Annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature

November 23-26, 2019    San Diego, California

Dedications (sometimes called ex-votos or votives) can be seen in countless contexts that stretch from antiquity to today, inviting generations of anthropologists, archaeologists, and historians to consider the ways that these offerings reflected relationships between the human and the divine and shaped the experiences of visitors in sacred spaces.

SAMR invites papers that investigate ancient dedicatory practices along the following lines:

  • What new methodological and theoretical approaches benefit our treatments of ancient dedicatory practices?
  • What does it mean to consider an object a dedication, or votive?
  • Are there boundaries to what we consider a dedication (or an ex-voto), and if so how are these boundaries constructed in different times and places?
  • How does the placement and organization of dedications at cult sites transform their meaning?
  • Does the proper manufacture of dedication ensure their efficacy, and if so, how?
  • In what ways do dedications exert agency?
  • How are dedications (or votives) part of an economy of gift giving? In what ways do dedications offer insight into “lived religion” in antiquity?
  • How can tracing a dedication’s cultural biography offer methodological insights for the study of dedications more generally?

Proposals should be submitted electronically through the SBL website. The deadline is Wednesday, 6 March, 2019. You must be a member of the SBL or seek a waiver in order to deliver a paper. Papers should last between 15 and 20 minutes. Abstracts should contain a title and a word count, but should not have any information regarding the identity of the submitter. All abstracts will be reviewed anonymously. Please direct all queries to SAMR at

You can link to the SBL submission site here.