Winter Travel Bursaries and Fall Travel Reports

This semester we have three bursaries available at $200 each for current AD students presenting at conferences outside of Ontario before July 31st, 2014.

To apply for a bursary please email the following information by Monday, March 17th:

1) Name
2) College and program
3) Date, name, and location of the conference
4) Title of paper accepted by conference
5) Names and amounts of any other scholarships or bursaries

Yesterday the ADSA Board agreed recipients of a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Canada Graduate Scholarship or Doctoral Fellowship, and/or any specific travel funding from other sources would not be eligible for travel bursaries this term.

Eligible names will be drawn at random at the Board meeting on March 20th and winners will be notified shortly thereafter. Recipients will also be asked to write a brief summary of their conference presentation experience to be posted online. Reports from the winners of the fall term travel bursaries are below.

Travel Bursary Tales, Fall 2013

Andrew Witt

I wanted to begin by thanking the ADSA for providing a traveling bursary for this past year’s SBL meeting in Baltimore. The funds were put to good use, and greatly helped in making my stay in Baltimore that much less stressful. At the meeting I had a wonderful time! My presentation was on Saturday afternoon, the first day of the conference, and was even the first paper given at my session. Lucky time slot!

Bill Bellinger, of Baylor University, was the moderator during my session, and I was followed by a handful of other presenters, a mix of both students and professors. It is always hard to predict what kinds of questions might arise afterwards, but I felt like the audience took it easy on me. I spoke with Judith Newman (Emmanuel College) later that evening, and she reminded me that the success of a presentation shouldn’t be measured by the immediate questions at the event, since ideas could take root and raise questions people might have in the weeks and months afterwards. I took this as good, seasoned advice.

In terms of the presentation, my time slot enabled me to speak to more people than what usually happens. In fact, the room was quite packed, with approximately 50 people. This was very encouraging, and from my end of things, I think the presentation went fairly well. I was able to make some great contacts this year with scholars in my field, and look forward to future meetings and conferences. While these types of events may seem intimidating, my experience has always been positive. Remember that if your proposal is accepted it means that someone with credentials thinks you have something to add to the discussion. At the very least, it allows your name to enter into the discussion in your field. And, if you do well, it may mean a more broader readership of your dissertation, since people actually know your name. So, I recommend taking the chance and taking part in an AAR/SBL meeting. They also have regional meetings which are more intimate and much less intimidating.

Bruce Worthington

This year’s Society of Biblical Literature Annual Meeting was made more affordable and certainly more comfortable due to the gracious support of the Advanced Degree Student Association. Thanks to the travel grant, I was able to afford a nice, clean hotel room to share with a colleague, surprisingly close to the venue. This allowed me to focus and prepare better for my presentation.

Given the fact that my presentation (Ideological Criticism section, Monday 4pm) ran up against the likes of James Dunn, John Kloppenborg, and Judith Butler, it was no surprise that only a handful of people attended (thanks to Ann Jervis for her attendance and boost of confidence). Sparse attendance aside, the questions and critique were quite helpful, and a small publishing project has come out of it. Props to ADSA for helping out!

Chris Zeichman

2013 marked my third trip to the annual SBL/AAR meeting and second time presenting there. The 2013 meeting at Baltimore was a much more relaxing trip than the previous year at Chicago, probably due to a combination of a more welcoming venue, a greater number of friends presenting, and simply more personal experience. I was thrilled my paper on recent readings of sexuality in The Healing of the Centurion’s Slave (Matt 8:5-13/Luke 7:1-10) was accepted to one of my favourite sections “Reading, Theory, and the Bible.” I was even more excited that two senior scholars whose work I admired were presenting alongside me. The presentation itself went quite well: thanks in part to the fact that my paper was brief in comparison to other presenters, I had quite a bit of time for discussion. An expanded version of the presentation will be found in a forthcoming volume of The Bible and Critical Theory. Many thanks to the ADSA for making this possible!

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