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Status of Women in the Profession Committee - Activities
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The Status of Women in the Profession Committee supports and, when necessary, advocates for the female members of the SBL by:
  • Tracking the academic and professional situations of women in Biblical Studies and related fields
  • Creating forums for women members to discuss academic and professional issues and conditions
  • Providing mentoring and networking opportunities
It seeks to open the Society to greater participation by women and to call attention to the various ways in which the Society speaks to and about women. CSWP advocates for:
  • The development of programs and policies that support the full inclusion of women in the activities of SBL
  • Information-gathering regarding women's experiences within the academy at all career stages
  • Women biblical scholars in contexts beyond the Society
  • Developing policies and monitoring complaints of sexual harassment and ethical misconduct

Committee Handbook

CSWP also has an active Facebook page that facilitates discussion.

The Status of Women in the Profession Outstanding Service in Mentoring Awards

Each year at the SBL Annual Meeting, CSWP honors women who have been excellent mentors to women in the field. Learn more about CSWP mentor awards here.

Gender and Racial Bias in the Classroom

In higher education, teaching is a critical component of faculty review and in promotion and tenure cases. The classroom is also the place where the scholarship on teaching and learning has documented a clear gender and racial bias. These articles have been collected to help women members of SBL understand the classroom climate and student expectations, so that they can better succeed in this area of their professional careers. The members of CSWP also hope that administrators will make summative decisions with these considerations in mind and work to address the systematic bias that exists in higher education classrooms which disadvantages women and faculty of color. Click here for access to this collection of articles.


Members of the committee:

April DeConick- Chair

Angela Harkins 

Marianne Kartzow 

Dominika Kurek-Chomycz, 

Christl Maier

Heidi Marx-Wolf

Julia O'Brien

Janette Ok - Student Representative

Susanne Scholz

Jennifer Nesbitt - Staff Liaison

Member Bios:

  • April DeConick is Isla Carroll and Percy E. Turner Professor of Biblical Studies at Rice University. She has written extensively on early Christianity, mysticism and Gnosticism. Her most recent books are Holy Misogyny: Why the Sex and Gender Conflicts in the Early Church Still Matter (Continuum 2011) and The Thirteenth Apostle: What the Gospel of Judas Really Says (Continuum 2007, revised and expanded 2009). She serves on the editorial board for the Nag Hammadi and Manichaean Studies monograph series (Leiden: Brill). In the past, she has served as Chair of the Early Jewish and Christian Mysticism Section, and the Esotericism and Mysticism in Antiquity Section of the Society of Biblical Literature. She currently chairs the Nag Hammadi and Gnosticism Section. She writes a professional blog called The Forbidden Gospels.

  • Angela Kim Harkins (University of Notre Dame Ph.D. 2003) is an Associate Professor of New Testament at the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. In 2014-2016, she was a Marie Curie International Incoming Fellow at the University of Birmingham in England where she conducted research into religious experience in the late Second Temple period. She serves on the editorial board of the Journal for the Study of the New Testament and Ekstasis: Religious Experience from Antiquity to the Middle Ages, a book series published by De Gruyter press. She is chair of the Religious Experience in Antiquity Section and serves on the steering committee for the new Prayer in Antiquity Consultation and the Qumran Section of the ISBL. Harkins is the author of Reading with an “I” to the Heavens (2012) and has collaborated on several edited volumes. She has published numerous articles and essays on prayer and emotion. Her most recent research interest investigates the role of emotions and grief in the generation of interpretation and visionary experiences in the late Second Temple period.

  • Dominika Kurek-Chomycz (Ph.D., KU Leuven, Belgium) is Lecturer in New Testament Studies at Liverpool Hope University, UK. Her doctoral dissertation focused on the olfactory metaphor in 2 Cor 2:14-17, and the motif of scent in ancient Jewish literature more generally. Her expertise and research interests include also the significance of material evidence for the interpretation of the New Testament; emotions, sense perception and sense imagery in ancient Jewish and Christian literature; women and gender in Early Christianity; and biblical hermeneutics. She has published a number of articles in various journals and edited volumes, is co-author of 2 Corinthians: A Bibliography (Peeters, 2008) and co-editor of Theologizing in the Corinthian Conflict: Studies in Exegesis and Theology of 2 Corinthians (Peeters, 2013). She serves on the editorial board for the Journal for the Study of the New Testament, and is actively involved in the governance of several scholarly societies, including her current position of the Executive Officer of the European Association of Biblical Studies.

  • Marianne Bjelland Kartzow is Professor of New Testament Studies at the Faculty of Theology, University of Oslo, Norway. Her interests include gender theory in all its complexity and variety, early Christian texts, and social history. She is also concerned about how teaching, research and societal involvement can be better connected. Kartzow has, in addition to several articles and book chapters, published two monographs (Gossip and Gender: Othering of Speech in the Pastoral Epistles, DeGruyter 2009 and Destabilizing the Margins: An Intersectional Approach to Early Christian Memory, Pickwick 2012). She has co-edited several volumes, most recently Bodies, Borders, Believers: Ancient Texts and Present Conversations (Pickwick 2015; festschrift for Turid Karlsen Seim). 

  • Christl M. Maier is Professor of Old Testament at Philipps-University Marburg, Germany. In 2003-2006 she taught at Yale Divinity School, New Haven, CT. Her academic specialties include OT wisdom literature, Jeremiah, feminist hermeneutics, and studies of space. She is Editor-in-Chief of Supplements to Vetus Testamentum and serves in the editorial boards of the Journal of Biblical Literature, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, and lectio difficilior. Currently she is writing a commentary on Jeremiah 1-25 for the International Exegetical Commentary of the Old Testament series. She is the author and coeditor of many books, e.g., The Writings and Later Wisdom Books (ed. with Nuria Calduch-Benages, 2014), Prophecy and Power: Jeremiah in Feminist and Post¬colonial Perspective (ed. with Carolyn J. Sharp, 2013), Constructions of Space V: Place, Space, and Identity in the Ancient Mediterranean World (ed. with Gert Prinsloo, 2013), and Daughter Zion, Mother Zion. Gender, Space, and the Sacred in Ancient Israel (author, 2008).

  • Heidi Marx-Wolf is an Associate Professor in the Department of Religion at the University of Manitoba. She is also an Acting Associate Dean in the Faculty of Arts at her institution. Her book, Spiritual Taxonomies and Ritual Expertise: Platonists, Priests, and Gnostics in the Third Century CE was published by UPenn Divinations Series in 2015. She is currently working on a biography of the fourth-century female philospher, Sosipatra of Pergamum, under contract with Oxford University Press' Women in Antiquity Series, as well as she is co-editing and co-authoring a source book on ancient medicine under contract with the University of California Press.

  • Julia M. O’Brien is Paul H. and Grace L. Stern Professor of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament at Lancaster Theological Seminary in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Her academic specialties include the Minor Prophets and feminist and gender studies. She is Editor-in-Chief of the Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Gender Studies(forthcoming 2014) and is completing a feminist commentary on Micah for the Wisdom Commentary Series (Liturgical Press). Publications include Challenging Prophetic Metaphor (Westminster John Knox, 2008); Nahum through Malachi (Abingdon Old Testament Commentary series, 2004); Nahum (Sheffield Academic Press, 2002; 2nd ed. 2009); and Priest and Levite in Malachi (Society of Biblical Literature Dissertation Series, 1990). With Chris Franke, she co-edited Aesthetics of Violence in the Prophets(T & T Clark, 2010).

  • Janette Ok is a PhD candidate in New Testament at Princeton Theological Seminary, writing her dissertation on 1 Peter and the construction of ethnic identity. Janette serves on the steering committee for the Minoritized Criticism and Biblical Interpretation Unit of the Society of Biblical Literature (2009-present). Her presentations include the following: “Who You are No Longer: Constructing Ethnic Identity in 1 Peter.” SBL Annual Conference Paper, Baltimore, MD, November 2013; “Active Perseverance in Romans 5:1-5: Paul’s Challenge and Encouragement to the Korean American Church.” SBL Annual Conference Paper, San Diego, CA, November 2006; Review of The Peoples' Bible (Fortress, 2008) and The Peoples' Companion to the Bible (Fortress, 2010). SBL Annual Conference Book Review Panelist, Atlanta, GA, November 2010.

  • Susanne Scholz (Ph.D., Union Theological Seminary, New York) is Associate Professor of Old Testament at Perkins School of Theology in Dallas, Texas. She is the author and (co-)editor of the following books: God Loves Diversity & Justice: Progressive Scholars Speak about Faith, Politics, & the World (editor, 2013), Sacred Witness: Rape in the Hebrew Bible (2010), Introducing the Women’s Hebrew Bible (2007), Biblical Studies Alternatively: An Introductory Reader (editor, 2003), Rape Plots: A Feminist Cultural Study of Genesis 34 (2000), and Zwischenräume: Deutsche feministische Theologinnen im Ausland (co-editor, 2000).


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