2 min read

Conference season!

Conference season!
Praeneste, Sanctuary of Fortuna (ph: ZV)

Dear SAMR members,

First of all, I want to welcome you as interim President of SAMR (so nominated by our outgoing SAMR Secretary/Treasurer, Robyn Walsh). I have been assisted in my work, among others, by Jacob Latham, our new interim Secretary/Treasurer.

I am writing to you today with a couple of important news items:

1. We will hold business meetings at the SBL and at the SCS annual meetings.At the SBL, the meeting will run as M19-141a on Sunday, 11/19, from 9am (CST) at Salon B -- Marriott Riverwalk, chaired by Jacob Latham. At the SCS, our official annual business meeting, including voting on numerous items of importance, will happen on Saturday, 1/6, from 5pm (CST), location TBA, chaired by myself.

2. At both business meetings, we will be discussing plans for the organization. In light of recent challenges, Jacob and I, with the help of a number of former SAMR office-holders, created a document with updated by-laws for the organization. The three main changes we suggest are:

-The position of the Secretary/Treasurer will be divided into two: Secretary and Treasurer in order to manage the increased demands in terms of online presence and financial administration.

-There will be a Steering Committee organized from a number of earlier SAMR officeholders to advise the President, Secretary and Treasurer and to offer continuity in our organization.

-We will hold our annual business meeting online in order to allow wider participation by all members, regardless of location and attendance at the annual meetings mentioned above.

(The updated by-laws will be circulated separately by Jacob.)

3. To save the best for last, we will be offering panels at both meetings around the theme of Secrecy and Sociogenesis: Mysteries, Restricted Rituals, and the Growth of Religious Communities. At the SBL, on Monday, 11/20, 9am, with six papers, chaired by Jeffrey Brodd. At the SCS, on Sunday, 1/7, 2pm, with four papers and a response by Sandra Blakely. We hope you will be able to join us!

Please do not hesitate to reach out to Jacob (spqr@utk.edu) or myself (varhelyi@bu.edu) with any questions or concerns in the meantime.

All the best for now,


Zsuzsanna Várhelyi

President ad interim, Society for Ancient Mediterranean Religions
Associate Professor of Classical Studies
Boston University