Michael F. Bird (Evangelion) notes that, of 700 papers to be presented at this month’s Evangelical Theological Society Conference, he recognises that only 8 are by women. There may be a few other women’s names that Michael acknowledges he does not recognise, but let’s not quibble over details. That’s 1%!
How does the Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting compare? Taking as a sample the first two pages of the Participant List, I get 40/137 on page one and 40/137 on page two. That’s 29%.
In most disciplines, that’s just below the percentage of women who are members of the faculty – and this with the inclusion of up-and-coming female students.
Why? Given the dominance of Christians at SBL, and the dominance of males in positions of authority within Christianity, is the percentage of women presenters a product of this demographic?
(And on a related issue: why is the local U.S. meeting considered the annual meeting of a purported global body, and not the international meeting?)
I prescribe a large dose of Buffy the Vampire Slayer for all attendees at ETS and SBL this year: