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THATCamp and Religious Studies at the 2016 AAR/SBL

Thursday, November 10, 2016 12:50
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THATCamp & Religious Studies at the 2016 American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting


The advent of digital technology and social media has not only transformed how today religious communities function, they have also changed how scholars teach about and conduct research on religion more broadly. If you are interested in how technology is changing—or can change—the work of religious studies scholars, then we invite you to attend the THATCamp SBL & AAR 2016 unconference!

THATCamp stands for “The Humanities and Technology Camp.” They exist to bring scholars and technologists of every skill level together to learn how to integrate digital technology into their teaching and research. This means the format is not your typical conference proceedings.

THATCamps are “unconferences,” which means sessions are built around hands-on workshops and collaborative working groups rather than formal presentations. Participants are encouraged to Propose Sessions they would like to attend in advance of the meeting on the THATCamp SBL & AAR website Topics we could cover include academic blogging, social media in the classroom, social media in religion, digital research methods, web-based class projects, online publishing, and countless others.

Sessions largely take one of four formats.

  • Talk Sessions offer the chance for a group discussion around a topic or question.
  • In Make Sessions, someone leads a small group in a hands-on collaborative working session with the aim actually making something–software, best practices document, a syllabus, etc.
  • In Teach Sessions, an individual leads a hands-on workshop on a specific skill or software tool.
  • In Play Sessions, anything goes. You can suggest literally playing a game, or spending some quality time exploring existing tools and resources for digital work.

If you have not already done so, please add THATCamp to your SBL or AAR conference registration. Attending is only $15 and the fees are used to offset the costs of the AV systems and refreshments. In fact, most of the costs of the unconference are covered by our Sponsors. For more information about proposing sessions, visit the Propose Session page of this site. All new session proposals will be posted to the Sessions page. If you will be attending, please be sure to check out the Sessions that you would like to participate in! If you’d like to make a comment about a session to be posted on the website, please use the session submission form. The Final Schedule will be determined during the first session of the day, so be ready to vote for your favorite session ideas on November 18th. The main meeting room for the first session can be found on the Location page on the website. Coffee and tea will be available upon arrival. Lastly, don’t forget to follow @THATCampAAR on Twitter and use the hashtag #thatcampaarsbl when posting about THATCamp SBL & AAR this year.

For those who have not already registered, we hope you’ll join us for THATCamp this year. For those nearly 100 attendees who have already registered, we look forward to your session proposals and seeing you at 9:00 AM Friday morning, Friday the 18th in San Antonio!

THATCamp SBL & AAR Organizers:
John L. Crow, Florida State University
Michael Hemenway, Iliff School of Theology
Candace Mixon, University of North Carolina
Eric Smith, Iliff School of Theology

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