Remember, As You Send in Your Multiple SBL Proposals…

To let everyone know it when they’re approved, and that way when you occupy two or three presentation slots you can lament how unfair it is for the same people to be heard and new and lesser well known voices to be silenced….

After all, you have much more to say than others and there’s no need to simply propose one paper when you’re so awesome.

News From SBL- Southeast

Dear SBL-SE members,

Given the uncertainty of the Spring, the AAR/SBL-SE board decided the March 11-13, 2022 Regional Conference will be solely online, similar to last year’s conference. The Call for Papers has now been pushed to October 15, 2021 to give you enough time to prepare a submission. Please submit your paper proposals here. For updated information about the Regional Conference visit


Doug Hume

Regional Coordinator, Society of Biblical Literature Southeast

Professor of Religion and Chair, Department of Humanities, Pfeiffer University

“Wordplay” in Ancient Near Eastern Texts – By Scott B. Noegel

This book from Scott B. Noegel offers a comparative, in-depth study of “wordplay” in ancient Near Eastern texts. Noegel establishes comprehensive taxonomies for the many kinds of devices that scholars label as wordplay and for their proposed functions. The consistent terminology Noegel proposes offers students and scholars of Sumerian, Akkadian, Egyptian, Ugaritic, Hebrew, and Aramaic a useful template for documenting and understanding the devices they discover. The book concludes by suggesting potential avenues for future research.

Free to download!

The SBL Annual Meeting Will Happen in Person, in San Antonio

Dear Colleague,

The health and safety of SBL’s members and staff are our primary concerns as we plan the 2021 Annual Meeting. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact our members’ health, well-being, resources, and ability to travel. It has also highlighted concerns about accessibility and the physical challenges related to various health risks, in addition to other obstacles that our members face, such as increased financial burdens, uneven distribution of resources, and international disparities.

We know, too, that your own planning for an Annual Meeting is challenging during this ongoing uncertainty and risk. To help you plan, we pledge to keep you fully informed about the challenges we face organizing the Annual Meeting and the new opportunities for the future that will develop out of our current struggles.

We learned much from last year’s transition to a Virtual Annual Meeting, and some of it will be an ongoing part of our long-term future. It is reasonable to ask how the solutions of 2020 might be applied to the 2021 Annual Meeting.

First, some wonder if SBL should do the same this year: hold a Virtual Annual Meeting. The contractual mechanisms that allowed us to cancel the in-person 2020 Annual Meeting do not exist this year. Under the terms of hotel and convention center contracts, the only condition under which such a pivot could take place without incurring penalties of several million dollars is if a new COVID wave forced a city- or state-wide ban on meetings. We do not anticipate this.

Second, some wonder if SBL could hold a hybrid meeting in which all sessions offered both in-person participation and real-time virtual (streaming) participation. We have explored this option carefully, but the costs associated with a fully hybrid meeting of our size are extraordinary.

The Annual Meeting hosted by SBL and AAR sponsors, at times, over 130 concurrent sessions, with a total of over 1,200 sessions between Friday and Tuesday. All of this happens on a variety of properties, including the convention center and four to five hotels. Creating and supporting a fully hybrid meeting is more complicated than using a laptop and locating a WiFi signal. It involves equipping every in-person session room with microphones, speakers, projector, screen, video camera, and computer. In addition, a paid technician would need to operate the equipment. Internet access, which is managed and controlled by contracted firms at each individual facility, must also be purchased to wire each room with bandwidth sufficient to host video streaming. Internet access fees alone would run between one and two million dollars. The total additional cost of making the 2021 Annual Meeting fully hybrid would exceed $4,000,000, nearly six times the cost of technology for a typical Annual Meeting, and result in dramatically higher registration rates. Given this reality, a fully hybrid model is not currently feasible.

Although we cannot offer a fully hybrid Annual Meeting, we are actively planning an alternative: a dual-format 2021 Annual Meeting in which some sessions are held only in-person and others are conducted strictly virtually—all during the same November 20–23 period. Members who travel to San Antonio will, of course, be able to participate in both types of sessions, while those unable to attend in-person in San Antonio will still have access to a rich program of sessions streamed online. Recordings of the virtual sessions will remain available through January 2022.

While a dual-format approach offers exciting possibilities for the meeting, there are obvious limitations, and it also introduces new logistical and financial challenges into our planning. We will keep you updated as we finalize details and have developed an FAQ that we will continue to update. Meanwhile, look for an announcement soon about registration, first for the in-person meeting and then for the virtual meeting. Program Unit chairs will receive a communication about how the new format may be utilized in session planning.

We will learn more this year about what is possible now and stay attentive to how that might change in the future. We promise to seek continually to meet the needs of all our members, including those who cannot travel and attend, for a variety of reasons, but who wish to experience the convening and the community fundamental to a learned society’s raison d’être.


John F. Kutsko
Executive Director


SBL Southeast Registration is Open

Dear Colleagues,

Registration for the meeting of the Southeastern Region of the Society of Biblical Literature is now open. Click here to visit the registration page. More information, including the link to registration, can be found at This year’s meeting, held jointly with AARSE, is hosted by Florida State University. It will be online, March 12-14, 2021. The conference topic is “Religion, Health, and Disease: An Online Conference Where Interdisciplinary Lines Intersect.”

Registration fees prior to March 11th will be $25.00 for faculty, independent scholars, and publishers; $10.00 for students; and $25.00 for institutions wishing to purchase access to one room at a time (potentially for students to view sessions). “Onsite” registration will be a flat $50.00 fee.


Dr. Doug Hume
Regional Coordinator, Southeastern Region SBL
Associate Professor of Religion and Chair of Humanities and Religion, Pfeiffer University

News From SBL About the Virtual Book Exhibit Hall

Dear Colleague,

One Annual Meeting experience that we all enjoy is the exhibit hall—running into old friends, chatting with new ones, pitching projects, and filling sturdy tote bags with books picked with care from the more than 120 publishers and exhibitors that welcome our members each year. Although this year we can’t meet over a coffee break or facilitate your study group’s reunion on aisle 500, I am pleased to announce that SBL Press set up a virtual bookstore where you can peruse our latest titles beginning 9 November.

Browse by subject or take a look at the SBL Press backlist by series. Check out the open-access resources for research and teaching. Thumb through books just as you would have in Boston. You can even email staff your questions or set up an appointment to chat about your proposal.

This year you will also be able to purchase SBL Press e-books, in addition to the usual paperbacks and simultaneously published hardcovers, at a 30 percent discount (e-books available beginning 29 November). Visit early and often, since SBL Press will shutter its virtual bookstore on 31 December.

In addition, this virtual bookstore will be available to all members, not just those registered for the Annual Meeting.

Use code AM2020 at checkout to ensure that you receive your full discount. We all look forward to seeing you again face to face in San Antonio.

John F. Kutsko
Executive Director

Bob Buller
Director, SBL Press

The SBL Southeastern Regional Meeting

The Joint Executive Committee of the SBL and AAR Southeastern Regions is pleased to announce that the 2021 Annual Meeting of the AAR/SBL SE will take place Mar. 12-14, 2021. Due to COVID-19, the meeting will be held virtually. Florida State University is generously providing the resources and support for that virtual meeting. The theme for the 2021 meeting is “Religion, Health, and Disease: An Online Conference Where Interdisciplinary Lines Intersect.” Proposals for papers and panels on a variety of other topics are also warmly invited. A Call for Papers, a thematic statement of the conference theme, and instructions for submitting proposals can all be found on the AAR/SBL SE website.

Posted in SBL

SBL Symposium Announcement

In a two-part online symposium, #BlackScholarsMatter, organized by the Society of Biblical Literature, we will have a chance to hear and learn from some of our guild’s Black colleagues about their experiences in the academy and the changes that they would like to see happen.

This special summer session will be presided and moderated by members of the SBL Council. Special thanks to Tat-siong Benny Liew, Kimberly Russaw, and Raj Nadella for organizing this symposium.

Day 1, 12 August (morning session 10:00 am–12:00 pm EDT USA):
#BlackScholarsMatter: Visions and Struggles

Panelists will discuss their experiences of and aspirations for teaching, writing, and being Black biblical scholars in the academy.


  • Cheryl Anderson, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary
  • Randall Bailey, Interdenominational Theological Center
  • Madipoane Masenya, University of South Africa
  • Shively Smith, Boston University
  • Renita Weems, Ray of Hope Community Church
  • Vincent Wimbush, Institute for Signifying Scriptures
  • Presider, Adele Reinhartz, University of Ottawa, SBL President
  • Moderator, Efrain Agosto, New York Theological Seminary, SBL Council Chair

Day 2, 13 August (evening session 7:00–9:00 pm EDT USA):
#BlackScholarsMatter: Lessons and Hopes

Panelists will share their learnings and dreams concerning teaching, writing, and being Black biblical scholars in the academy.


    • Ronald Charles, Saint Francis Xavier University
    • Stephanie Buckhanon Crowder, Chicago Theological Seminary
    • Steed Vernyl Davidson, McCormick Theological Seminary
    • Vanessa Lovelace, Lancaster Theological Seminary
    • Kimberly Russaw, Christian Theological Seminary
    • Abraham Smith, Perkins School of Theology/Southern Methodist University
    • Presider, Hugh Rowland Page, Jr., University of Notre Dame, SBL Council
    • Moderator, Sidnie White Crawford, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, SBL Council

We welcome you to join us on 12–13 August. The symposium will be open to all, SBL members and colleagues in the wider guild, though a free registration will be required. Registrations will begin on 15 July, and you will receive an email reminder. Links will also be available on the symposium web page on that date. Registration will be limited to 1,000 attendees, however, anyone unable to attend or register will be able to view recordings of the two sessions shortly after the date of the symposium.


John F. Kutsko
Executive Director

Posted in SBL

Plans For the SBL Annual Meeting

Via SBL-

Planning for the Annual Meetings in Boston is complicated and involves considering significant health and financial factors. At this point, it is incumbent on the SBL and AAR to continue to plan for a joint Annual Meeting to be held in November 2020. As of today, the meetings are scheduled to be in-person in Boston, MA. However, we recognize that the circumstances could change between now and November, and we will continue to monitor the current facts and circumstances regarding COVID-19, as well as governmental responses. We will continue to advise membership on any changes that may be necessary.

We will continue with plans to open volunteer registration on 12 May and regular registration on 14 May. You will receive another email when registration opens. However, as we expressed in a March letter to members, we want to reduce the financial risk for those planning to attend the Annual Meeting. All registrations will be fully refundable until 21 October, without a cancellation fee.

SBL Section Call For Papers

From Yigel Levin

Call For Papers: This NEW unit provides a platform for scholars to present original research related to the historical geography of the biblical world. While we anticipate many studies related to the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament and the New Testament, we welcome studies of related regions and texts as well. “Historical Geography of the Biblical World” is open to any historical geographical issue related to the lands and peoples of the Bible.

To submit proposals please go to . You must first be a member of SBL.

Please note: the CFP closes on 11 March at 23:59 Eastern Standard Time. For more details please contact Chris McKinny ( or David Moster (

The QR Haters ‘Won’

SBL has withdrawn the QR nametag thing.  So, those lacking ethics, feel free to share your nametags with as many people as you want because why should people actually pay for attending a conference they attend when they can scam their way through it?

Something Cool from SBL

If you’re a member you got this email today:

We sometimes hear from members that the size of the Annual Meeting program book makes it difficult to find papers related to one’s specific areas of interest. With an average of over 500 sessions and 1,800 papers at SBL’s Annual Meeting, it can be a challenge to identify those you want to hear, particularly when they are located in sessions you might not typically search. Moreover, a paper using Intersectional Analysis may be in a Paul and Politics session, without Intersectional Analysis appearing in the title of the session or the paper.

To help you locate sometimes hard-to-find papers, SBL has added an additional tool for searching the Annual and International Meeting program books and database.

This tool came out of two initiatives. First, in 2013 SBL launched a member profile that allows you to select your scholarly interests and specializations. At that time, we began tagging meeting papers with these specializations. Second, SBL is developing SBLCentral (, which also makes use of these tags so that you may choose to be notified automatically when books and book reviews are published in you areas of interest. We expect SBLCentral to be available with this feature in early 2020.

In the meantime, you may now try a version of this tool to search the meeting program book.

Here’s how it works. When you go to the Online Program Book, you’ll be prompted to login with your email address and SBL password. Once logged in, the specializations you already entered in your member profile will be automatically populated in a drop-down list. Choose one or all of your specializations and select search. The search results will include papers in a session that have a tag with your specialization.

Now you can find papers by title, keyword, and specialization tag.

We hope you find this useful in order to take advantage of the wealth and diversity of scholarship you and your colleagues produce at each and every meeting. We hope it also helps you find new colleagues who share your research interest.

John F. Kutsko
Executive Director

SBL Early Registration Deadline Looms

SBL emails-

The last chance to take advantage of the Super Saver Registration rates for the SBL Annual Meeting 2019 is Thursday, May 23. If you haven’t registered for the SBL Annual Meeting 2019 yet, the Super Saver registration rates are in effect through the end of the day (11:59 pm Eastern Time), Thursday, May 23. After this day they will increase an additional $50 so please to make sure to register with this link. You will need your SBL Membership number and a valid Mastercard, Visa, or American Express credit card available when you register. Also, to receive the SBL member discounted rate you MUST log in to the SBL page too. Log in information is located on the left side of the page. If you do not log in, you’ll only see non-member and affiliate rates, which are much higher.

I won’t be in San Diego (although it’s a lovely city) because I will be lecturing in Hong Kong in October.  I will, though, be in Boston.  And I think I’m going to go solo in 2020.  Let’s see what a room by myself is like.

Have fun this year.  See you next time.

Posted in SBL