Durham hosted a postgrad conference yesterday that was a new version of a ongoing tradition. For several years there has been an annual exchange between the NT areas of Durham and Sheffield. We alternated locations each year and had about 6-7 plenary papers, with a mix between postgrads and staff. This year, at the direction of Prof F Watson, it was opened to all Biblical Study areas, and Manchester was invited as well. We had 3 concurrent sessions with 8 postgrad papers each, mixed roughly evenly between the 3 departments. I had the honour of chairing one of the sessions, which had primarily NT papers. Manchester had a larger contingent than I expected, and Sheffield seems to weathered their potential shut-down last year well. I typically shy away from postgrad conferences, but almost all the papers in my session were excellent–interesting, clear, well structured, and, importantly for me as moderator, well within the allotted time limits. I will say that my opinion of Sheffield and Manchester was boosted by the event and my already strong opinion of Durham was confirmed.
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