Monday, April 28, 2008

SBL Announcement about AAR Joint Future Meetings

I just received this in my e-mail from Kent Richards as a general announcement to members of SBL. It is the board's response to AAR's recent announcement to meet simultaneously with SBL again. The bad news appears to be that SBL has scheduled its own meetings until 2013 in Baltimore! That means six years before rejoining?! This is TOO LONG!
The SBL Council discussed this announcement at its meeting on April 26, 2008, and offers the following comment to SBL members.

We are pleased to hear of this new development, and wish to reaffirm our continued interest in meeting at the same time and in the same city as the AAR. The SBL was not involved in the original decision by AAR; nor have we been involved in the present one. We will certainly discuss with AAR the feasibility of meeting in the same city at the traditional time (the weekend before US Thanksgiving) as soon as it is possible given present scheduling commitments and contractual arrangements. We are already scheduled through 2012 (Chicago) and 2013 (Baltimore). Once discussions commence with AAR regarding future concurrent meetings, the SBL Executive Director will report regularly on the progress in making this a practical reality. We firmly believe that holding the SBL Annual Meeting at the same time and in the same city as other organizations involved in the advancement of biblical, religious, theological, and related academic studies is a good idea. It brings together people from diverse disciplines and backgrounds to exchange ideas and build relationships.

Kent Richards
SBL Executive Director


Brent Landau said...

I'm not sure if the announcement is saying that there will definitely not be any joint meetings until 2013. I think that it's intentionally vague, perhaps to strengthen the SBL's hand when negotiating this.

My read was (and I might be wrong), "Yes, we'd like joint meetings in the future, but we've already booked up through 2013 on our own. So any possibility of holding joint meetings prior to 2013 depends on 'scheduling commitments' and 'contractual obligations' and whether the AAR can be incorporated under these existing agreements."

I'd be pretty surprised if the meetings didn't end up being joint earlier than 2013. Book exhibitors and schools that are hiring (to say nothing of many other interested parties) can't be happy about separate meetings, and the sooner everything gets back to the way it was, the better.

April DeConick said...


Gosh I hope your read is correct. This split is not good for many of us. The book exhibitions and the job fair are at such disadvantages with this split arrangement, not to mention those of us who are joint members not being able to attend both meetings.