Annual Meetings After the Election

A Note from the AAR Board of Directors to Our Members

Approved by the AAR Board of Directors on November 15, 2016

The Board of Directors of the American Academy of Religion and the Council of the Society of Biblical Literature are aware that the results of the recent elections in the United States and the actions some have taken in light of them have unsettled a number of our members. SBL and AAR continue to affirm our commitment to the full inclusion and diversity of our members and the expectation that attendees regard and treat one another with dignity and respect. As we make our final preparations for our Annual Meetings in San Antonio, Texas, we want to assure our members and all of our guests that the SBL Council, the AAR Board, and the respective Executive Directors and Staffs of our organizations, continue to work with our partners in San Antonio to ensure that appropriate security is in place. The San Antonio Convention Center has already increased their security presence, and anyone not wearing an Annual Meetings 2016 badge will be asked to check in with security upon entering the building, so we urge you to remember to wear your badge at all times while attending official Annual Meetings events.

Divisive rhetoric and events around the world may also remind us that we and other humanities disciplines have, in the important scholarly work we do, opportunity to address pressing social challenges and to foster understanding in the midst of differences.

To encourage discussion of these challenges, we have made plans to add two additional sessions to the Annual Meeting program.  Our Board of Directors will hold a session to discuss how the election results may impact our work in the classroom and on our campuses. In addition, several of our Program Units have joined together to sponsor a facilitated discussion that will focus on the roles that religion scholars can play in this environment. We will announce details about these sessions in the next day or so on the AAR website, the meeting app, the online schedule, and social media.

We look forward to seeing you in San Antonio.