderland, empire, nationalism, geopolitics, and historical legacy. The cultural, regional and ethnic diversity of Ukrainian history makes it attractive for those who are interested in various disciplines including political sciences, human geography, and cultural anthropology.

No prerequisites

Dr. Volodymyr Kravchenko

  • the WG Hardy Classics Museum

    Founded in 1975, the WG Hardy Classics Museum includes artifacts from ancient Greece, Roman Europe, Egypt, Persia, and South and Central Asia. Free to visit, it has around 200 objects on display and is the only museum of its kind in the province.

  • Educational Diversity

    Our department is an incubator for educational diversity in Alberta. Ukrainian Studies, Islamic Studies, Chinese language and history, and the study of Canada’s First Nations and Indigenous/ settler relations in the Fur Trade era are only a few of the areas of study pioneered here.

  • Distinguished Alumni

    Our alumni have distinguished themselves all over the world and in many different professional spheres. They include lawyers and judges, educators, politicians, business and industry executives, public servants, and leaders in the non-profit sector.

EDI Statement

The Department of History, Classics, and Religious Studies is committed to a climate of safety and acceptance for all its members and guests. We see great strength in diversity of ability, class, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, nationality, religion, and sexual orientation, but those strengths can only be realized in the absence of structural oppressions. We are committed to revealing and dismantling these barriers.

News + Events

Professors Sarah Carter and Beverly Lemire

Two historians from Faculty of Arts named to the Order of Canada

Professors Sarah Carter and Beverly Lemire were among the appointees announced by Governor General Mary Simon on June 30, 2023.

Read More


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