Saturday, November 29, 2008

Post SBL 2008

I haven't had time till just now to comment on the SBL 2008 in Boston; nor have I much to say this time around. I greatly enjoyed the various meals and meetings I had with friends and students, both planned and unplanned (especially the McGreevy's pub hilarity), but overall I'd have to say this meeting lacked some luster. Maybe it was the absence of the AAR, which made everything seem smaller, especially the book exhibits; maybe it was the unseasonably cold weather; maybe it was the chastened mood of an academy feeling the economic pinch; maybe it was just me. But Boston 2008 didn't knock my socks off.

I greatly enjoyed several papers, especially those of David Everson, Edward Goldman, Joe Zias, and my colleague Andrew Gross. My own paper, after being finished months ago, felt stale and unpolished to me, and I'm sorry I didn't do a better job of composition and execution. Hopefully it came off better to others than it seemed to me.

The nicest moment for me came when Sam Greengus told me at the Hebrew Union College luncheon, "We will always consider you a ben bayit." Thank you, and a blessing on HUC and its outstanding graduate studies program.

As for the new Zinjirli inscription, I may add a few updates to the post dealing with it; but in general I thought Prof. Pardee did an excellent job and he is to be thanked for putting this interesting inscription in front of the scholarly world so rapidly. The full philological treatment of the inscription will be published in BASOR within a year's time.

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