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Meeting Program Units
SBL's two largest meetings are held over several days and are divided up into sessions that are organized by program units. Program units cover the gamut of SBL member interests from Hebrew Scriptures and Cognate Literature to Computer Assisted Research to Gender, Sexuality, and the Bible. The Annual Meeting and the International Meeting each has its own set of program units. To see the current year’s program units, follow the links on the right side of this page. Units from previous years are listed in the varios program books in the Program Book Archive (see below) and in that year’s Society Report.

There are three types of program units:

Consultation: 3 year term—usually the first incarnation of a program unit; formed to explore the viability of and interest in a subject; can be short-term units responding to current trends or topics/methods/inquires new to the SBL program.

Section: 6 year term—offers presenters most access for unsolicited papers; required to have at least one open session each year; session types include paper readings, panel discussions, and workshops that involve practical, hands-on, learning opportunities related to teaching and/or research applications.

Seminar: 6 year term—long-range collaborative research topics/papers that require active participation and well-defined research topics or projects; unit chairs collect papers before meeting and distribute to participant group; papers are summarized and discussed, not read, at meetings.

The Annual Meeting Program Committee and International Meeting Program Committee approve program units and program unit chairs, evaluate the Annual and International Meeting programs, and recommend strategic directions for the growth and improvement of the programs. The Executive Office and program committees in consultation with program unit chairs have developed handbooks that lay out policies, procedures, and best practices for management of the SBL Annual and International Meeting programs. The handbooks should serve as a routinely referenced guides for program unit chairs, facilitate diversity, collegiality, and mutual respect at the meeting, and foster biblical scholarship.
Annual Meeting Program Unit Chair Handbook

International Meeting Program Unit Chair Handbook

Proposing a New Program Unit or Special Session or Renewing an Existing Program Unit

Program unit proposals are reviewed within the SBL office for completeness and then by the respective program committee as a whole. Proposers must use the forms linked to below. Questions related to developing a proposal should be sent via email to Christopher Hooker, Associate Director of Membership and Programs.

Annual Meeting
*New program unit proposals are due January 15 of the year in which the unit would begin.
Submit your new unit proposal here
*Renewal proposals are due August 1 of the final year of the unit’s current term. 
International Meeting
*New program unit proposals are due September 1 of the year prior to the meeting of the proposed start date (e.g., a proposal for a unit to begin at the 2021 International Meeting is due on September 1, 2020).
*Renewal proposals are due September 1 of the final year of the unit's current term.

Special Sessions
Submit your special session proposal here. Proposals are due by February 1.
Special sessions, including book reviews, should be discussed with and programmed as a part of current program units whenever possible; proposers are responsible for contacting related program units. Some topics, however, fall outside of or beyond the scope of current units and/or require special attention. Proposals for such sessions must follow the forms below and will be reviewed based on the criteria for review of program unit proposals and renewals (see above).

Seminar Papers Archive
Beginning in 2004, the print edition of Seminar Papers was discontinued, with a selection of papers presented at the meeting being made available online. The online version of Seminar Papers was discontinued in 2010. The archive of the online Seminar Papers is available on the SBL website.
Program Book Archive
Program books and abstracts from the Annual Meetings and International Meetings are available from 2004–present.




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