Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Nikkel on SBL

There is some new content for December on the SBL Forum. I enjoyed reading the Report from the Annual Meeting by Paul Nikkel (of deinde). An excerpt:
Although the Annual Meeting offers up a vast selection of sessions and papers of merit, it also struggles against its own mass with a tendency to offer up much more quantity than it can afford. Fragmentation is expected and even necessary in a large academic conference; however, along with an increase in valuable sessions there seems to be an increase in sessions that appear to duplicate existing frameworks. Along with these redundant sessions there are also a number that have long since passed their prime and new consultations shimming up two sessions with identifiable dross.
The question of quality of sessions is a concern and I wonder whether it could be come more of a concern still with the expansion in the number of sessions next year. I asked a former colleague in San Antonio if he was reading a paper at the AAR and he replied, "No, the bar is set far too low for that." I don't think that that is yet the case over the SBL, that senior colleagues are deterred from offering papers because they perceive the overall quality to be too low, but it would be presumably be a concern if that were to become the case.

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