Is anyone presenting at SBL in Atlanta and using a digital projector? And if so, have you been told that you have to pay an additional fee for the use of such equipment? If so, I’d very much appreciate it if you could let me know if this is indeed the case. If it is, it’s really quite scandalous considering the already astronomical conference fee attendees are required to pay (not to mention hotel costs, transport, and food).
I ask because this is the notice that’s been sent to presenters-
The SBL Annual Meeting in Atlanta is fast-approaching and we want to ensure that you have the AV equipment and support you need to enhance your presentation. If you are receiving this email, you indicated an interest in ordering AV materials (LCD Projector or Overhead Projector) when you submitted your paper/abstract. The current rate to order an LCD Projector (beamer) and screen is $25 USD and the current rate to order an Overhead Projector and screen is $20 USD. On September 17th the rates will increase to $75 and $60, respectively. In mid to late October, all incomplete AV orders will be canceled.
Seriously? I have attended a lot of academic conferences in my life and NEVER seen presenters levied a fee for use of equipment. Ever. This, as far as I am concerned, is far more offensive than the Sausage Debacle. I’m simply gobsmacked.
Equally surprising is the fact that no one has mentioned it!
UPDATE II: Yigal Levin wrote late last August when he first heard of the fee this letter, which he has given me permission to post-
When I first saw this new demand, I was surprised and unsure of how to respond. So I am now, in protest. As you note, the use of AV aids does much to enhance the presentations given at academic meetings. Additionally, use of AV equipment has all but replaced paper handouts, which are both ecologically harmful and often much less effective. Such use of AV equipment has become pretty much standard, any respectful lecture hall is equipped with a projector and screen, and if not, then supplying them is part and parcel of organizing a conference. For both of the above-mentioned reasons, SBL should be doing all it can to encourage presenters to use AV presentations. Instead, by fining such presenters, you are doing the exact opposite. I do appreciate that there are costs involved, but since the main beneficiaries of use of AV are the audience, who enjoy the more interesting lectures, such costs should be calculated into the general cost of running the meeting, and worked into the regular registration fee which is paid by all participants. Distributed between all of the hundreds of participants, I imagine that the increase in registration fees would be just a few dollars per participant. Until such time as I am informed that the 25 dollar “fine” is cancelled, I withdraw my request for a projector. I’ll make do with paper handouts, killing a few trees along the way.
Tagged: Society of Biblical Literature