Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Blogging at SBL

There is a new group at SBL

The SBL Blogger and Online Publication section invites proposals for papers in two sections for the 2010 annual meeting. Session 1 will be an invited session exploring the history of blogging, the rise of the Internet and its use by biblical scholars, and the future of blogging. Session 2 will be an open session calling for papers focusing on any area of biblical studies, theology, archaeology of the Levant, and the use of blogging in these fields. The second session also invites 60-second profiles of individual blogs, which will be included in a highlight of blog sites. Contributors are welcome to present papers for presentation or 60-second summaries of their blogs for inclusion in a single, 20-minute survey of the top biblical studies related blogs in the web.

There was some discussion of this on the blogs late last year (see e.g. here, here, here). Two observations on this call for papers:
  • a) although the headline adds 'online publication' (an area of legitimate academic interest and fundamental for the future of the discipline) the rest of it focuses on 'blogging' (generally of rather less academic interest, especially the future which we shall discover soon enough if we live long enough) - this I think is rather unfortunate;
  • b) the idea of 60 second profiles of blogs does not allow any sort of critical reflection, it just seems to offer 60 seconds of publicity to blogsters who bother to put in a proposal.
  • c) the idea of going to a whole session of blogging and missing out on something about the Bible is deeply distressing to me; imagine if this session clashed with NT TC or Papyrology? Gosh.
My inclination is to maintain ETCs steadfast independence from such frivolities, but YMMV. What do you think?


  1. Yes, OK, I added the third at a late redactional stage. Search for the seams.

  2. Our blog is something of a loner entity from many others because the endeavor is well-defined (introverted?) and includes a large number of contributors. I prefer to focus on having an "SBL ETC dinner" designed to gather the lion's share of NT text critics (whether they be evangelical or not).

    You have not mentioned a fourth issue: do we need another SBL unit? Could blogging not fit within one of the technology units? Many units are poorly attended already. April Deconick has commented on the dangers of SBL unit proliferation, and I am sure that she is not the first. Personally, I agree with DeConick and would rather have my paper rejected than present at a session with few attendees.

  3. I resonated with April's concerns.