I just received a notification about a future ARAM conference that may be of interest to some scholars who read this blog:
ARAM Society for Syro-Mesopotamian Studies is organizing its Twenty Ninth International Conference on the theme of Astrology in the Near East, with a special focus on the use of the Zodiac in the Syro-Mesopotamian arts, to held at the University of Oxford, 08-10 July 2010.
The conference will start on Thursday 08 July at 9am, finishing on Saturday 10 July at 1pm. Each speaker’s paper is limited to 30 minutes, with an additional 10 minutes for discussion. All proposals should reach Aram Society before December 2009.
If you wish to participate in the conference, please contact our Oxford address:
ARAM, the Oriental Institute, Oxford University, Pusey Lane, Oxford OX1 2LE, England. Tel. ++1865-514041. Fax ++1865-516824. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
All papers given at the conference will be considered for publication in a future edition of the ARAM Periodical, subject to editorial review.
I don’t have time to work on it in short term as a paper for this conference, but at some point I would love to explore the evidence from Dura-Europos and other synagogues as background to the Mandaean identification of Adonai with Shemesh, the sun, as well as other planetary and zodiacal connections. And so if that sounds interesting and relates to something you’re working on, why not investigate it? Unlike in many other fields, there’s little or no need to worry about sharing ideas for research about the Mandaeans – there are far more unanswered questions than there are scholars investigating them at the moment, and so there’s plenty of room in this field for you!
But if matters related to astrology and the zodiac in the Near East don’t interest you, but you work in that geographical region, then do take a look at their list of planned future conferences, and see if there’s anything else planned between now and 2016 that is up your alley.