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Megan Daniels

  • Scholar 2012
  • Alumni
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Archaeologist and ancient historian
University of British Columbia

    Megan Daniels is an archaeologist and ancient historian specializing in the history of the Mediterranean world and Western Asia. Her research investigates the long-term role of religion as a driver of cohesion, cooperation, and conflict in societies, particularly through its use in articulating shifting ideas of sovereignty within and between communities. 

    She is especially interested in exploring the cognitive and cultural dimensions of religion through a combination of approaches - from archaeology, ancient texts, comparative history, and the cognitive and social sciences - as well as in the study of human migration in antiquity. 

    She is currently Assistant Professor of Ancient Greek Material Culture in the Department of Classical, Near Eastern, and Religious Studies at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. Previously, she was Lecturer in Classics and Ancient History at the University of New England in Armidale, New South Wales. 

    She was also the 2017-2018 Postdoctoral Scholar at the Institute for European and Mediterranean Archaeology (IEMA) at SUNY-Buffalo in New York State, and the Lora Bryning Redford Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow in Archaeology in the Department of Classics at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA (2016-2017). Megan received her B.A. from Wilfrid Laurier University, her M.A. from the University of British Columbia, and her Ph.D. from Stanford University. 

    She has participated in archaeological excavations in Canada, Bermuda, Greece, Italy, Macedonia, Turkey, and Tunisia. Her work has received support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), the American Council of Learned Societies, and the Mellon Foundation. 

    Between degrees, she was an archaeologist at Parks Canada in the National Parks and Native Sites Program, taught in China and Vietnam, and worked as a barista in Vancouver.

    Experience as a Trudeau scholar

    The values and the people of the Trudeau community have compelled me to think earnestly about the broader social meanings behind what I research. The members and guests of the Trudeau community have been nothing short of inspiring to me in the exceptional paths they have chosen and the palpable changes they have engendered through their research and actions. At every Trudeau event I have attended I have learned more and more how to articulate my ideas to others across different scholarly fields, social sectors, and generations, as well as how to see my work fitting into larger discourses around social stability, cross-cultural understanding, and responsible citizenship at both the local and global levels. In other words, I have taken the first steps towards becoming a public intellectual and relating my research to social values. I still feel like I have far to go in this respect, but the Scholarship has given me a compelling foundation upon which to build my academic philosophy, beyond what a traditional doctoral program could have provided me. Furthermore, I have felt more connected to Canada and Canadian values, as a Canadian scholar studying abroad. At the same time, I now feel more connected to my own fields of study, namely, archaeology and classics, because I understand better the strengths of scholarship coming from these disciplines -- particularly long-term perspectives on issues such as social development and social conflict. I aim for a career where I can continue to bring out these strengths, within and beyond these fields, through my teaching and research.