Monday, June 28, 2010

SBL and AAR Making Up

After a nasty break-up and trial separation, it seems the SBL and AAR have decided they want to be together after all. As a member of both organizations, I am happy to see this. This next year is going to be particularly ridiculous, since they are meeting in the same city--Atlanta--just a few weeks apart. We were already to meet together in San Francisco next year, but now we will also be meeting the following years in Chicago and Baltimore, which will be cold!

Here is the joint letter from Kent Richards and Jack Fitzmier, the presidents of the two organizations:

June 28, 2010

We are pleased to announce that on June 10, 2010, the Society of
Biblical Literature and American Academy of Religion signed a Letter
of Intent that outlines an agreement to hold concurrent Annual
Meetings beginning in San Francisco in the fall of 2011. These
meetings will

Occur in the same city—though the venue will change from year to year;
Occur at the same time—the weekend before the US Thanksgiving holiday;
Feature a single, jointly managed Publishers/Software/Book Exhibit;
Feature a single, jointly managed Employment Center;
Feature distinct and separate AAR and SBL programs planned with open
communication between the organizations;
Encourage the organizations’ members to attend each other’s programs
and events at no additional cost;
Allow the organizations to pursue their unique, if sometimes
overlapping, missions;
Enhance cooperation, not competition, between the organizations.

The advertising for these conventions will use the city name, the
year, and will identify the SBL and AAR as hosts. For example, the
first of these meetings will be known as “Annual Meetings 2011 San
Francisco, hosted by the American Academy of Religion and the Society
of Biblical Literature.” This name will appear on the registration
gateway, on signage at the meetings, on promotional materials, and on
other common elements.

A Conventions Management Committee, consisting of the Executive
Directors and staff members from each organization, is developing
operating policies and procedures that expand on the considerable
detail that already exists in the Letter of Intent. Each year the
Committee will review the most recent meetings with an eye toward
making improvements in subsequent gatherings. Nine concurrent meetings
are being planned for 2011 through 2019. Beginning in 2013 the
organizations will begin operating on a seven-year planning horizon
that includes a mechanism by which the organizations can, on an annual
basis, extend the seven-year agreement for an additional year. Dates
and venues of the first three concurrent Annual Meetings are as

November 19-22, 2011 San Francisco
November 17-20, 2012 Chicago
November 23-26, 2013 Baltimore

We believe that concurrent meetings will serve the interests of our
members, will help to advance the many disciplines and areas of study
we represent, and will maintain and advance the critical inquiry that
characterizes the work of our societies. We invite you to join us in
building this exciting new future.


Jack Fitzmier
American Academy of Religion

Kent Richards
Society of Biblical Literature

Now we can be one of the largest conferences in the U.S. again behind the MLA.

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