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Meeting Program Units

2016 Annual Meeting

San Antonio, TX

Meeting Begins: 11/19/2016
Meeting Ends: 11/22/2016

Note that the deadline for paper proposals is 11:59 PM (23:59) Eastern Standard Time (UTC -5) on the day PREVIOUS to the deadline below.


Call For Papers Opens: 12/16/2015
Call For Papers Closes: 3/2/2016
Requirements for Participation

Senses and Culture in the Biblical World


Program Unit Type: Section
Accepting Papers? Yes

Call For Papers: We plan to hold two open sessions in 2016 and will accept proposals for both panels. First: With the Speech and Talk in the Ancient Mediterranean World program unit, we invite paper proposals for a joint session on the theme of Silence and the Senses Within the Ancient Mediterranean World. Papers could treat the definition, nature, and symbolism of silence as expressed in the OT/HB, the NT, other texts in the biblical world, or in their reception history. Paper proposals may address, among other topics, externally-imposed silences as punishment (including examples of mutilation, such as cutting out the tongue or off the ear of a slave); metaphorical uses of silence as punitive sense-deprivation; the relationship among silence, speech, and other senses or gestures; specific motifs regarding silence and their significance (e.g., silence as repentance, divine judgment, reverence, or helplessness); the reception of biblical perspectives on silence. Second: We invite paper proposals on the topic Synesthesia in the Biblical World. Defined as the automatic convergence or interpenetration of two or more senses, the physiological phenomenon of synesthesia gives rise to literary or symbolic synesthesia, which M. H. Abrams defines as "descriptions of one kind of sensation in terms of another." We are interested in papers that identify instances of synesthesia (physiological or symbolic) in texts, rituals, or practices from the biblical world and show how a sensory analysis contributes meaningfully to the interpretation of the example(s). Papers that address questions of method in the study of synesthesia are also welcome, though all papers should be grounded in specific texts or other examples. For both panels, the abstract should state the paper's thesis, outline the approach that will be taken, and identify the primary texts and examples to be discussed.

Program Unit Chairs

Greg Schmidt Goering

Propose a Paper for this Program Unit

If you are a SBL member, you must login before you can propose a paper for this or any other session. Please login by entering your SBL member number on the left in the Login box.

For all other persons wanting to propose a paper, you must communicate directly with the chair of the program unit to which you want to propose. Chairs have the responsibility to make waiver requests, and their email addresses are available above. SBL provides membership and meeting registration waivers only for scholars who are outside the disciplines covered by the SBL program, specifically most aspects of archaeological, biblical, religious, and theological studies.

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