Final Reminders & Denver Program PDF, Nov 16-19

Dear Friends,

We are now days away from the sixth Annual Meeting of the International Qur’anic Studies Association taking place in Denver, November 16-19 (one day before AAR & SBL). We are looking forward to another exciting meeting of scholars and friends. For a complete showcase of our events, participants and sponsors we are proud to present the official AM 2018 PROGRAM BOOK (PDF). Viewers are encouraged to further circulate the program book. (Program Book link: https://iqsaweb.files.wordpress.com/2018/11/2018-iqsa-programbook.pdf)

Reminders — Please make sure to attend the following events or perform the needed duties outlined here:

  1. If you want to gain access to all IQSA session in Boston as well as our exclusive member benefits please RENEW your 2018 IQSA MEMBERSHIP immediately here (http://members.iqsaweb.org/Sys/Login). It is not too late!
  2. The FRIDAY sessions are FREE and OPEN to the PUBLIC. There is no keynote address this year. Please RSVP to join our GENERAL RECEPTION with food and refreshments, Friday Nov 16, 6:30PM. See program for details.
  3. On Saturday Nov 17 Graduate students and recent graduates should attend the Graduate Student Reception, 11:30am-1pm, where they will enjoy lunch with leading scholars in the field and share their own research. See program for details. Only a handful of spots remain. RSVP now HERE or via contact@iqsaweb.org
  4. On Sunday Nov 18, I call upon all IQSA members to fulfill their duty by attending our Business Meeting at 11:30am-12:30pm. See program for details.
  5. Finally, the world’s political climate continues to change, making international travel and collaboration more challenging. Our work is now more important than ever. Please support IQSA and DONATE (http://members.iqsaweb.org/donate). Meanwhile do not forget to enjoy this VIDEO (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tg-W3Asj3R8) and share accordingly — thank you.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, Standing Committees and our partners we would like to express our deepest gratitude to all friends of IQSA, and we look forward to seeing you in Boston.

Sincerely,

Emran El-Badawi, Executive Director

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2018. All rights reserved.

Annual Meeting Reminders – Denver 2018

iqsalogo

The 2018 IQSA Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado is just days away, commencing THIS Friday, November 16th at the Denver Convention Center, where over 1,000 events will take place, featuring more than 130 publishers and some 10,000 attendees! Read below for important reminders in anticipation of  IQSA’s exciting program this year.

  • IQSA sessions begin one day before the SBL/AAR schedule on Friday November 16th. Please book your travel and accommodation plans accordingly. This year’s opening session will be followed by the General Reception at 6:30pm at Uncle Joe’s Hong Kong Bistro. Please RSVP at THIS LINK.
    Note – this year’s meeting will not include a Presidential Address/Keynote 
  • On Saturday November 17th, graduate students and early career scholars should attend the Graduate Student Reception, 11:30am-1:00pm, where they will enjoy lunch with leading scholars in the field and share their own research. Please RSVP at THIS LINK or by emailing contact@iqsaweb.org.
  • On Sunday November 18th, all IQSA members are encouraged to attend the 2018 IQSA Business Meeting from 11:30am-12:30pm. See schedule for details.
  • IQSA’s print and online Program Book is now hours away from publication – stay tuned to www.iqsaweb.org to get a PDF version prior to the meeting!
  • Events like IQSA’s Annual Meetings are made possible by the generous support from its members, partners, and friends. Consider a donation to further IQSA’s mission, and remember to renew your annual membership!

Questions? Email contact@iqsaweb.org. On behalf of the IQSA Board of Directors and Executive Office, we look forward to seeing you in Denver!

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2018. All rights reserved.

Review of Qur’anic Research, Vol. 4 no. 10 (2018)

In the latest installment of the Review of Qur’anic Research (Vol. 4, no.10), Roberto Tottoli (Universita degli Studi di Napoli L’Orientale) reviews Pier Mattia Tommasino’s The Venetian Qurʾan: A Renaissance Companion to Islam (Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2018).

venetian

 

In his review, Roberto Tottoli writes “One of the main problems in contemporary scholarship is the loss of multilingual expertise of the scholars. The centrality of English has simplified the picture, but at the same time has permitted the emergence of students who do not know any other language and of scholars and writers who can propose ideas in English with no awareness of what has been written elsewhere and in other languages. Given such a situation, the English translation of Pier Mattia Tommasino’s study of the Italian edition of the Qurʾān attributed to the publisher Andrea Arrivabene, is a much-welcome effort to give the wider public a chance to know one of the most significant essays in the field of the last years. The original Italian appeared in 2013 and is now offered to the reader in a version updated only in the bibliography, and translated by Sylvia Notini…

Want to read more? For full access to the Review of Qur’anic Research (RQR), members can log in HERE. Not an IQSA member? Join today to enjoy RQR and additional member benefits!

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2018. All rights reserved.

First IQSA Studies in the Qur’ān Publication with Lockwood Press “A Qur’ānic Apocalypse: A Reading of the Thirty-Three Last Sūras of the Qur’ān” by Michel Cuypers

IQSA is proud to announce that the first publication in the Studies in the Qur’ān Series, together with Lockwood Press, is now available from ISD: https://isdistribution.com/BookDetail.aspx?aId=93549

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The present volume closes a trilogy devoted to the exegesis of the Qurʾān analyzed according to the principles of Semitic rhetoric, a method of textual analysis developed in the field of biblical studies. It studies the shortest sūrahs of the Qur’ān, which are traditionally dated to the beginnings of the preaching of Muḥammad in Mecca. The reference to the initial vision of Muḥammad in Sūrah 81, the point of departure for his career as Prophet, provides the starting point of the study of this group of sūrahs. The analysis shows that the redactors who assembled the textual fragments of the Qur’ān into a book were guided by precise intentions. In the end, it is these intentions that the rhetorical analysis of the text enables us to discover and better understand.

About the Author:
Michel Cuypers is a researcher at the IDEO, the Dominican Institute for Oriental Studies, Cairo, Egypt.

384 pages | 9 x 6 inches | Published October 2018
Hardback | ISBN 9781948488013 | $49.95
PDF eBook | ISBN 9781948480994 | $40.00

* Accessed from https://isdistribution.com/BookDetail.aspx?aId=93549

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2018. All rights reserved.

New Publication Muhammad: Prophet of Peace amid the Clash of Empires by Juan Cole

Below is an adapted excerpt from Muhammad: Prophet of Peace Amid the Clash of Empires by Juan Cole. Copyright © 2018. Available from Nation Books, an imprint of Perseus Books, LLC, a subsidiary of Hachette Book Group, Inc. This and the image of the cover are reproduced by kind permission of the author and publishers.

cole

The Companions of the Right Hand, the second group of good but perhaps not beatific people, are a “crowd of ancients and of moderns.”  That is, there are more contemporaries of the Prophet in this group.  The Event (56:90-91) promises, “And if they are among the companions of the right hand, then they will be greeted, ‘Peace be to you,’ by the companions of the right hand.”  They will dress up in fine silk and exotic brocade as though Asian royalty.  Any lingering rancor or grudges in their hearts for others will be removed, and they will all become siblings.  Concord is so central to the Qur’an’s view of the afterlife that it names heaven for it, saying, “God summons all to the Abode of Peace.”  The association of peace with heaven is also made in the New Testament.  In Luke 19:38, when Jesus approached the Mount of Olives after entering Jerusalem riding on a donkey, the crowds are said to have shouted, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!  Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

The chapter of Y.S. 36:52-58 represents paradise as having levels, with enjoyment the most basic, then above that a stage in which you recline on couches facing your spouse, followed by a plane on which you savor luscious fruit.  The pinnacle of paradise, however, comes at the fourth stage, when the voice of God addresses you with “Peace!”  Many readers will immediately think of the Paradiso of Dante Alighieri, which imagines heaven as nine levels.  The Qur’an positions peace at the apex of the delights of heaven.

These images have a moral purpose.  The Meccan sanctuary on earth dimly reflects the spectral asylum of the next world.  The comportment of the Vanguard and the Companions of the Right Hand, the Qur’an implies, exemplifies ideal behavior to be mirrored as well as possible even in this world.  Middle Platonism, the “spiritual commonwealth” of late antiquity, held that the spiritual is real and the material earth only participates in the archetypes of the other world.  In the classical rhetorical tradition that was all around Muhmmad when he journeyed north every year, the aim of a speaker was to use vivid, energetic language that brought the thing described to life before the eyes of the audience, making them feel as though they were witnesses to it.  It was not enough, however, simply to describe.  The speaker sought to whip up hearers emotionally by appealing to their imagination.  The Qur’an uses these literary devices in making paradise present to the believers.

Likewise, Christian sermonizers urged believers to keep the prospect of joining the concourse of heaven in mind.  Cyril of Jerusalem (313-386) preached, “Even now, I beseech you, lift up the eye of your understanding: imagine the angelic choirs, and God, the Lord of all sitting, and his Only-begotten Son sitting with him on his right hand, and the Spirit with them present . . .”

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2018. All rights reserved.

CALL FOR PAPERS — International Qur’an Conference 2019

 

CALL FOR PAPERS — International Qur’an Conference
Tangier Global Forum
University of New England
Tangier, Morocco
(25-26 July, 2019)

The International Qur’anic Studies Association (IQSA) is happy to announce its third biennial conference July 25-26, 2019, which is hosted by the Tangier Global Forum of the University of New England, Tangier, Morocco. The main theme of the conference is Reading the Qur’an in the Context of Empire. We invite enthusiastic scholars to discuss under-researched aspects of Qur’anic Studies. Papers in all areas of the field are welcome, but we are particularly interested in papers about how rulers, politicians, religious figures and later colonial officers and European travelers contributed to the production, distribution and reception of Scriptures in general and the Qur’an in particular.

 

Steeple and minaret2

Given the history and the pluralistic nature of the conference, participants are encouraged to exchange views on the relationship between the Qur’an and others religions. The conference will unveil new research on the Qur’an, and create a platform for connecting other religions to Qur’anic studies. Further attention will be paid to the important contribution of North African scholars to the emergence and flourishing of methods in the study of Qur’an, tafsir and translation. Also, particular attention will be paid to understudied texts, including Qur’anic commentaries, manuscripts, and translations produced under influential early, medieval and modern Islamic empires and sultanates in Turkey, Persia, Africa, Europe and the Malay-Indonesian world.

As there have been some long discussions about the way the Qur’an is [supposed to be] taught and examined in different Islamic and non-Islamic academic contexts, researchers will find a chance to discuss and challenge recent ideas and trends in Islamic studies by raising questions about: academic study of the Qur’an and its tafsir, reading the Qur’an along with other scriptures, reading the Qur’an in the light of recent archaeological and epigraphic discoveries, among others.

The sub-themes of the conference are as follows:

  • The Qur’an and Other Religions
  • Tafsir and the translation of the Qur’an
  • Qur’anic Manuscripts
  • The Qur’an and Mysticism
  • Modern African traditions of Qur’anic Exegesis
  • Method and Theory in the Study of the Qur’an and its commentaries (past, present, future)

The conference will take place in English, Arabic and French.

Please submit your abstracts (300 words) to: iqsatangier2019@gmail.com by January 30, 2019. Modest financial support may be available to accepted panelists by request, and contingent upon available funds.

Should you have questions about the conference, please contact IQSA conference director, Majid Daneshgar (majid.daneshgar@frias.uni-freiburg.de) or the IQSA administration (contact@iqsaweb.org).

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2018. All rights reserved.


المؤتمر الدولي للقرآن

منتدى طنجة الدولي، جامعة نيو انجلاند

طنجة، المغرب

من 25 إلى 26 يوليو2019

الجمعية الدولية للدراسات القرآنية ستنظم المؤتمر الدولي الثالث من 25 إلى 26 یولیو 2019 في منتدى طنجة الدولي، جامعة نيو انجلاند، المغرب. الموضوع الرئیسي للمؤتمر هو قراءة القرآن في ظل الامبراطوریة. اننا ندعو الباحثین والمتخصصین للمشارکة في جوانب الدراسات القرآنیة المختلفة التي لم تفحص حتى الآن. اننا نرحب بمقالات في جمیع الموضوعات القرآنیة. ولکننا مهتمون بشكل خاص أن تردنا مقالات حول دور الحکام، السیاسیین، العلماء، ولاحقا المستعمرين والسائحين الأوروبيين في إنتاج، توزیع، إدراك و قراءة الکتب المقدسة بشکل عام و القرآن بخاصة.

نظرا لتاريخ ولطبيعة المؤتمر المتنوعة، فاننا نشجع العلماء و الباحثین على تبادل الآراء حول العلاقة بین القرآن والأدیان الأخری. هذا المؤتمر سیکشف مباحث جدیدة عن القرآن و یصنع سیاق لربط الأدیان الأخری بالدراسات القرآنیة. سيتم الترکيز علی المساهمات المهمة للعلماء شمال أفريقيا في إبتكار وتطويرمناهج جدیدة في الدراسات القرآنیة، التفسیر والترجمة. سیکون هناك اهتمام خاص ايضا في نصوص لم تفحص من تفاسیر ومخطوطات قرآنية الى ترجمات للقرآن أنتجت في ظل إمبراطوریات اسلامیة کبیرة ابتداءا من الفترة الأولى للإسلام حتى العصور الوسطی و العصر الحدیث في ترکیا، بلاد فارس، أفریقیا، أوروبا وأرخبیل الملایو.

نظرا لانه كانت هناك نقاشات طويلة، حول الطريقة التي يجب ان يتم بها تدريس القرآن والتحقيق فيه، في المحیط الأکادمية الاسلامیة و غیرالاسلامیة، سیجد الباحثون فرصة لمناقشة الأفکار والتحديات والاتجاهات الأخیرة في الدراسات الإسلامیة من خلال طرح أسئلة مختلفة حول الدراسات الأکادیمیة للقرآن و تفسیره، قراءة القرآن مع الکتب المقدسة الأخری، قراءة القرآن في ضوء الاكتشافات الحديثة من آثار ونقوش، الخ.

لذلك، سيكون هناك موضوعات أخری للمؤتمر وهي علی النحو التالي:

القرآن و الأدیان الأخری

تفسیر و ترجمة القرآن

مخطوطات قرآنية

القرآن والتصوف

التقاليد الحديثة لتفسير القرآن في شمال أفريقيا

المنهج و النظریة فی الدراسات القرآنیة و التفاسیر (في الماضي والحاضر والمستقبل)

المؤتمر هو باللغة الإنجليزية، العربية والفرنسية

يرجى تحمیل الملخص و إرساله عبر هذا البرید الإلكتروني: iqsatangier2019@gmail.com

يرجي إرسال الملخصات حتی30 يناير 2019

قد يكون هناك دعم مالي متواضع(حسب الطلب) للاعضاء المقبولين للمشاركة باعمال المؤتمر. ويتوقف هذا الدعم على الاموال المتاحة.

اذا كان لديكم بعض الأسئلة، یرجی الاتصال بمدیر المؤتمر: د. مجید دانشجار: majid.daneshgar@frias.uni-freiburg.de

أو قسم إدارة الجمعية الدولية للدراسات القرآنية: contact@iqsaweb.org

 

Suggestions for Presenting a Conference Paper at IQSA

With the IQSA Annual Meeting quickly approaching next month, there has never been a better time to catch up on Dr. Devin Stewart’s (Emory University) suggestions for effective presentations at academic conferences!


Attendance at many conferences over the years and observing the presentations of both neophytes and older scholars has proved to me that nearly no one is taught in explicit terms how to write or deliver a conference paper. For the most part scholars have learned by osmosis, watching examples, whether good, middling, or bad. It is my hope that the scholars who participate in IQSA will be able to rise above the sea of mediocrity and make excellent presentations. I have witnessed a number of papers at IQSA that fall short of that mark, and while such lapses are not more prevalent at IQSA than at other conferences, my hope for the performances at IQSA is that they will be exceptionally high.

[The following statements represent my own considered opinions. It does not represent the opinion of the IQSA board or any other identifiable body in academia. My intention in presenting these comments and guidelines is only to help improve the quality of papers at the annual conference and thus to improve the experience and edification of all conference attendees.]

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Alba Fedeli presents her work on the “Birmingham Qur’an” manuscript at the 2015 IQSA Annual Meeting in Atlanta, GA.

Purpose:

The main purpose of a conference paper is to announce to the world a new result that you have discovered. In practical terms, it is also to force you to write something, or to finish writing something, that you will publish, and to get feedback from scholars in the field before you do so. If you are lucky, members of your audience may alert you to problems in your argument, plausible counter-arguments, sources you have overlooked, or relevant secondary studies you have not come across. They may push you to explain your argument better, more clearly, or more precisely. All of this will help improve the resulting publication and help ensure that you do not publish something that is unoriginal, incompletely documented, or badly argued.

Content:

A conference paper should be a report about completed research that 1) is new, 2) makes a solid argument and 3) emphasizes concrete results. Especially for this society, 4) concrete results primarily consist of concrete conclusions regarding the text of the Qur’an, its meaning, or its historical interpretation and use. This definition has several implications that may go against what young scholars have been told by their sophomoric graduate student peers or benighted advisors and what they have seen performed by droves of misguided conference-goers.

  • The content of your conference paper should not have been published before. It should be a new contribution to the field. You should not deliver a paper that is an info-mercial for your latest book. You should not present something that is an article already in press.
  • A conference paper is a report about research that you have completed. It is not a verbatim, blow-by-blow transcript of the publication you intend to complete. You do not have time to read the entire article or book chapter that you are working on. You are presenting the news story about the project you have completed. Emphasizing the results.
  • A conference paper should not be an interim progress report. While in many organizations, researchers and scholars present such reports as conference papers and lectures, doing so is akin to submitting one’s tax forms or an application for a business license. Many papers produced as part of a government-funded project or by scholars working in teams or for industry are presented as evidence that the project is moving forward and producing tangible results. However, unless the project has reached the point where there are actual results and conclusions can be drawn, it is not yet time to inflict it on the audience. It is acceptable to present something that is not 100% complete, or in which the conclusion is tentative or provisional. It is not acceptable to present something that has no identifiable conclusion yet. One should avoid presenting something that simply states that we have reached the middle of our work, this is the procedure that we are following, and this is where we stand. That is just shop-talk.
  • A conference report should not be a plan for or introduction to research that will be carried out in the future, a prolegomenon, the equivalent of the introduction to a dissertation, a book, or an article. Papers that do this are quite frequent, and leave one asking, “Where’s the beef?” Avoid presenting an introduction to a blank.
  • A conference paper must have a conclusion. Show and tell is not enough. No matter how fantastic the manuscripts you have to show are, it is insufficient merely to describe them. You must explain what they tell us that we did not know before about something greater: the historical transmission of the Qur’ān, its textual variants, patterns of copyists’ errors, and so on. A negative result is still a conclusion; it can make for a good presentation if it is interesting for some particular reason.
  • If you must present the theoretical background or describe a controversy in order to frame your results, do it quickly. An excessively long wind-up is one of the most common faults of conference papers in general. If you write an article or the introduction to your book or dissertation, you can take the time to write at length, but in a conference paper, a long introduction merely delays and in some cases completely displaces the concrete results, which is a disappointment for the audience.
  • Do not leave out the concrete results. Your colleagues in the field are most interested in these, and if you don’t get to specific results, you are robbing them. Include as many results as you can explain well in the time allotted. If you only have only a few examples, then you can spend some time. If you have many examples to choose from, select examples that are representative and can stand in for the others.  A long wind-up to a simple and small example is disappointing.
  • Your paper should take into account the relevant scholarship in the field. There may be too much for you to address in your presentation in any detail, but you should briefly indicate that you are aware of it. Especially in Qur’anic studies, there is a problem with reinventing the wheel. Do not assume that your idea has not been said before. Consult other scholars about the studies that might be relevant, especially studies in German and Arabic.

Structure:

  1. Problem or issue.
  2. Earlier scholarship on the issue, presented briefly.
  3. Your sources, method, approach, briefly
  4. Your results, conclusions [This should be the main part.]
  5. Implications

Presentation:

The single biggest problem with conference presentations in general is that presenters read a prepared text that was written as if it were a journal article or a book chapter.  If you read a prepared text, you must write it to be read aloud in the first place. Most scholars are not trained to do this type of writing. Doing so is a skill on its own, and it takes practice. An alternative is to prepare notes, a handout, or a power-point presentation, and to speak to the audience from these notes.

If you use power-point, do not read out paragraphs of text from the power-point slides—this is an insult to the audience, whom you are accusing of being inattentive or lazy.

Speaking to the audience directly is about ten times better and more engaging than reading, unless you can write like P.G. Wodehouse. Unfortunately, speaking directly to the audience is a road not taken by 80-90% of conference presenters in all fields, and not just ours.

-Dr. Devin Stewart, IQSA President Elect (Emory University)

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2018. All rights reserved.