I arrived back from the Mid-Atlantic Region SBL Meeting in the early hours of this morning with jumpy flights which were running on time, and teaming rain when I got back, but happily no tornadoes. (The tornado warning for our area ended at 8 am).
I enjoyed getting the chance to go to an SBL regional meeting for the first time. This one was remarkably low key compared to the SBL Annual Meeting. I would guess that there were only 150 or so people there, and not many of what Michael Goulder always used to call the "top brass". The seminars were fairly laid back affairs with only ten or so people in each one that I went to. It reminded me much more of the British New Testament Conference than of the SBL Annual Meeting, though it was considerably smaller than the BNTC, with a much smaller book display, and without the communal, scheduled meals.
My paper, "The Devil is in the Detail: Dispelling Doubts about Dispensing with Q" was the plenary paper in the late afternoon. (Handout available here). There were fifty or sixty present and it was a friendly audience and there were some useful an interesting questions. I enjoyed getting the chance to revisit Q again, having been invited to do so by Kathy Grieb who is the president of the MAR-SBL but not having had much in the way of fresh thoughts about Q in the last five years. After my talk, which I gave as a presentation rather than as a read paper, as is my habit on these occasions, there was a smaller, informal gathering with fewer people (ten or so) for further discussion. All in all, I was grateful for the invitation.