Annual Meeting

2021 CSBS Annual Meeting

Our next annual meeting is set for Monday May 31 – June 1, 2021. This shortened meeting will be held entirely virtually and will be hosted independently of the Congress of the Social Sciences and Humanities.  This smaller programme will include time for our membership meeting, as well as for a limited number of paper presentations.

To submit a paper proposal to the CSBS General Programme, please log in to the member area of the CSBS website. Once there, click on the “Paper Submission” tab on the right to provide contact details, institutional affiliation, the title of your paper, and your abstract (approx. 100 words). Proposals for the General Programme are due no later than Wednesday January 13, 2021. The programme is developed in late January and approved by the Executive in February; thus, proposals that are not submitted on time likely cannot be accommodated within the schedule. If you are unable to participate on a specific day of the week for religious, professional, or personal reasons, please include this information when submitting your proposal. Every effort will be made to accommodate such requests, but please be advised that complex scheduling requirements may not make this possible.

Please note that only active CSBS members are able to log in and submit papers. If you are unsure of your membership status, please contact Treasurer & Membership Secretary, Laura Hare. For questions about login credentials, contact Communications Officer, Andrew Perrin. For questions concerning the programme, please contact Programme Co-ordinator, Agnes Choi. For additional information on items related to the 2021 Annual Meeting, please see the Fall Mailing.


The following seminars and special sessions are active. Proposal guidelines for new seminars or sessions as well as PDFs of advance papers are found in the member login area.

“Early Christianity, Early Judaism and the Study of Religion”

Chairs: William Arnal and Erin Vearncombe.

This seminar explores ways in which early Christianity and Judaism and the wider study of religion might fruitfully interact. This year, the seminar’s final year, we are planning two sessions, one by invitation, and the other comprised of proposals submitted in response to this call. Both sessions will share the same thematic focus, one that emerged from the background of last year’s sessions on comparison; namely, the issue of human universals, durable cross-cultural patterns of behavior and/or thought, and the viability of ideal types.

Relevant papers could address this topic directly in a broad way (“there are/are not human universals and this is how this affects the study of religion in antiquity”); or in a more focused way (“this is one human universal I’m interested in and here’s how this impinges on our field”); or even in very precise ways (“this very specific topic/text/passage interests me, and this is how it bears on or reflects my understanding of human universals”).

“Emotion and Affect in Mediterranean Antiquity”

Chairs: Colleen Shantz, Maia Kotrosits, and Richard Ascough. (On hold for 2021).

This seminar attempts to characterize, log, differentiate, and interpret the vicissitudes of felt experience in antiquity, as this experience is tied into biological, social, and cultural conditions. In addressing felt experience, which is typically taken for granted if not entirely neglected in historical work, we hope to identify new possibilities for understanding the literature and social worlds of the ancient near east and Mediterranean basin. Our goal is to go further than simply collating instances of named emotions, or creating intellectual histories for felt experience in antiquity.

In other words, the seminar will use feeling and experience (which affect and its attendant theories address) as platforms to stage to more thoroughgoing historical inquiries: how personal and impersonal forces and factors collide in ancient literature and social life, how cognitive and biological factors might interact with social forces and products, and how experiences of all kinds appear on – or disappear from – more official historical registers. How do we capture experience? What might theories of affect and emotion offer that traditional tools and methods of historical inquiry have left out or left unaddressed? How might attention to affect and emotion fill out our pictures of the ancient world, and biblical and related literatures within it?