Links for SBL10 Workshop Presentation

“‘To Those Far and Near’: the Case for Community at a Distance.”

The Background:

A Community of Scholarship, Emory’s Candler School of Theology.

Episode CXXVIII of the Endless Thread, Pharyngula.

Losers of Friday Night on Their Computers, Twitter search. [link fixed]

SBL Annual Conference 2010 (#sbl10), Twitter search. [link fixed]

Intro to OT Online Group Paper (concluding summary), Wetpaint.

Dissecting Community: Example from Sociology:

Community, Infed (Informal Education).

The Project:

Bible and Teaching Blogs via feeds, NetVibes.

Collaborative Wiki on the Hendel Affair, Wetpaint.

[Links for SBL10 Workshop Presentation was written by G. Brooke Lester for Anumma.com and was originally posted on 2010/11/22. Except as noted, it is © 2010 G. Brooke Lester and licensed for re-use only under CC BY-NC-ND 3.0.]

Mid-Atlantic SBL Call for Papers

Are you SBL? Are you Mid-Atlantic? Then this is for you.

The Mid-Atlantic Region of the Society of Biblical Literature has issued their call for papers for the 2011 conference (PDF link). The conference is March 17–18. The due date for proposals is December 6 2010. The theme this year is “Religion and Embodiment,” and fitting the theme is optional.

Good luck, and have fun.

[Mid-Atlantic SBL Call for Papers was written by G. Brooke Lester for Anumma.com and was originally posted on 2010/08/27. Except as noted, it is © 2010 G. Brooke Lester and licensed for re-use only under CC BY-NC-ND 3.0.]

“Reunited, Hey, Hey”

Like many of you, I am informed by email that AAR will again in the future be holding its annual meetings in the same time and place that SBL holds its annual meetings.

Reached for comment, AAR would not say on the record that it has decided that SBL does not smell like cheese, eat paste, and sweat when it holds AAR’s hand crossing the street. (SBL, reached for comment, looked at its shoes and mumbled aggressively about “the kewl kids.”) Person-on-the-street interviews suggest that a reduced percentage of corduroy jackets with patched sleeves in SBL, and an increase in annual papers with “gender” in the title, may be among the relevant factors in this reunion.

In related news: AAR and SBL seen sitting at the same lunch table. Occasional brushing-together of feet probably not “footsie,” but promisingly, does not result in a masking tape dividing line on the floor.

[“Reunited, Hey, Hey” was written by G. Brooke Lester for Anumma.com and was originally posted on 2010/06/28. Except as noted, it is © 2010 G. Brooke Lester and licensed for re-use only under CC BY-NC-ND 3.0.]

SBL 2010 Program Book

Mark Goodacre alerts us that the preliminary online program book is available for the 2010 Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature. He tells us what he’s doing there (I am so totally at that second one, Mark), and invites us to do the same.

The title of my own presentation is, “To Those Far and Near”: The Case for “Community” at a Distance. I am presenting it in the session, “Academic Teaching and Biblical Studies.” The theme for this session is “A Workshop on Interactive Technologies for Teaching and Learning.”

Insert here obligatory fear-based murmblings about the current state of the project.

Who else is presenting? What other interesting things are you doing at SBL 2010?

[SBL 2010 Program Book was written by G. Brooke Lester for Anumma.com and was originally posted on 2010/06/08. Except as noted, it is © 2010 G. Brooke Lester and licensed for re-use only under CC BY-NC-ND 3.0.]

Reading-from-the-Page in Presentation: Crazy’s Defense

Opinions about how to present effectively (or at least, not crashingly boringly) at the professional conferences come up perennially on the blogs, usually (for us Bible types) around the time of our November professional conference, but at other times as well. Other fields also make their own observations (h/t to Bitternsweet Girl).

Now, Dr. Crazy makes a thorough argument for the “reading from a piece of paper” model of presentation. Crazy is in literary studies, and most of her argument is directly relevant to what we usually do in biblical studies: present novel interpretations of literary source material that is already well known to our hearers.

As usual, Crazy’s post draws thoughtful comments, some of which challenge the distinction she makes between presentations of experiments (as in the sciences) and presentations as described above (as in literary and biblical studies, though I know our epigraphy and archaeology sections might fall more into the description-of-research mode).

Take a look. It’s never too soon to be thinking about the next conference. Does Crazy make you re-think the “reading a paper” mode of presentation favorably, even though that’s almost certainly not how you teach?

[Reading-from-the-Page in Presentation: Crazy’s Defense was written by G. Brooke Lester for Anumma.com and was originally posted on 2010/04/30. Except as noted, it is © 2010 G. Brooke Lester and licensed for re-use only under CC BY-NC-ND 3.0.]

Random Bullets of Research

It’s piled noticeably higher and deeper around here. Currently in the hopper are:

  • Deciding on bibliography for a course on “The Old Testament in the New Testament (Allusion and Influence)”;
  • Learning our institutional options and guidelines regarding creating course-packs, for above;
  • Bringing my dissertation’s bibliography (late 2007) up to date, for revision;
  • Inquiry into what “community” is, how we recognize it in a group of learners, and where it is found in the first sixteen years or so of internet-based online education (presentation for SBL 2010).
  • Bread in the Bible and the ANE, baby.

Fortunately, I took the precaution of earning a research degree. Otherwise, I’d be worried.

[Random Bullets of Research was written by G. Brooke Lester for Anumma.com and was originally posted on 2010/04/06. Except as noted, it is © 2010 G. Brooke Lester and licensed for re-use only under CC BY-NC-ND 3.0.]

Again with the Women…

…seriously.

When a community or an activity is overwhelmingly dominated by male voices, I simply assume that this is a sign of extreme ill health.

I might make arguments about why the community is in such a state, and about which external or internal factors are to blame, and how to bring the patient to a healthy state. But, nothing could convince me to spend time debating about whether the community is in ill health, any more than I would be drawn into a discussion about whether a 98%-white community were in ill health. Exclusion simply is a condition of ill health, an indicator of pathologies.

I bring this up because the Bible-blogging community has again asked itself, “Where all de wimmin at?” (see comments there, and if possible see this older post also).

To which I say, “Good”; frankly, I am not sure there are any more urgent questions to be asked.[1] [A belated clarification: I mean by this to say, This is an urgent question; sorry that my phrasing was not as clear as possible.] Anybody who wants to can compare the level of participation of women in SBL or AAR to that in the Bible-blogging community and see the disparity.

That said, depending on how the conversation takes shape, it may or may not be a conversation I want to be involved in (not meant as a threat; I know that the world turns with or without my help; just processing things aloud in my head).

Insofar as the conversation is about whether there is a problem or not (especially in the mode of, “Won’t you complaining wimmin just kindly explain one more time why you think that there’s a problem here?”), I’ll just wander off to the punch bowl and see if any other like-minded folks are also there, rolling their eyes and trying to look like they just came in to get out of the rain.

Insofar as the conversation is about the role of wimmin in the (a, some-or-other) church, you’ll find me elsewhere, waiting for notice that the talk about biblical studies is scheduled to begin.

Insofar as the conversation is about why the women bloggers just can’t enjoy a healthy (persistent, endless) debate about how uncomfortable they make traditional, complementarian-minded men feel, and why they can’t just be more sensitively tolerant of world views that prefer to see women’s voices marginalized, I’ll…well, no, thanks.

But, insofar as the conversation acknowledges at the outset a problem in exclusion—no matter what the possible internal or external root causes of that exclusion—and seeks to discover and address root causes; insofar as that search for root causes is well-meaning and sincere, however naive and fumbling; insofar as the conversation partners are eager to be self-critical; in short, insofar as the conversation situates itself in 21st century academia, then I am cautiously excited for its possibilities and earnestly committed to participate.

(Postscript: I can imagine a related post dealing with the fact that Bible-blogging is less independent of sectarian confessional writing than is the peer-reviewed work associated with SBL or AAR.)

(Second postscript, later: J.K. is also welcoming conversation.)

BACK TO POST Though some other questions might be closely related, such as that of the relation of privately-held sectarian claims (about gender, for instance) to the publicly-shared evidence and lines of reasoning that characterize academic biblical studies.

[Again with the Women… was written by G. Brooke Lester for Anumma.com and was originally posted on 2010/04/05. Except as noted, it is © 2010 G. Brooke Lester and licensed for re-use only under CC BY-NC-ND 3.0.]