A strategic vision of the SBL is to “facilitate broad and open discussion from a variety of perspectives.” But voices from around the globe are underrepresented, and we are all the poorer for it. In 2007, to address this issue and facilitate meaningful, international, and multidirectional scholarly collaboration, the SBL established the International Cooperation Initiative (ICI). The initiative includes many projects, more information about which you will find below and in the quick links to the right. Should you have any questions, please contact chair of the ICI Committee Carmen Palmer or staff liaison Christopher Hooker.
ICI Newsletter (more info)
Carmen Palmer, chair of the ICI Committee, collects information about and on behalf of the initiative and distributes it via email to those interested. Contact Carmen directly to add your name to the list.
Online Books (more info)
This ICI project provides free online PDF files to scholars and students who may not otherwise have access to these resources. These resources are available for persons in countries with a GDP per capita (PPP) that is substantially lower than the average GDP per capita of the United States and the European Union, which is defined as being below the average GDP per capita of all of the countries of the world. Eligible countries are listed here.
Academic presses partnering with SBL Press in this project are Brown Judaic Studies, Catholic Biblical Association, Fortress Press, Gorgias Press, Sheffield Phoenix Press, Westminster John Knox Press and Wiley-Blackwell. SBL thanks these partners for their vision and dedication to fostering biblical scholarship.
Institutions located in countries that qualify for the Online Books also qualify for reduced subscription rates to the Journal of Biblical Literature and the Review of Biblical Literature. With these reduced rates, a print JBL subscription costs $35 plus shipping and a print RBL subscription costs $20 plus shipping. Forms for these reduced rates and free access to recent JBL archives can be found here.
Open-Access Book Series
Two open-access book series are published through the ICI: Ancient Near East Monographs (ANEM) and International Voices in Biblical Studies (IVBS).
Teaching Collaboration/Mentoring Program (more info)
SBL hosts two databases that allow scholars, students, and institutions to establish contact and make arrangements for various types of scholarly exchange. How are SBL members taking advantage of the ICI Scholarly Exchange program? Kelley N. Coblentz Bautch shares How Videoconferencing with International Scholars Can Enliven Your Classroom and Jonathan David Lawrence shares how the ICI Scholarly Exchange program provided an opportunity to teach in the South Pacific.
Liaison Network (more info)
The goal of the ICI Liaison Network is to establish open lines of communication that will promote awareness of the resources and opportunities made available through the ICI to scholars, teachers, and students and to communicate and develop an awareness of the scholarly work done in ICI countries. There are liaisons in several countries and SBL is working to build upon this base and extend the representation to more areas.
The ICI volunteer coordinator is Jaqueline S. Du Toit. SBL members in ICI countries who wish to become liaisons or in countries for which there is already a representative in the Liaison Network are encouraged to contact Tim to volunteer to further ICI and its goals. There are opportunities on the local level to coordinate with the country representatives. All SBL members, regardless of their country of domicile, are asked to suggest colleagues in ICI countries who might be willing to participate in this initiative.
Calendar of Events (more info)
SBL encourages participation in scholarly conferences and workshops worldwide, including those organized and sponsored independent of SBL.
Visa letters for travel to the Annual or International Meetings
In order to facilitate attendance by those in ICI countries at SBL Congresses, Samantha Spitzner has been appointed as the SBL visa coordinator. Samantha will advise members who need visas in order to travel to and participate in the Annual or International Meetings. She will not prepare applications, but will be a source of information to aid members in submitting applications and will provide letters of intent if needed by those participating in the meeting as presenters or committee members. For more information, please contact Samantha directly.
JSTOR Journal Discount Programs
Developing Nations Access Initiative: JSTOR has waived or offered reduced participation fees for any academic or not-for-profit institution in developing countries (and all of Africa).
African Access Initiative: JSTOR has waived the standard participation fees (the Archive Capital Fee and the Annual Access Fee) for any not-for-profit institution in a country on the continent of Africa.
Members of the ICI Committee
Open-Access Book Series
*Ancient Near East Monographs (ANEM)
*International Voices in Biblical Studies (IVBS)
Teaching Collaboration/Mentoring Program
Liaison Network (pdf)
Calendar of Events
History of the Initiative
Read about ICI objectives in the 2007 SBL Society Report.
Ehud Ben Zvi, The Future of the Society
Gerald West, The Future of the Society
Kent Harold Richards, The Future of SBL: Dialogue with Members
Report on Biblical Scholarship and Contextual Interpretation of the Bible
in Hong Kong
a report by N.N.H. Tan