But it is exceedingly troubling that the SBL continues to maintain that it strives for ‘diversity’ whilst simultaneously allowing people to make multiple presentations. This literally is anything but a quest for diversity. Instead, it is the corralling of intellectual contributions and the restriction of discussion to a much smaller group of participants.
For every presenter who offers two papers, their voice is weighted twice as much as those who have no place or opportunity. The sad fact then is that instead of a diversity of voices (which the SBL pretends it wishes) the voices of fewer are given place.
Let me put it as simply as possible: there’s a certain measure of the egomaniacal in the minds of those who believe they deserve two hearings while others deserve none, and SBL enables it and empowers them whilst divesting others by allowing people to give two papers.
How can the SBL do the right thing, open up opportunities, and hear a wider diversity of viewpoints? Do away with the permissions granted to deliver two papers.
If not, what can members of SBL do? They can simply submit one paper. Simple. They can abandon the false notion that they deserve to ‘vote’ twice and simply ‘vote’ once.
Unless, of course, they think that what they have to say is so much more important than what everyone else has to say that they actually and factually believe that they are more worthy of a hearing than their peers (which, knowing some, they actually do believe).
Come on, SBL. Stop talking about diversity of opinion until you stop the steamroller of multi-section presentations. Until then, your protestations of concern for diversity just aren’t believable.