Apparently, there's now some sort of "official" affiliation between "bibliobloggers" and the Society of Biblical Literature. I have to admit that when I first saw this on Jim West's blog that I thought it was a joke, following up as it did so closely on the latest flare-up of the perennial "where are all the female bibliobloggers?" question. [On which question, I heartily agree simultaneously with all of you. Yes, more women should blog. Yes, the atmosphere might be hostile at times. Yes, no one is "in charge" of blogging. Yes, the group of so-called bibliobloggers is self-selecting, so no one is forced to not participate.]
At any rate, I thought it was a joke because "affiliation" implies there was an organized entity (i.e., bibliobloggers) to be affiliated with. Maybe we need an official society now with membership dues, member rolls, officers, and all the like.
So, I would like to be open-minded about the possibilities like Mark Goodacre and Chris Brady, but for now, I am more skeptical like John Hobbins, Chris Heard, and Alan Lenzi. In fact, Chris laid out the best analysis so far that I've seen explaining why, at the very least, this is a bizarre turn of events. Alan's right, too, saying that "there are some of you out there taking this blog thing WAY too seriously." Do you all realize what a tiny minority bibliobloggers themselves make up in the wider field of Bible and religious studies? Using my program as a microcosm, there are 19 grad students and 4 faculty members. I'm the only "biblioblogger." That's 4%. There are 4 female grad students and 1 female faculty member. So women make up 22% of my program, over 1 in 5. What would the odds need to be for that 1 in 20 who is a biblioblogger to also intersect with the 1 in 5 (or 4 in 20) who happen to be female?
Anyway, Alan's right. Chris Heard is right. Check out his post. Of course, I'm still a little open-minded to the possibilities so check out Chris Brady's and Mark Goodacre's posts, too.
Using my program as a microcosm, there are 19 grad students and 4 faculty members. I'm the only "biblioblogger." That's 4%. There are 4 female grad students and 1 female faculty member. So women make up 22% of my program, over 1 in 5. What would the odds need to be for that 1 in 20 who is a biblioblogger to also intersect with the 1 in 5 (or 4 in 20) who happen to be female?ReplyDelete
That's interesting in light of the 7% for the number of women who biblioblog. In light of the discussion, I'm surprised that's a relationship we haven't discussed yet - at least not on the posts I've read thus far...
Thanks for the interesting post, Doug. Of course the question about people taking the blog thing "way too seriously" cuts both ways. If it's not too serious, then there's nothing to worry about in trying an SBL program unit, experimenting, and seeing what happens. My own feeling is simply that it is worth giving it a shot. I don't think we have a lot to lose, and if we do find that there are unforeseen, negative consequences, we can just let it whither on the vine.ReplyDelete
doug no one's asked you or chris or alan to take part, be involved, or even have anything to do with it at all. if you want to attend sessions or be on the program fine and if not, frankly, i dont care.ReplyDelete
if youd like id also be happy to remove you from the dinner list as you obviously think that too is a joke.
just drop me an email and let me know.
I don't recall making any comments about the dinner being a joke. I'll be happy to attend the dinner, and any future sessions and see what develops with this affiliation. I did say I was skeptical but open-minded.
I guess I was surprised to see biblioblogging given any sort of official recognition by the director of SBL.
I doubt that the affiliation will be a negative one, Doug. The SBL has lots of affiliations and relationships with different groups and these relationships are regularly to the good. Much of the time it is simply a question of providing a forum for the discussion of important and / or interesting questions. The fact that the SBL has a session on the status of women in the profession is not giving women in the profession some kind of official recognition that they would not otherwise have. Rather, it is a useful forum for women to come together and discuss key issues and take action on women in the profession. Individual scholars will choose to attend those sessions, and take action, or not, as they choose. And no woman scholar is given a hard time for not attending. Or think of something like the Computer Assisted Research Group, or the sections on Pedagogy. These are venues where like minded people can "opt in" and participate should they choose to do so. No one is forcing them to be involved; no one is given a hard time for not being involved. This is the way I see blogging and the SBL -- it could be a really useful venue for coming together and discussing some issues of interest and relevance.ReplyDelete
PS: just noticed I wrote "whither on the vine"; I need to go back to school and do the work my younger daughter is doing on homonyms!ReplyDelete
i put my comments here:ReplyDelete
Thanks for leaving me the link to your post, Bob. I was initially skeptical about affiliation but I think I now understand better what it's for and why it's useful. I decided earlier today to "take part" (as Jim said) and embraced affiliation.ReplyDelete