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Meeting Program Units

2023 Annual Meeting

San Antonio, Texas

Meeting Begins11/18/2023
Meeting Ends11/21/2023

Call for Papers Opens: 1/23/2023
Call for Papers Closes: 3/14/2023

Requirements for Participation

Ancient Education: Social, Intellectual, and Material Contexts

Program Unit Type: Consultation
Accepting Papers? Yes

Call For Papers:

The program unit invites papers for two open-call sessions.

(1) Games in/as Continuing Education in Mediterranean Antiquity

Ancient Mediterranean texts are saturated with sayings, riddles, even mathematical puzzles. These are often attributed to pedagogical contexts, but we know that the ancients had a different concept of childhood and, accordingly, of what was “childish” or child-like. Even simple games such as hide-and-seek or knucklebones were played by adults. Mathematical and literary knowledge was displayed in drinking games at dinner tables. Alphabetic verses and mnemonics, although thought to be suitable to educate children, were expounded. Number games were woven into recreational and professional activities. For this session, we invite papers that discuss how games and playful interactions (both those accompanying early education and more sophisticated later ones) shaped ancient texts.

(2) Social Contexts of Education in Late Antiquity

Late ancient education was embedded in varied social networks, cultural institutions, and political hierarchies. Education reflects not only its “content” but also the social configurations of learning, from elementary education to advanced intellectual enterprises. For this session, we invite papers that explore the social contexts of late ancient education. How did the social, political, and economic conditions of education shape the societies and knowledges of the late ancient Mediterranean world? How can attending to social contexts help us reconceptualize intellectual projects that are often de-historicized? We particularly encourage papers that deploy innovative critical approaches and those that analyze overlooked sources (textual or otherwise).

The scope of both calls is capacious in terms of chronology, geography, religious context, language, and methodology. Papers will be fifteen minutes long, followed by ten minutes of discussion.

Program Unit Chairs

Jeremiah Coogan
Monika Amsler

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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