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SAMR Newsletter: May 2022

The latest from the Society for Ancient Mediterranean Religions: news, conferences, calls for papers.
SAMR Newsletter: May 2022

President's Cache

It has been over a year since our last newsletter, but in that time, SAMR has been very busy and witnessed some important changes. First and foremost, thanks to Stephen Hebert and Robyn Walsh for all of their hard work on the new SAMR webpage. If you haven’t yet seen it, take a look at this classy and informative online source. It includes not only the latest news on current and upcoming events and projects, but also serves as an archive for past newsletters and events. We hope to continue to enhance the archive portion in time for the celebration of our 15th anniversary in 2023.

When you open the webpage, you will be invited to login, and this will take you to a page for paying your SAMR dues. Access to lecture recordings and other material will be available to members only, so please pay your dues as soon as possible. Everyone is up for renewal on April 1st (unless you purchase a lifetime membership). These dues are quite modest ($10 students and retirees, $20 regular dues, and $200 for a lifetime membership), but we do not want anyone to be excluded for financial reasons. If you are unable to afford your membership for any reason, please send a note to Dan Schowalter and you will get an exemption for the year.

We are very excited to announce that Dina Boero has agreed to serve in a new leadership position for SAMR as Program Coordinator. Dina served a full term on the Program Committee, and in her new role she will be the liaison between the Officers/Steering Committee and the PC regarding sessions for the SBL/AAR and AIA/SCS meetings. She has already started these duties and it is clear that this will be a big upgrade in our efficiency for meeting planning.

We also welcome Jennifer Larson who is the newest member of the PC and who has already made important contributions. Please keep in mind that each year one person rotates off the committee, so if you would be interested in serving on the PC, send an email to Dan Schowalter.

While we are on the topic of programming, we would like to introduce a new feature on the webpage: Future Programming Ideas. If you have thoughts about future programming topics, please take advantage of this link to submit your ideas. These can be either fully developed sessions for one of the conferences, or thoughts about a topic that you think SAMR should explore. We are very anxious to hear from members about their research interests and directions.

SAMR Future Programming Ideas
Have you ever wondered how SAMR comes up with new programming ideas? The truth is that a few people on the steering committee are famous for developing great topics, and we hope that they will continue to do so. At the same time, we also want to develop new sources

Please be aware of two upcoming SAMR conferences. The twice-delayed Malta conference, “Sailing with the Gods: Religion and Maritime Mobility in the Ancient World,” will be held June 25-30th. See the webpage for more details. The conference program features a great lineup of speakers and topics, and it will be available online. Thanks to Amelia Brown and Sandra Blakely for their hard work and tenacity on this conference.

Malta Conference June 2022
Sailing with the Gods: Religion and Maritime Mobility in the Ancient World

We are also very proud to announce the call for papers for “GODSCAPES: Ritual, Belief and the Natural World in the Ancient Mediterranean and Beyond” to be held at St. Andrews University, Scotland, June 27-July 1, 2023. This conference is co-sponsored by the School of Classics at St. Andrews, and we anticipate an excellent slate of papers and programming. Please share this link with any colleagues who are working on related topics. The deadline for abstract submission is October 31, 2022. If anyone is interested in serving on one of the planning committees for this conference, please contact Dan Schowalter.

GODSCAPES: Ritual, Belief and the Natural World in the Ancient Mediterranean and Beyond (CFP)
A New Call for Papers!

Treasurer's Hoard

SAMR remains in good financial shape. We ended 2021 with total assets in excess of $5000. With costs related to the launch of our new web presence and related initiatives, our current holdings are $3913.36. We anticipate recouping funds with forthcoming membership renewals.

The Society's operating budget covers annual administrative fees for memberships in international and US scholarly associations, maintains our online financial and hosting accounts, pays honoraria, subsidizes and supports junior and contingent faculty to attend conferences or pay registration fees, and funds registrations fees and AV equipment rentals at annual conferences. In addition, treasury funds will help to host conferences and special programming.

As always, drop us an email at socamr@gmail.com!

2022–2023 Lecture series

Thanks to Jessica Paga and Jessica L. Lamont for providing our spring SAMR lectures. For the fall of 2022/spring 2023, our lecture series will be organized around the topic of “Prayer in the Ancient World.” We welcome nominations (either self or others) for speakers in the series (non-Jessicas are welcome to apply).

Please contact Eric Orlin if you have a suggestion.

The SAMR Homo Necans Volume

Plans are progressing for publication of the Studies in Ancient Mediterranean Religions (SAMR) volume honoring the 50th anniversary of Walter Burkert’s Homo Necans: The Anthropology of Ancient Greek Sacrificial Ritual and Myth.

Serving as lead editor, Jeffrey Brodd is joining forces with Series Editor Sandra Blakely and Lockwood Press to oversee the project. The volume is preceded in the SAMR series by Gods, Objects, and Ritual Practices (ed. Sandra Blakely, 2017), Religious Convergence in the Ancient Mediterranean (eds. Sandra Blakely and Billie Jean Collins, 2019), and, pending publication this year, Data Science, Human Science, and Ancient Gods: Conversations in Theory and Method (eds. Megan Daniels and Sandra Blakely).

This new volume, tentatively titled Homo Necans at 50: Contributions and Controversies in the Anthropology of Greek Religion, will include chapters based on numerous papers delivered at recent SAMR sessions at the SBL and AIA-SCS annual meetings, along with several chapters from invited contributors, some of whom were students or associates of Walter Burkert.

If you are interested in contributing, please contact Jeffrey at: jbrodd@csus.edu.

The Making of the Nero Myth

Our co-sponsored series on the Making of the Nero Myth culminated with a Q&A with Dr. Shushma Malik about her book The Nero-Antichrist: Founding and Fashioning a Paradigm (Cambridge University Press, 2021) on February 18. A podcast/audio recording of that event is now available on our website for members of SAMR.

Our thanks to Redescribing Christian Origins and the Centre for the Study of Apocalypticism and Millenarianism for partnering with us on this initiative!

The Making of the Nero Myth: A Redescribing Christian Origins Project (Fall 2021 & Spring 2022)
Redescribing Christian Origins will be co-sponsoring a reading group and lecture series called “The Making of the Nero Myth.”

SBL/AAR Programs Set

The program is set for our sessions at this fall's SBL/AAR Annual Conference in Denver, Colorado. Please see our previous announcement for more details.

SBL/AAR 2022: Remodeling the Motel of Mysteries - Schedule Announced
In response to our call for papers, we are happy to announce the schedule for our session at the SBL/AAR 2022 Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado. We will have two panels at the meeting; please see below for details.