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
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:
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?
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:
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 Form of Submission: unpublished or recently published?
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:
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
where would the healthiest emphasis lie?
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.
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