Looking Ahead to AAR and SBL

Looking Ahead to AAR and SBL September 21, 2011

An e-mail from AAR mentioned that there will be an iPhone/iPad app for this year’s conferences! The e-mail also mentioned the following:

Ballroom Space for Self-organizing Groups

The Marriott Marquis-Golden Gate Ballroom C2 & C3 will be set aside Sunday afternoon from 2:00 pm-5:00 pm for self-organizing groups. This is an opportunity for colleagues to work on new and continuing research projects, to discuss a single paper at length, or simply to hold an informal seminar. This space is designed to facilitate spontaneous meetings that will be posted on a flipchart outside the room (e.g., I will be giving a talk on XYZ today at 3 pm at table #23 – come by if you are interested!). To reserve a space now, email annualmeetings@aarweb.org.

Perhaps SBL bibliobloggers and religion bloggers from the AAR side should reserve a spot and hold a joint gathering to network and get to know one another, as well as making new connections as a result of the two organizations finally being together again.

Sci-fi fans, don’t forget this session:

A20-255 Wildcard Session

Theme: Religion/Science/Fiction: Beyond the Final Frontier

Kimberly Rae Connor, University of San Francisco, Presiding

Science Fiction (SF) is the genre of limitless possible worlds with a unique ability to pose, examine, and suggest answers to the most profound questions and to envision transcendence beyond realist literature. Along with religion, SF is where large numbers of the American public go to explore the meanings and purposes of human existence. Why this is so has to do with the construction of SF narratives upon scientific facts about the world and spun through the inexhaustible possibilities of the human imagination. SF’s technique of “making strange” the world so that we can better see ourselves and our predicaments allows us to reflect on our most basic questions about what it means to be human. This session takes the genre, modes, themes and techniques of SF as launching points for examining religion through a critical idiom that asks similar questions and suggests alternatives to traditional understandings of religion.


Rudy V. Busto, University of California, Santa Barbara

Bruce M. Sullivan, Northern Arizona University

Susan L. Schwartz, Muhlenberg College

James McGrath, Butler University

Robert Geraci, Manhattan College

I’m not sure what happens if you are an SBL member and “crash” an AAR session, but I invite all the SBL members who are sci-fi fans and who are reading this to try it and find out! 🙂

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