Published: March 6, 2015
Sam Boyd

The Program in Jewish Studies is excited to welcome Sam Boyd, PhD, as a visiting faculty member in Jewish Studies and Religious Studies. Professor Boyd is teaching Spring 2015 course JWST/RLST 2600 Judaism Christianity, Islam.

Originally from Charlotte, North Carolina, Professor Boyd came to CU-Boulder from Chicago, where he finished an MA and PhD from the University of Chicago. Boyd’s dissertation bridged the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, the Divinity School, and the Department of Linguistics at the University of Chicago. He examined the phenomena of language contact in the Pentateuch and in the Book of Isaiah. Specifically, he incorporated linguistic theory from studies of language contact to understand why the authors of the Hebrew Bible borrowed linguistic features from the languages of their conquerors and to understand how the multilingual world of ancient Mesopotamia offers a sociolinguistic context for such borrowing. He is currently working on a book proposal based on his dissertation, in addition to working on two other book projects, one concerning the growth and development of the book of Ezekiel and the other on a new edition of the book of 4 Baruch, an ancient work that has elements of composition that can be traced both to Jewish and Christian communities even though the book ultimately never became canonical in either religious community. 

This Fall 2015 semester, Professor Boyd is teaching JWST/RLST 2600 Judaism, Christianity, Islam. About teaching his first class at CU-Boulder, he states, "I love teaching this class! The students are interested and interactive (and they seem to be tolerating my jokes). Additionally, the subject matter is incredibly interesting and involves the complexities of many areas of research. In terms of current events, the material is interesting and could not be more timely."

Boyd was drawn to Jewish Studies by the array of topics that the field covers. "One never runs out of things to discover, read, and research. My particular foci, the Hebrew Bible, ancient Near East, and early Judaism (including early Christianity), allow me to have a hand in archaeology, history, and literary theory, as well as contemporary debates about the uses (and abuses) of the Bible in modern culture. The possibilities in Jewish Studies are endless!"

About the Program in Jewish Studies at CU-Boulder, Boyd notes that he appreciates how the students and scholars in Jewish studies are enthusiastic about communicating the value of this area of the university to the broader public. "If I have to choose one highlight, it is working with scholars and students who are enthusiastic about what they study and are interested in applying interdisciplinary approaches to understand Jewish Studies as a field."

Welcome Professor Boyd!