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SAMR at the SCS/AIA Annual Meeting 2024

SAMR at the SCS/AIA Annual Meeting 2024
SCS/AIA Annual Meeting 2024: Chicago, Illinois

I am writing to wish you a wonderful holiday season and to invite you to the numerous events we will hold at the 2024 Annual Meeting of the Society for Classical Studies and the Archaeological Institute of America in Chicago from January 4 to 7, 2024.

Chronologically, these events will begin with our official annual business meeting which will take place in the Williford Room B (Hilton Chicago 3rd floor) on Saturday, January 6, at 5pm (CST). To make attendance possible for those not coming to the meeting we will be offering a zoom option @  https://bostonu.zoom.us/j/6456272620?pwd=ODcxSFUxTzhabFZzekxTYnplc0NVUT09

Although it is not currently possible to vote online, I hope that many of you will attend and offer your input, in particular with regard to our future plans. Additionally, this will be an important event for declaring permanent our current temporary leadership (Jacob Latham as Secretary-Treasurer and yours truly as President) and accepting our updated by-laws. As I outlined in an earlier message, these changes include:

a, dividing the position of the Secretary/Treasurer into two to manage the increased demands in terms of online presence and financial administration;

b, the establishment of 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; and

c, the new arrangement of an online annual business meeting in order to allow wider participation by all members, regardless of location and attendance at the annual meetings of the SBL/AAR and SCS/AIA.

I am copying a detailed agenda at the end of this message, along with the updated by-laws.

Our two paper sessions will take place on Sunday, January 7.

As part of the AIA annual meeting, we will be hosting AIA-7E: Gods on the Rock: Epigraphy, Epigrams, and the Reconstruction of the Greek and Roman Religious Experience on Sunday, January 7, 8am (CST). This session will be hybrid in Williford C / online, and our program will be as follows:

Later on the same day, we will have another session as part of the SCS meeting. On January 7, Sunday, at 2pm (CST) in Waldorf / hybrid we will host the following program:

I hope you will be able to attend as many of these events as possible!

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.

Looking forward to seeing you,


Zsuzsanna Várhelyi

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

Agenda for the SAMR 2024 Annual Business Meeting (Jan. 6, 2024)

1.   Welcome

2.   Report on the past year’s activities, membership and budget

3.   Vote on leadership (Zsuzsa and Jacob)

4.   Q&A: Updates to by-laws

5.   Vote on by-laws

6.   Upcoming events:

a, 2024 SBL/AAR and 2025 SCS/AIA meetings

b, SAMR/Connected Past research group conference in Vancouver in late Sept or early Oct 2024

c,  IAHR - Krakow, end of August 2025

7.   New initiatives: programming, younger generation outreach, new suggestions

[Proposed New] Bylaws of the Society for Ancient Mediterranean Religions

Approved March 15, 2008

Amended, January 10, 2009

Edited January 9, 2015

(Edits proposed October-December 2023)

1. The name of the Society shall be the Society for Ancient Mediterranean Religions.

2. The Purpose of the Society shall be to further research in, and the teaching of, ancient Mediterranean religions, in cooperation with the Society for Classical Studies, the Archaeological Institute of America, the American Academy of Religion, the Society of Biblical Literature, the American Schools of Oriental Research, the Classical Association of Canada, the International Association for the History of Religion, and other societies to which this field is of interest. Ancient Mediterranean religions, for the purpose of this Society, shall be defined as the religions of the ancient Mediterranean basin, with a particular focus on the polytheistic religious traditions, their interaction with each other, and with the monotheistic religious traditions of the region.

3. The Society shall hold an Annual Business Meeting online, and the date will be announced at least four weeks prior. At this meeting, at the least the annual budget will be reviewed, topics for future panels and conferences discussed, and the results of the elections announced.

4. Membership of the Society shall be open to all persons engaged in research in ancient Mediterranean religion or in the teaching of ancient Mediterranean religion, including graduate students. Members shall pay an annual subscription, the amount to be determined by majority vote at the Annual Business Meeting, on recommendation of the Executive Officers. Student, contingent faculty, and retired members shall pay a reduced annual subscription and shall have full rights, including holding office and proposing or chairing panel sessions.

5. The Officers of the Society shall be a President, Secretary, Treasurer (hereafter the Executive Officers), and a Program Committee consisting of three members of the Society. In addition, there shall be a Steering Committee, made up of former Officers of the Society, which shall serve as an advisory board to the Society.

6. No Officer shall belong to the same institution as another Officer, provided that different campuses within the same university system shall be regarded as being different institutions.

7. Each Officer shall serve a term of 3 years. Executive Officers may serve a maximum of two consecutive terms, but Program Committee members cannot be re-elected until three years have elapsed since the expiration of their term. Terms will be staggered so that no more than two Executive Officers will end their term in the same year and only one Program Committee member will end their term in any given year.

8. If for any reason more than two offices are open for a given year, the length of the open terms will be adjusted by the Steering Committee to maintain the staggered terms, and the length of each term announced simultaneously with the announcement of the open terms.

9. Terms of office shall begin and end at the conclusion of the Annual Business Meeting.

10. Election of Officers

10.1. The membership shall be notified of an expiring term in one of the Offices at the Annual Business Meeting prior to the one in which the term expires and in the first newsletter following the Annual Business Meeting.

10.2. Nominations must reach the Secretary not later than four weeks before the Annual Business Meeting during which the term will expire.

10.3. Nominations must be supported by three members of the Society not belonging to the same institution as outlined in Section 6above, and the willingness of the nominee to serve must be confirmed by these nominators prior to submission of the nomination. No one shall be nominated whose election would lead to a contravention of Section 6.

10.4. Care shall be taken in the nomination of candidates for the Program Committee so that a range of scholarly interests and approaches (e.g., geographical, chronological, methodological) is represented.

10.5a. If only one valid nomination is received, the person nominated shall be declared elected by the President prior to or at the Society’s Annual Business Meeting.

10.5b. If more than one valid nomination is received, an election shall be conducted by electronic means (or postal by request) prior to the Annual Business Meeting. The Secretary shall prepare ballots containing the names of all those nominated and distribute them to the membership, allowing at least two weeks for the return of ballots. The results shall be announced at the Annual Business Meeting. All members in good standing, including student members, are eligible to vote. Proxy voting is not allowed.

10.6. Elections to Officer positions will be determined by a majority of votes. In case no candidate receives a majority of votes, a run-off election will be held between the top two candidates.

11. Under normal circumstances, the Society shall organize a panel session in conjunction with the Annual Meeting of the Society for Classical Studies as well as the Annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature, and at such other conferences as it sees fit. Participants in panels sponsored by the Society will be strongly encouraged to join the Society. In addition, presenters must ensure that they are eligible to present papers at the relevant meetings, by maintaining membership as necessary in the appropriate organization, such as the SCS, AIA, SBL, or others.

12. Duties of Officers

12.1 President

The President of the Society is responsible for overseeing the smooth functioning of theSociety. The President will chair the Annual Business Meeting of the Society, and meetings of the Officers. The President will distribute an agenda for the Annual Business Meeting at least one week before the meeting is held. The President will also establish and maintain relationships between the Society and other scholarly organizations and will serve as the primary point of contact between the Society and such organizations. The President is responsible for ensuring that the calls for papers and their review are properly managed. The President may designate one or more individuals, including other Officers, to assist with the performance of these duties.

12.2 Secretary

The Secretary of the Society is responsible for assisting the President with all programming, coordinating communications to the membership, and maintaining a social media presence including the Society’s website. The Secretary is responsible for ensuring that elections take place in a timely manner, including the solicitation of nominations and coordinating the voting. The Secretary will take minutes at the Annual Business Meeting and will post these to the Society website within 30 days of the conclusion of the meeting. The Secretary is responsible for the publication of a newsletter to the membership at least twice per year (generally in the spring and fall). The Secretary may designate one or more individuals to assist with the performance of these duties. The Secretary shall serve as a backup to the Treasurer with the Society’s bank account, and may not delegate this duty to anyone else.

12.3 Treasurer

The Treasurer of the Society is responsible for the financial matters of the Society. The Treasurer shall prepare a report to be shared with the membership at the Annual Business Meeting and shall keep the other Officers and the Steering Committee informed of the financial status of the Society as needed or requested. The Treasurer shall maintain a roll of the membership and ensure that members stay current with their dues. The Treasurer will be responsible for maintaining Society bank account(s), paying invoices for the Society, and for ensuring that the Society is in compliance with state and federal government regulations. The Treasurer may designate one or more individuals to assist with the performance of these duties but may not give any individuals access to the bank accounts without unanimous approval of the Officers.

12.4 Program Committee

Three members will serve as the Program Committee. Each will be elected to a three-year term without possibility of renewal, and terms will be staggered so that no more than one vacancy occurs in a given year. Program Committee members will be expected to participate fully in evaluating paper proposals for panels at the annual meetings of the SBL and AIA/SCS. Care shall be taken that a wide range of scholarly interests and approaches (e.g., geographical, chronological, methodological) are represented on the Program Committee (see Section 10.4 above).

13. Steering Committee

The Steering Committee of the Society shall be made up of all former Officers who are willing and able to serve. The Steering Committee will serve as an advisory board for the Executive Officers, any one of whom may call for a meeting of the Steering Committee whenever they feel it is appropriate.

14. Incapacitation/Resignation of an Officer

If an Officer of the Society is unable to function for any reason or chooses to resign, one of the Executive Officers shall notify all members of the Steering Committee of the vacancy and call a meeting of the Steering Committee as quickly as feasible. The Steering Committee shall have the authority to appoint a temporary substitute (if the Officer in question can be expected to resume the post in a reasonable time) or an interim successor to serve until the next election. A majority vote of Steering Committee members attending the meeting is required to appoint a replacement.

15. Amendments

15.1 Proposed amendments to these Bylaws shall be signed by two members of the Society not belonging to the same institution, as defined in Section 6, and shall be submitted to the Secretary at least six weeks prior to the Annual Business Meeting. The Secretary shall ensure the distribution of any proposed amendments at least six weeks prior to the Annual Business Meeting, and proposed amendments shall be included with the ballot distributed to members. Proposed amendments must be approved by at least two-thirds of the members.

15.2. If the Executive Officers unanimously determine that amendment of the Bylaws is urgent, they may call for a vote on proposed amendments at other times of the year, provided thata) the proposed amendments are distributed at least six weeks prior to the vote; and b) the vote does not occur in June, July or August.


(a) The Society shall be carried on without purpose of gain for its members and any profits or other accretions to the Society shall be used in promoting its objects.

(b) In the event of the dissolution or winding up of the Society, all of its remaining assets, after payment of liabilities, shall be distributed to recognized charitable organizations.