Tyler Kelley is a PhD student in the Department of Religion at the University of Georgia whose research focuses on the history and literature of the ancient Near East, including the Hebrew Bible. His interests include the Priestly text of the Torah, Assyrian Royal Inscriptions, and the development and purpose of ancient Near Eastern historiographic literature. His work is centered on understanding the interconnected and multicultural nature of the ancient world. His teaching seeks to invite students into the past as a way of seeing that the things that people do make sense if you can learn to ask the right questions and are willing to see things from within another’s framework. He is currently writing his dissertation, entitled Judah's Mythographer: A New Model for the Priestly Text, to be completed in Fall 2021.
Tyler is also a graduate assistant in the Division of Academic Enhancement, working with the Reacting to the Past program. Developed at Barnard College, Reacting to the Past is an award-winning, active-learning, student-centered pedagogy for use in undergraduate classrooms. Reacting to the Past consists of a series of role-immersion games in which teachers assign students the roles of historical figures and factions from a particular moment in time (e.g., Athens in 403 BCE). Tasked with using persuasive writing and public speaking to accomplish their character and faction goals, students must utilize relevant primary sources in order to understand their roles and formulate successful strategies in order to win.