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.

spring Term 2024
MTWR 10:00 - 11:25 A.M.


This course examines the development of various technologies and their impact on the course of history, from antiquity to our modern period. Some of the topics that will be covered: warfare technologies, domestic technologies, artificial intelligence, photography, aviation, transportation technologies including cars and EVs, rocketry, internet, video games, mass media, applied science, technoscience, nuclear power, metaverse, education, transhumanism, and singularity.

No prerequisites

Class Format: Blended – in person and online. Most lectures will be posted online as MP4 video files in asynchronous format and will not require in person presence, but some lectures, all discussions, and all exams will require students to be present in person in class. Detailed list/schedule of in person days and online days will be provided in the class syllabus that will be posted on e-class by May 5th.

Prof. Lech Lebiedowski

fall Term 2024
tR 5:00-6:20 P.M.

relig 397/phil 301 - The Bhagavad Gītā: Yoga and Immortality  

The Bhagavadgītā is one of the most influential wisdom texts within the history of South Asia. This new course will explore the Bhagavadgītā's approaches to philosophy, lived religion, and psychology. We will critically explore its central themes and doctrinal contexts, such as yogic practices of meditation and ethics, psychologies of happiness and suffering, metaphysics of oneness and panpsychism, and theories of self-identity and consciousness. We will also situate the Bhagavadgītā in its historical contexts, and inquire into its political and religious influences in modern India and its reception in contemporary spirituality.

Class Format: This course will be fully online (synchronous). We will engage the Bhagavadgītā in a highly interactive format that emphasizes shared inquiry, active learning, collaborative research projects, and community building. Students will work together to produce an innovative virtual exhibit in lieu of traditional marking assignments.

Prof. Neil Dalal

  • 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


Three HCR Scholars Present Research in Taipei

Two professors and a graduate student from the Department of History, Classics, and Religion - together representing all three disciplines within the department - recently presented their research at a major international conference in Taipei, Taiwan. 

Read More


Leave a Legacy

Your donation supports new learning opportunities and experiences for students, funds research and builds spaces for innovation and education.