Proposed BRANE Prize for New Scholarship--what are your thoughts?

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Apr 29, 2022, 12:59:59 AMApr 29
to BRANECollective
Greetings members!

We are developing a prize to recognize work by scholars beyond the "usual suspects" and categories of the field, and we want to solicit member feedback. The goal is to lift up rigorous scholarship that challenges as well as builds on what we think we know in biblical and ancient Near Eastern studies.

As a member of our collective, what do you think is most helpful in creating a truly inclusive award to help creatively advance the field? Please fill out this short survey by May 10, since we plan to post the call for submissions, including your ideas, by May 15.

1. Prize Categories:
By career status, with one 'new directions' prize reserved for scholars who are outside of or do not yet have tenure-track positions, and one for everyone, including scholars on an established track?

OR: Chronological: one for pre-Hellenistic Near Eastern material (c. 1800-330 BCE including but not limited to our canonical Hebrew Bible), and one for Hellenistic-Roman (c. 330BCE-300 CE including but not limited to our New Testament and early Jewish material)?

2. Nature of Award and Recognition:
Monetary award (around $250 to start), book prize seeking to partner with an established publisher (e.g. Eisenbrauns, Routledge, Mohr Siebeck, Brill etc.), or both?

Form of recognition: open-access BRANE workshop where the work is presented both early career and established scholars discuss how the work contributes to the field. Publication possibly in Metatron or other high-quality open-access format?

3. Form of Submission: unpublished or recently published?
Unpublished work (dissertation chapter, recent or planned conference paper, article submitted for publication) or recently published work (article, collected volume chapter, dissertation chapter)

4. Criteria and Transparency:
How should we balance helpful forms of innovation and audacity with more "old school" criteria of comprehensive treatment of data and bibliography? On a scale of 1 to 5 where

1=fresh and audacious
5=traditionally crafted
where would the healthiest emphasis lie?

We plan to create a diverse committee in terms of ethnicity, gender, career status, and culture, and rotate membership regularly. We will present a clear, detailed selection rubric for winning features along with our call for submission.

Are there other practices and ideas that can promote new cutting-edge work, selected in a way that is transparent and credible? Are there specific ways to organize the committee and selection process that will help?

5. Comment on anything you hope the prize could achieve that is not being sufficiently emphasized in the field.
Examples could include: medium (should a translation, op-ed, or art installation qualify?) Honorand: is there a scholar you think might be appropriate to name such a prize after (e.g. Octavia Butler, Norman Gottwald, Hector Avalos, etc.)? etc.

Here again is the survey link!

With our thanks,
Seth Sanders on behalf of the BRANE Organizers
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