Biblical Archaeology Review 25:2, March/April 1999

A Mickey Mouse Operation

Annual Meeting convenes in Disney World

By Hershel Shanks

Query: Why is Disney World like Kansas City? Answer: Both proved hopelessly inept and inadequate in hosting the Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) and the American Academy of Religion (AAR).a It will be a long time before the Annual Meeting returns to Orlando.

It started early. With hundreds of people assembled to listen to four great scholars talk about the latest on ancient seals and seal impressions, no one from the hotel was there to tell us how to turn out the lights so we could see the slides. But that was just one of the problems. The only audio equipment was a standup mike. Maybe they were expecting standup comics? Without a podium, the presenter had to hold his paper in his hand and at the same time work the slide-advance button. Compounding the problem, no light was provided so that the presenter could see his notes when the house lights were finally turned out to see the slides.

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