SAMR News: February 29, 2008

We are pleased to announce that the SAMR bylaws have passed with unanimous support. We will be submitting them to the APA later this month, along with our statement of intent, and we hope that the APA will recognize SAMR as an affiliated group in time to hold a business meeting in 2009 and a panel session in 2010. We are still working on the financial implications of setting up a new scholarly organization, and we will be in touch when we are ready to accept dues contributions.

We have some other exciting news to report. With the help of several members of SAMR, including especially Jonathan Reed and Nancy Evans, we have contacted the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) about developing a relationship. As a result, at the SBL meeting in Boston in Fall 2008, there will be a panel co-sponsored by SAMR and the Graeco-Roman Religions Section, the Archaeology in the Roman World Section, and the Art and Religions of Antiquity Section. At this panel, Karl Galinsky, Professor of Classics at the University of Texas at Austin, will deliver a paper and SAMR President Barbette Spaeth will be one of the respondents, along with SBL members from the aforementioned groups. There are plans to follow this panel with a session at the international SBL meeting in Rome in Summer 2009, at which Professor Galinsky would serve as one of the respondents to provide continuity between the two panels, and there may be an additional follow-up session at the SBL meeting in New Orleans in Fall 2009. We should also note that there will be a brief business meeting at the SBL in Boston following the panel session to discuss SAMR with regular attendees of that meeting, in the hopes of attracting new members to the Society.

We also have the very exciting prospect of holding our own SAMR conference, probably a single day meeting, immediately preceding the international SBL meeting in Rome in July 2009. Again, Jonathan Reed is to be thanked for helping to get this project underway. We are currently working on arranging space for the program sessions in Rome, and we anticipate that attendees will be able to get into the housing reserved for the SBL meeting early, to help hold down costs for lodging. Because of this unexpected opportunity and the short timeline involved, we will need to use a simplified procedure to develop a program for this conference, and a special program committee will be selected to organize it. We will hold our regular election for the SAMR program committee at the APA/AIA meeting in Philadelphia next January. For the Rome conference, we propose the following procedure. Proposals for a theme for the conference will be submitted by email to the SAMR officers, who will select an appropriate topic. The person who submitted the chosen theme will be invited to be the program committee chair for this conference and will be joined by two other committee members, selected by email election after a nomination process. Paper abstracts for the Rome conferencewill be sent to the SAMR President, who will then forward them with authors’ names removed to the special program committee. That committee will make the final selection of the papers to be presented at the meeting in Rome.

We suggest the following timeline for this process:

Mar. 31: Deadline for submission of proposed themes for Rome conference sent by email to SAMR Officers
Apr. 7: Announcement of chosen theme and program committee chair made by SAMR Officers
Apr. 28: Deadline for nominations for 2 remaining members of program committee

Apr. 30: Announcement of candidates for election to program committee
May 11: Deadline for voting by email for program committee members
May 15: Announcement of program committee members
June 2: Announcement by program committee of Call for Papers for Rome conference
Sept. 1: Deadline for submission of abstracts for the SAMR Rome conference
Sept. 30: Announcement by President of papers accepted for conference

We look forward to receiving your proposals of themes for the SAMR conference in Rome. Please send your proposals to both SAMR officers by email: Barbette Spaeth ( and Eric Orlin (