Guide to the 2015 AAR Annual Meeting in Atlanta

Atlanta 2015 Annual Meeting Banner

Join us for the 2015 AAR & SBL Annual Meetings in Atlanta! More than 1,200 events—academic sessions, additional meetings, receptions, tours, and workshops—will be offered. All sessions will take place at various hotels in downtown Atlanta, with the Exhibit Hall and Registration located in the Hyatt Regency. Conference hotels are located within easy walking distance of one another. Register soon to get the best attendee rate and hotel selection.

Annual Meeting Overview

    New Member or First-Time Attendee?
    International Member?

New and Noteworthy in 2015
    Free Wi-Fi
    Mobile App
    Hotel Update
    Plenary Sessions on "Valuing the Study of Religion"
    Full Paper Submission Program
    Gender-Neutral Restroom
    Professional Photographer Available for Headshots
    Mandala Sand Painting Creation
    Fun Giveaways! (Did Someone Say Catlanta?)

Before the Annual Meeting

    Remember to Pack…
    Plan Your Travel to the Annual Meeting
    Preparing Your Annual Meeting Presentation
    Audiovisual Requests

Getting Around Atlanta
    Shared-Ride Vans
    Arriving International Passengers
    Parking at the Hotels

At the Annual Meeting

    Annual Meeting Shuttles
    Name Badges & Registration
    Program Book

At the Annual Meeting (cont'd)

    Hours of Operation
    Hotel Locations and Floor Plans
    Emergency Extensions at Hotels
    Exhibit Hall
        Search It Out
    Employment Center
    Fun, Games, and Helping Others
    Mandala Sand Painting
    Meeting and Networking with Colleagues
    Social Media Best Practices

Annual Meeting Services
    Child Care
    Nursing Mothers
    Lost and Found

    Taxi Reimbursement
    Wheelchair or Scooter Rental

Need Help?

Beyond the Annual Meeting

    AAR Tours
    Discounts: Show Your Badge
    Places of Worship


The Annual Meetings are cohosted by the American Academy of Religion (AAR) and the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL), making it the largest yearly convention of scholars in the fields of religious studies and theology. Combined, there are over 1,200 academic sessions offered by the AAR, SBL, and other related scholarly organizations.

  • New Member or First-Time Attendee? Get the Info You Need – The AAR Annual Meeting can be overwhelming. This guide provides some good, basic information about the Annual Meeting.
  • International Member? Helpful Tips and Info – The International Members Guide will help orient attendees traveling from outside the United States—and is worth a look for domestic travelers, too.

The sessions, breakfasts, and receptions at this year’s Annual Meetings will be held in the Hyatt Regency, Marriott Marquis, Hilton Downtown, Westin Peachtree Plaza, and Sheraton Downtown Hotels. All locations are within walking distance of each other. Registration and the Exhibit Hall will be in the Hyatt Regency Hotel, and the Employment Center will be in the Sheraton Downtown Hotel.

Hotel Map for Downtown Atlanta

Facilities Addresses

1. Aloft Downtown
2. Doubletree Downtown
3. Embassy Suites Centennial Park
4. Hilton Downtown
5. Holiday Inn Downtown
6. Hyatt Regency
7. Marriott Marquis
8. Sheraton Downtown
9. Westin Peachtree Plaza
300 Spring St NW
160 Spring St NW
267 Marietta St
255 Courtland St NE
101 Andrew Young International Blvd NW
265 Peachtree St NE
265 Peachtree Center Ave
165 Courtland St NE
210 Peachtree St NW

New and Noteworthy in 2015

Free Wi-Fi!

Free Wi-Fi will be available in meeting rooms and public areas of the Hyatt Regency, Marriott Marquis, Hilton Downtown, and Sheraton Downtown. (Complimentary Wi-Fi will not be available at the Westin Peachtree Plaza.) See below for the free Wi-Fi network names and passwords:

Property Network Name Password
Hyatt Regency Hyatt Meeting Rooms aarsbl15
Marriott Marquis AAR_SBL_EVENT aarsbl15
Hilton Downtown Hilton Meeting Network aarsbl15hilton
Sheraton Downtown Sheraton Conference aarsbl15

Mobile App

AAR and SBL are once again making available a free mobile app. With the app, you can create and customize your schedule, make notes about sessions, search for participants, share your schedule with friends and colleagues, get interactive information about exhibitors, and much more. Schedule changes are downloaded in the background when Internet access is available. See the AAR website here for information on downloading the free app.

For questions or help using the app, see the friendly tech gurus at the Mobile App help desk in the Registration area of the Hyatt Regency.

Hotel Update

Housing for the Annual Meeting is now closed. October 19 was the deadline for the special conference rates. Unfortunately, we are no longer accepting reservations for housing, and you'll need to make your own arrangements. Should you want to stay at one of our conference hotels, they are not obligated to honor the special conference rates that were in effect prior to October 19. Contact for up-to-date information.

Plenary Sessions on "Valuing the Study of Religion"

Thomas TweedJoin AAR President Thomas Tweed for in-depth sessions on Ra​cial Injustice and Religious Response from Selma to Ferguson (A21-145); Presidential Address: Valuing the Study of Religion (A22-150); The Moral Challenges of Research: A Panel on the AAR's Draft Statement on Responsible Research Practices (A22-200); and “Normativity” and the Academic Study of Religion: Reframing the Conversation about Theology and Religious Studies (A23-147). For session descriptions, participants, and times, please see here.


AAR Full Paper Submission Program

Full Papers Submission ProgramThe full text of papers for more than twenty sessions is being made available to AAR members in advance of the 2015 Annual Meeting. During these sessions, presenters will briefly summarize their arguments, with the bulk of the time given over to discussion. These papers are available only for the few weeks leading up to the Annual Meeting. After November 25, they will be removed from the website. These pages and documents are inaccessible to search engines such as Google, so please do not share these files elsewhere.

Gender-Neutral Restroom

ALL PERSON, ALL ACCESS restrooms are available in the Marriott Marquis by Room L501 on the lobby level; the Hilton Downtown by Room 308 on the third floor; the Sheraton Downtown by the Executive Boardroom (near the Employment Center) on the third floor; and the Hyatt Regency (singular family restroom) by Room 219 on the second floor. AAR recognizes that there are members of our community who may feel more comfortable in an all-gender restroom. The all-gender restrooms are marked with special signage during the Annual Meetings.

Save on a New Headshot!

Everyone needs a headshot, and you can get one for only $35. Have your photo taken by a professional photographer who will be available in the Exhibit Hall (Booth #104) on Saturday and Sunday, November 21 and 22, from 9:00 am–2:00 pm. For information and to preregister, see here.

Mandala Sand Painting Creation

Tibetan Buddhist monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery will construct a mandala sand painting Saturday, November 21 to Monday, November 23 in the Marriott Marquis Imperial Ballroom B (Marquis Level) from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm. For more information, see below. Don't miss the opportunity to experience this exquisite art form in person.

Fun Giveaways

In addition to the raffle drawings in the AAR booth, get ready to participate in a social media scavenger hunt when local street artist Catlanta makes a "kitten drop." Free cat artwork at the Annual Meeting—hot dog! Check out the Fun, Games, and Helping Others section for details.


Remember to Pack:

  • YOUR NAME BADGE! If you registered by September 17, you should receive your name badge in the mail. Once you arrive in Atlanta, pick up a name badge holder and then feel free to attend any Annual Meeting event; you do not need to come by registration. Those who registered September 17 and after will have to pick their badge up onsite. If you registered by September 17 and did not receive your badge in the mail, you can pick one up onsite. While the first badge reprint will be complimentary, all additional reprints will be $5 each. Make sure to wear your badge at all Annual Meetings events—it helps people identify you, and there are some sessions with extra security where badges will be checked.
  • YOUR PROGRAM BOOK! Program books were mailed to everyone who registered before August 13 and did not check the "Do not send me a Program Book" box. There is a very limited supply available onsite, so don't leave your copy at home!
  • Check out other helpful tips on what to pack for your trip here.

Plan your Travel to the Annual Meeting

Most attendees are coming into Atlanta by airplane and we have discounted flight information, airport transfer options, and general getting-around-the-city information here.

Preparing Your Annual Meeting Presentation

AAR has several helpful tips on preparing your presentation.

Audiovisual Requests

Audiovisual equipment rental costs have increased dramatically at the Annual Meeting. Recognizing that the majority of Annual Meeting audiovisual presentations involve PowerPoint or computer presentations, the AAR chose to support this trend by providing a limited number of meeting rooms with LCD projectors that can be connected to a participant’s personal laptop. AAR does not provide computers, but encourages participants to bring their personal or departmental laptops or communicate with members of the same session in order to share computer use. A podium microphone will be placed in all rooms set for 75 people or more. If your session is scheduled in the Hyatt Regency, Marriott Marquis, Hilton Downtown, or Sheraton Downtown, free wireless Internet access will be available. However, in order to ensure quality, video presentations should be downloaded to your laptop and not streamed over the Wi-Fi, as it may not be capable (depending on the number of users) of reliably supporting high-bandwidth applications. We do not provide laser pointers.

If you requested audiovisual equipment, you will receive an e-mail confirmation in October with details.

Late AV Requests

After July 31, each presenter who requests AV will be charged a $100 fee per request. After September 30, AV costs are the responsibility of the participant, and they will be directed to the AV provider to pay the actual cost of the equipment requested.

Before the Meeting

To check your audiovisual request at this year's Annual Meeting, log into your PAPERS account and view your session information.

During the Meeting

If your room does not have the requested equipment or it is malfunctioning, contact PRG Audiovisual.

The PRG Audiovisual offices are located at:

Hyatt Regency – Fairlie (Atlanta Conference Center Level)
Marriott Marquis – Marquis Ballroom D (Marquis Level)
Hilton Downtown – 303 (3rd Level)
Sheraton Downtown – Georgia 14 (1st Level)
Westin Peachtree Plaza – Savannah D (9th Level)

If you plan to use a Macintosh computer, please bring any cables or adapters you own, as these are not standard across all types of Macintoshes, and we have a limited supply. If you plan on using a Mac and do not own adapters or cables, stop by the PRG Audiovisual office in the appropriate facility well before your session to let them know of your need. They will then make sure that their audiovisual techs have the correct adapter ready for your session.

If there is a need to add equipment not originally requested, participants may do so at their own expense by contacting the audiovisual company. Costs for onsite equipment can be prohibitive.

Contact the Annual Meeting Team if you have additional questions.

Getting Around Atlanta

There are several transportation options to travel between the airport and your hotel, as well as around downtown Atlanta.

Airport Transfers – Atlanta International Airport (ATL)

Rapid Transit Train – MARTA

Arriving air travelers should follow the Ground Transportation signs to MARTA (Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority). The fare gates are just a few feet from the baggage claim areas. Take the MARTA train to the Peachtree Center Station. You may either take the Doraville Gold Line or the North Springs Red Line. At Peachtree Center, exit to the Food Court and follow signs to the Hyatt Regency or Marriot Marquis Hotel. People who are staying in other properties may get more specific directions from their hotels. For more information, visit MARTA fare is $5 for a round trip ticket, and $1 more if you don’t already have a Breeze Card.


A set fee prevails between the airport and downtown of $30. There is a $2 charge for each additional person and a $1.50 flag drop fee. Taxis can be found in the Yellow Bus aisle.

Shared-Ride Vans

The AAR and SBL are partnering with Super Shuttle this year for dates between November 18 and 28. Shared shuttle service is available 24 hours a day with a reservation. They are offering a discount of $1 off one-way trips ($15.50), or $4 per roundtrip ($29). There are two ways to book Super Shuttle:

Upon arrival, follow signs to the baggage claim area and collect your luggage. Proceed to the SuperShuttle ticket counter to speak with a uniformed Customer Service Representative. The counter is located in the Domestic Terminal's south-side baggage claim area, in the corridor immediately to the left of the escalator from the inter-terminal train. The ticket counter is staffed from 6:00 am to 2:00 am daily. Most shared-ride shuttles pick up on the Green Bus Aisle, which is located outside in the Ground Transportation Center between the Domestic North and South Terminals.

Arriving International Passengers

The Atlanta airport has a relatively new (2012) International Terminal. If you are arriving directly from an international flight, you cannot access secured areas of the Airport after you pick up your luggage at the international terminal baggage claim. The airport has a complimentary 24-hour shuttle service that goes from the international terminal to the main terminal (15 minute ride). From the main terminal, you have access to the domestic terminal’s ground transportation center at the west of the building, which includes MARTA. If you are flying back directly to an international location, you must go to this terminal to check in as well.

Hanging signs will assist you with identifying loading and unloading zones for each ground transportation service:

  • Taxis: Yellow/Zone 1
  • Local Shuttles: Green/Zone 4
  • International Shuttle Connector (to main airport terminal): Red/Zone 3

Parking at the Annual Meeting

Since we will have multiple locations for the AAR sessions, each hotel has different parking rules and rates. Please check at the property that is most convenient for you for accurate information. If you are planning on driving in, and would like a more economical choice, you might want to park at an outlying MARTA station and take the rail in. From, you can click on individual train stations to view their parking information. See above for more MARTA information.


Annual Meeting Shuttles

AAR and SBL no longer provide shuttle bus service at the Annual Meetings. Please bring your walking shoes and plan your day accordingly. For accessibility information, please see here.

Name Badges & Registration

Registration is located in the Hyatt Regency Hotel, outside the Grand Hall on the Exhibit Level.

  • Name badges are in the mail for those who registered by September 17. Bring your name badge to Registration and pick up a badge holder, lanyard, and your tote bag. With those in hand, you can head directly to sessions and exhibits.
  • Lost name badge? Did the post office not come through with the mail? Replacements are available at the Name Badge Reprint booth at Registration. While the first badge reprint will be complimentary, all additional reprints will be $5 each.

Program Book

The Program Book is your primary guide to all academic sessions, breakfasts, and receptions officially sponsored at the Annual Meetings. Program Books were mailed to everyone who registered before August 13 and did not check the "Do not send me a Program Book" box.

Thank you to the AAR registrants who opted out of receiving a Program Book and the additional registrants who opted not to have a Program Book printed for them at all. This is a tremendous help in our quest to make the Annual Meeting greener!

Last minute changes to the program will be highlighted in the At-A-Glance supplement, which will be inside the tote bag that you pick up in the registration area.

You can search for sessions of interest in other ways, as well. The AAR has posted a searchable program book online where you are able to search for sessions by keyword and session type. Visit


The Annual Meetings Mobile App is the most functional and up-to-date way to search for specific topics, speakers, and program unit sessions.

Hours of Operation

AAR and SBL Program Schedule

AAR, SBL, and Additional Meeting Sessions will be held in the Hyatt Regency, Marriott Marquis, Hilton Downtown, Westin Peachtree Plaza, and Sheraton Downtown Hotels.

AAR & SBL Member Reception  
Friday, November 20 8:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m.
Program Unit Sessions  
Saturday, November 21 9:00 a.m.–6:30 p.m.
Sunday, November 22 9:00 a.m.–6:30 p.m.
Monday, November 23 9:00 a.m.–6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, November 24 8:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
Onsite Registration and Tote Bag Pick-up  
Hyatt Regency–Lobby outside of the Grand Hall  
Friday, November 20 11:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m.
Saturday, Novemer 21 8:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
Sunday, November 22 8:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
Monday, November 23 8:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
Tuesday, November 24 8:00 a.m.–10:00 a.m.
Exhibit Hall  
Hyatt Regency–Centennial Ballroom & Grand Hall  
Saturday, November 21 8:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
Sunday, November 22 8:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
Monday, November 23 8:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
Tuesday, November 24 8:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.
Employment Center  
Sheraton Downtown–Grand Ballroom (3rd Floor)  
Saturday, November 21 8:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m.
Sunday, November 22 8:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m.
Monday, November 23 8:00 a.m.–7:00 p.m.

Hotel Locations and Floor Plans

Primary Meeting Locations

Map of Atlanta Hotel Locations

AAR and SBL sessions will be held in three locations—the Hyatt Regency (6), the Marriott Marquis (7), and the Hilton Downtown (4). The Employment Center will be located in the Sheraton Downtown (8). Additional meetings and receptions will be held in the Sheraton Downtown and the Westin Peachtree Plaza (9).

The Hyatt, Marriott, and Hilton are all connected via a wheelchair accessible Skybridge. The Skybridge connects the Hyatt (Lobby Level) to the Marriott (Atrium Level). The Marriott (Marquis Level) then connects with the Hilton (Second Floor). At the Marriott, the Skybridges are on different levels; the Atrium Level is two floors up from the Marquis Level.

The best way to get to the Westin is from the Hyatt, traveling 2 blocks south on Peachtree to the entrance on Peachtree. The best way to get to the Sheraton is from the Hilton’s main entrance, traveling 2 blocks south on Courtland to their main entrance.

Floor plans of the hotels are here.

Emergency Telephone Extensions at Hotels

In case of an emergency during the meeting, please do not call 911. Instead, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you with hotel security. They will be able to dispatch emergency responders with the most speed and accuracy.

Facility From a House Phone From a Cell Phone
Hyatt Regency 55 404-460-6325
Marriott Marquis 6680 404-521-0000
Hilton Downtown 61 404-659-2000 x2
Sheraton Downtown 6197 404-659-6500 x6197
Westin Peachtree Plaza 6 404-659-1400 x6

Exhibit Hall

A priority for anyone attending the Annual Meetings is a visit to the Exhibit Hall. The Exhibit Hall, located in the Hyatt Regency, is on two levels this year: booths 100–1213 are located in the Grand Hall (Exhibit Level), and booths 1300–2213 are located in the Centennial Ballroom (Ballroom Level). The AAR booth is #603. For an index of exhibitors and Exhibit Hall floor plans, click here.

Why visit the Exhibit Hall?

  • Publishers feature the newest, latest, and greatest publications within the field.
  • Publishers often offer deep discounts off list prices at the meeting!

Search It Out!
Looking for a specific book or publisher? Look no farther than the Search It Out kiosk in the front of the Exhibit Hall. This kiosk offers a searchable database of books, authors, and publishers. The results will appear on a map of the exhibit floor, highlighting the name and location of the publisher.

The kiosk can also display the Exhibit Hall map with a complete list of publishers for reference. You can find a list of exhibitors and an Exhibit Hall map in the Program Book, the At-A-Glance, the Mobile App, and here.

Employment Center

As the learned society representing the most comprehensive membership in the field of the study of religion, the American Academy of Religion sponsors a variety of services that assist individuals and institutions in the employment process. For any questions related to employment services, please contact Held every year at the AAR and SBL Annual Meetings, the Employment Center provides services designed to facilitate communication between hiring institutions and job candidates. The Employment Center features job listings, candidate credentials for review, a message center, and an interview facility.

Fun, Games, and Helping Others At the Annual Meeting

There are chances to play a game or win a prize at the Annual Meeting! Don't miss out on the fun.

Enter to Win in the Exhibit Hall!

Plan to visit the AAR booth (#603) and drop off your business card to enter four drawings:

  • Books Under Discussion at the 2015 AAR Annual Meeting
  • The 2015 AAR Award Winning Books
  • Free 2016 AAR membership
  • Free 2016 Annual Meetings registration

Forget the Dogs—AAR Is Going to the Cats!

KittensCatlanta cats, to be specific. Catlanta is a local Atlanta street artist who creates cute and funky cat art to scatter in locations around the city. A social media scavenger hunt takes place after each “kitten drop” as people follow the clues to discover a cat artwork.

Catlanta has partnered with AAR and designed some unique designs for the 2015 Annual Meeting! Follow the AAR Facebook and Twitter feeds during the Annual Meeting to learn clues that will lead you to a special take-home souvenir.

Tag a selfie with your Catlanta find to #aarsbl15 and AAR will make a donation to PAWS Atlanta, a local no-kill animal shelter!

SoapContribute to the Annual Meeting Soap Drive!

At the Annual Meeting in Atlanta, we are collecting unused/unopened hotel soaps, shampoos, conditioners, and other toiletry items that families and homeless in need might find useful. Take your donations to the Registration area in the Hyatt Regency and look for the soap drive bin! More information about this initiative can be found online.

Mandala Sand Painting

MandalaTibetan Buddhist monks from Drepung Loseling Monastery will construct a mandala sand painting Saturday, November 21 to Monday, November 23 in the Marriott Marquis Imperial Ballroom B (Marquis Level) from 8:00 am to 7:00 pm.

From all the artistic traditions of Tantric Buddhism, that of painting with colored sand ranks as one of the most exquisite. Millions of grains of sand are painstakingly laid into place on a flat platform over a period of days or weeks to form the image of a mandala. Mandalas can be created in various media, such as watercolor on canvas, wood carvings, and so forth. However, the most spectacular and enduringly popular are those made from colored sand.

The mandala sand painting begins with an opening ceremony, during which the lamas consecrate the site. This is done by means of chanting, music and mantra recitation, and will be held on Saturday, November 21, at 8:30 a.m.

The lamas begin the exhibit by drawing an outline of the mandala on the wooden platform. On the following days they lay the colored sands. Each monk holds a traditional metal funnel called a chakpur while running a metal rod on its grated surface. The vibration causes the sands to flow like liquid onto the platform.

Traditionally most sand mandalas are destroyed shortly after their completion. This is done as a metaphor for the impermanence of life. The sands are swept up and placed in an urn; half is distributed to the audience at the closing ceremony, while the remainder is carried to a nearby body of water, where it is deposited. The waters then carry the blessing to the ocean, and from there it spreads throughout the world. The closing ceremony will be held on Monday, November 23, at 6:30 p.m.

Meeting and Networking with Colleagues

Look Who's Coming and Social Media

The AAR website allows you to search for friends and colleagues who might be attending the Annual Meetings. Go to to see who’s coming to the Annual Meetings!

Take your Annual Meetings experience to the web! Use #aarsbl15 to continue the conversation on Twitter or the AAR’s Facebook page. See here for social media best practices at the meeting.

AAR and SBL Member Reception (A20–405)
Friday, 8:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m., Marriott-Atrium Ballroom (Atrium Level)
Come join the party with your friends and colleagues for fun and conversation at the AAR and SBL Members' Reception. Light refreshments, cash bar, and a DJ combine to make this a great way to catch up with old friends or dance the night away with new ones.

LGBTIQ Roundtable Luncheon (A21–146)
Saturday, 11:45 a.m.–12:45 p.m., Hyatt-International South (International Tower Level LL1)
All students and junior scholars who identify outside of normative gender histories and/or sexualities are welcome to join us for an informal lunch. No fee or preregistration is required. Please bring your own lunch; a cash-and-carry station will be available near the room for those wishing to buy their lunches onsite. 

Contingent Faculty and Applied Religious Studies Professionals Reception (A21–404)
Saturday, 7:00 p.m.–8:30 p.m., Marriott-AAR Suite
AAR members who work at colleges and universities on a contingent or contractual basis or who apply their degrees to work outside of the academy are welcome to meet and greet each other at this reception hosted by the AAR’s Contingent Faculty Task Force and Applied Religious Studies Working Group. Please RSVP by Friday, November 6, by e-mailing Sarah Levine (

Women's Mentoring Luncheon (A22–151)
Sunday, 11:45 a.m.–12:45 p.m., Marriott-A703 (Atrium Level)
Women who are graduate students and new scholars are invited to a luncheon with over thirty womanist, feminist, and LGBTIQ midcareer and senior scholars. Lunch is $13; registration is required.

Connecting Conversations Luncheon for Scholars and Students with Disabilities (A23–149)
Monday, 11:45 a.m.–12:45 p.m., Marriott-A703 (Atrium Level)
The Status of People with Disabilities in the Profession Committee will host a luncheon for scholars and students with disabilities, as well as anyone interested in disability issues in the Academy. Lunch is $13. If you would like to add this event to your registration, please contact the AAR Registration Bureau at

The Graduate Student Committee has published a listing of sessions of interest to student members attending the Annual Meeting.

Drop By to Say "Hello!"
Feel free to drop by AAR booth #603 to meet your regional coordinator or an AAR ambassador. Find out how you can become more involved in the AAR throughout the year!

Social Media Best Practices

AAR and SBL promote the academic study of religion and the bible across many channels: print, online, and the Annual Meeting. Social media outlets, especially "live-tweeting," can be an important means for continuing the conversation beyond the audience of an Annual Meeting session. These guidelines are intended to craft a forum that encourages an open discussion while maintaining the integrity of the scholar's work.

  1. Attendees are encouraged to live-tweet at the Annual Meeting using the official 2015 Annual Meeting hashtag (#aarsbl15).
  2. Program unit chairs are invited to create hash tags for the unit to be published in the Annual Meeting Program Book.
  3. Presenters may request that the presentation not be broadcast across social media. Similar to a presenter's requests not to be filmed or recorded, attendees are asked to respect the presenters' wishes.
  4. Attribution is key. List the speaker's name and presentation title; refer to a social media handle, if known.
  5. Clearly define where the idea originated. Note direct quotes within quotation marks. Make it clear when you are summarizing an argument and when you respond with your own opinion or interpretation of it. Note when the presentation is over.
  6. Be respectful, even if you disagree.
  7. Keep the dialogue going—bring responses from social media into the meeting session (e.g., ask questions posed to the author from the Twittersphere) and remember to use the meeting hashtag (#aarsbl15) so you can see who is responding to the same session you are.


Child Care

KiddieCorp childcare is a service subsidized by the AAR and SBL for members with families attending the Annual Meeting. The childcare preregistration deadline was October 23. 

Food at the Annual Meeting

On weekdays, there is an underground food court, which provides fast and inexpensive meal options for attendees during business hours. The Peachtree Center Mall Food Court can be accessed from an indoor walkway (with 3 stairs; no ADA options available without journeying outside) directly from the Hyatt. For ADA options, see here:

Breakfast and lunch restaurants located near the Hyatt Regency are here. A more complete list of downtown restaurants is here. If you are looking for vegetarian or restaurants that can accommodate restricted diets, this list may be helpful. For information regarding Kosher arrangements, please contact Joseph Weinstein at

Internet Access

Need to check your e-mail or use the web? Free Wi-Fi is available in meeting rooms and public areas of the Hyatt Regency, Marriott Marquis, Hilton Downtown, and Sheraton Downtown. (Complimentary Wi-Fi will not be available at the Westin Peachtree Plaza.) If you need a computer, the Cyber Cafe, located outside the Exhibit Hall in the Hyatt Regency on both the Ballroom and Exhibit levels, offers computers with Internet connections.

These are the free Wi-Fi network names and passwords:

Property Network Name Password
Hyatt Regency Hyatt Meeting Rooms aarsbl15
Marriott Marquis AAR_SBL_EVENT aarsbl15
Hilton Downtown Hilton Meeting Network aarsbl15hilton
Sheraton Downtown Sheraton Conference aarsbl15


  • Prayer Room, Hyatt Chicago D – For people of all faiths who need a moment of prayer, quiet reflection, or meditation.
  • Women's LoungeHyatt Hanover B – Featuring special programming sponsored by the Women's Caucus. Nursing mothers may find it a welcome private space.
  • Student LoungeHyatt Hanover A – Special programming sponsored by the Graduate Student Committee.
  • International Members LoungeHyatt Chicago C

Nursing Mothers

Nursing mothers are welcome to nurse wherever you feel comfortable feeding your child. If you are looking for a more private space, you can use the AAR's Women's Lounge located in Hyatt Hanover B.

Lost and Found

Please give any lost items to the staff at the Registration desk on the Exhibit Level of the Hyatt Regency. On Tuesday at noon, all items will be turned over to Hyatt security.


AAR members with disabilities or any attendees who may have difficulty getting around the meeting are encouraged to note this during registration. AAR will make every reasonable attempt to accommodate you, whether by arranging services such as sign language interpreters, assigning accessible hotel room space, or through the AAR’s taxi reimbursement policy. You can visit the Annual Meeting accessibility web page to see a complete list of ways AAR will work with you to make your Annual Meeting accommodate your needs. Please contact Soraya Shahrak, Associate Director of Meetings, at if you have any questions.

Detailed accessibility information for the Atlanta meeting is here:

Taxi Reimbursement

AAR & SBL will reimburse attendees with disabilities for the cost of a private taxi or ride-share service to travel between official AAR meeting locations, if needed. To receive the reimbursement, please submit all receipts with a letter detailing the nature of your disability, your departure point, and your destination. Only travel between official Annual Meeting locations (i.e., hotels and convention center) will be covered. Questions may be directed to

Wheelchair or Electric Scooter Rental

Attendees who wish to rent a wheelchair or electric scooter for use during the Annual Meeting are welcome to contact the following provider to arrange for service:

Atlanta Scooter Rentals ( is offering attendees a special rate for the Annual Meeting. Please be sure to tell them that you are with the AAR & SBL to get $5 off your reservation. Manual wheelchairs are $125 for your entire visit. Rates for renting an electric scooter vary, depending on length of your stay.  Please click the link for details: Atlanta Scooter Rentals will deliver the wheelchair or scooter to your hotel and will pick up the scooter from the front desk at your hotel once you depart. Please call Atlanta Scooter Rentals at 770-309-3699 to make individual arrangements. They suggest that you make your reservation as soon as possible to ensure availability.

Onsite Accessibility Issues

Should you encounter an accessibility issue at the Annual Meeting, please notify the hotel’s front desk so they can get the issue resolved. You may also report the problem at the AAR & SBL Registration Desk (located in the Hyatt Regency) or email

Need Help?

If you have questions about the program, your membership, or events at the Annual Meeting, the staff at the AAR Member Services desk, located in the Registration area of the Hyatt Regency Hotel, will be able to assist you. You can also seek help at the AAR booth #603 in the Exhibit Hall.

You might find the answer to your question on the Annual Meetings Frequently Asked Questions page.

BEYOND THE ANNUAL MEETING – Things to Do in Atlanta


The following Annual Meeting tours still have space available. For up-to-date information, e-mail  .

  • Atlanta City Tour (Friday, Nov. 20, 1:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.) $35
  • King Center Tour (Friday, Nov. 20, 2:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.) $15
  • Yoga Class (Saturday, Nov. 21, 7:00 a.m.–8:00 a.m.) $15
  • High Museum of Art (Saturday, Nov. 21, 9:30 a.m.–11:30 a.m.) $20
  • Center for Civil and Human Rights (Saturday, Nov. 21, 1:45 p.m.–4:00 p.m.) $15
  • Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum (Sunday, Nov. 22, 2:45 p.m.–5:00 p.m.) $30
  • Michael C. Carlos Museum (Monday, Nov. 23, 9:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.) $30
  • Pitts Theological Library and Special Collections (Monday, Nov. 23, 9:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.) $25
  • William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum (Monday, Nov. 23, 12:30 p.m.–4:00 p.m.) $20
  • Ponce de Leon Avenue Houses of Worship Tour (Monday, Nov. 23, 1:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.) $30

Registration is on a first-come, first-serve basis. To see a description of each tour, see pages 2–6 of this PDF. To sign up for a tour, fax in the form here, or e-mail Sorry, no refunds.


Atlanta has lots of great places to eat! Ask at your hotel concierge for recommendations, or check out the list provided by the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau.

On weekdays, there is an underground food court, which provides fast and inexpensive meal options for attendees during business hours. The Peachtree Center Mall Food Court can be accessed from an indoor walkway (with 3 stairs; no ADA options available without journeying outside) directly from the Hyatt. For ADA options, see here:

Breakfast and lunch restaurants located near the Hyatt Regency are here. If you are looking for vegetarian or restaurants that can accommodate restricted diets, this list may be helpful.

Jewish Shabbat meals and services will be available at the conference. Advance registration and payment is required for meals. For information or to register, please e-mail

Show Your Badge

From November 18 through November 27, the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau is offering discounts at local restaurants and attractions through the “Savings in the City" card. See here for details and to print your card. A list of all the discount offers is here.

Places of Worship

There is a nondenominational prayer and reflection space located in Hyatt Chicago D. For a list of local religious services, see here. Please note, this is not a comprehensive list of places of worship in Atlanta.