AAR fosters its mission through energetic cultivation of accessible regional intellectual networks and identities to serve members where they live and work, and to respond to local publics and concerns.
Regional meetings of the Academy often incorporate patterns of organization and presentation similar to those followed at the Academy-wide meetings: section meetings, giving and responding to papers, plenary speeches. Regional meetings, however, offer unique and distinct opportunities for members. Regions have developed a distinct character of their own, providing the following opportunities:
- Greater personal contact among members than is possible at the AAR Annual Meeting.
- Greater local accessibility for members.
- More opportunity for academic exchange across sub-field specializations.
- Occasions for cooperative research projects.
- Flexible and accessible programming.
- Experimentation within annual meeting programming, as well as programming for regionally specific issues.
- Leadership cultivation.
- Higher local visibility of professional development efforts through mentoring, workshops, and programs to enhance teaching skills.
- Ready access to graduate students for presentation of their work.
- Contact for job opportunities opening late in the academic year.
- Networks for sharing of research among local scholars.
Commitment to Biblical Studies
For several years, the America Academy of Religion (AAR) had met and partnered with Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) for a southeast regional conference. The partnership of the two groups created a dynamic exchange of scholarship and a community of support in the region. The leadership of this regional meeting was constituted by shared responsibility between the two groups in an executive committee.
In the summer of 2022, SBL ceased their support of the formal regional meetings. For those involved in the southeast region, this was seen as a great loss to the network of local scholarship in the region. In response to this decision, the Southeast regional gathering of the AAR has committed to providing a space for biblical scholars in their regional meeting. The inclusion of biblical scholars in this regional meeting will continue to create a rich academic exchange and mark the Southeast regional gathering as hub of creative scholarship, professional development, and academic fellowship.
To this end, the Southeast Region of the AAR has made the following commitments to the inclusion of biblical scholarship in the region:
- the continuation of groups on biblical studies including Hebrew Bible, Dead Sea Scrolls, New Testament, and Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha;
- the incorporation of biblical studies leadership into the formal structure of the AAR regional meeting;
- the on-going support and encouragement of scholars in biblical studies throughout the Southeast region.
We believe our academic community is stronger with the inclusion of biblical scholars and we look forward to many more years of mutual support and exchange in the future.
RELSE.org is the website for the meeting of the AAR Southeast Region. We are operating as a committee of the AAR/SE LLC.