The Department of Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Studies celebrates its new identity

Questioning and building upon what has come before

We are excited to announce that the Department of Classical, Near Eastern and Religious Studies (CNERS to our friends) in UBC’s Faculty of Arts has officially changed its name to the Department of Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Studies (AMNE).

This new name better reflects the integrated nature of the department’s teaching and research specializations and the spirit of our interdisciplinary unit, which is committed to furthering new and emerging methods and interrogating older frameworks of inquiry. Our unit is working actively to critique and combat those frameworks used to justify ideologies of exclusion and inequality, and as such it is critical that our identity aligns with our intention to welcome all. We are committed to fostering an inclusive environment and our teaching and research embraces the enormous diversity of the ancient world, with its multiplicity of peoples, languages, cultures, and religions.


“We are delighted to have a new name that reflects the fresh approaches and multi-disciplinary research of our faculty and the nature of our courses and programs.”

~ Department Head Leanne Bablitz.


From the pyramids to the Colosseum, from Mount Olympus to Jerusalem, the Department of Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Studies offers a unique opportunity to link past, present, and future by exploring the civilizations of the ancient Mediterranean and the Near East. We critically engage with the study of the languages, literature, history, religion, law, and material culture of the lands and peoples centred around the Mediterranean and the Tigris-Euphrates river system, and the reception and representation of these culture to the modern day. Our remarkably diverse faculty includes world experts who teach and research on every aspect of the cultures of ancient Egypt, the Near East, Greece, and Rome, including their influence on modern religion, literature, and art.

Our programs are student-centered and responsive to individual interests, designed to develop relevant skill sets to prepare our students for future employment and study. By collaborating with other departments around the university, we also connect students to a range of subjects and faculty while providing a welcoming and supportive home for their time at UBC.

Whether students are interested in languages or archaeology, religion or poetry, law or philosophy, we invite them to explore the beliefs that continue to shape our world; to learn the languages of the pharaohs, Nebuchadnezzar, the Caesars, biblical kings, and Plato; and to think about what makes cities and societies; to dig for the stories written in stones and on papyrus.

As part of this name change, a new AMNE course code will consolidate and replace the course codes CLST, CNRS, NEST, and RELG. The department will maintain distinct  course codes for language courses: ARBC (Classical Arabic), GREK (Ancient Greek), HEBR (Biblical Hebrew), and LATN (Latin).

Over the coming months, AMNE’s website and social media channels will evolve to reflect the new unit, its faculty and programs. Keep watching!