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Meeting Program Units

2020 Annual Meeting

Boston, MA

Meeting Begins11/21/2020
Meeting Ends11/24/2020

Call for Papers Opens: 1/7/2020
Call for Papers Closes: 3/11/2020

Requirements for Participation

Book History and Biblical Literatures


Program Unit Type: Section
Accepting Papers? Yes

Call For Papers: This unit investigates how insights from Book History illuminate scriptural literatures. We gather scholars of Hebrew Bible/ANE, Judaism, Christianity, Nag Hammadi, Syriac studies, and modernity in a theoretical and historical conversation about the culturally contingent concepts of text, authorship, readership, publication, and materiality. In 2020, we will host one invited panel in collaboration with the scholars participating in the Oslo Centre for Advanced Study year-long project, "Books Known Only By Title." Participants will share the preliminary findings of their research into the postulated books of the first millennium library, exploring questions of literary imagination, transmission, ascription and gender. The second session will be held with the sections on Philology in Hebrew Studies and Masoretic Studies. Questions to be addressed are: what were the Masoretes and later medieval annotators doing with the Bible as a text through their use of marginalia, and what sort of product were they producing and for what purposes? There will be a few invited participants, but the session will be open to additional papers as well. Our third panel is also a mix of invited and submitted papers. This is a book review panel of Sidnie White Crawford's Scribes and Scrolls at Qurman. We are particularly interested in hearing from scholars in related areas reflect on how Crawford's insights have sparked new trajectories in their own research. Our final open panel will be on the theme of the archaeology of book history. Building on the themes of previous years, we are looking for papers that treat book history as an aspect of material culture and an archaeology of knowledge. What do the stories we tell about finding texts have to teach us about the practices of reading and writing in antiquity--and even our own practices, as well? How do the ways we have narrativized the archaeology of texts shape the ways in which we read them?

Program Unit Chairs

Daniel Picus

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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