CALL FOR PAPERS: “Persia and Arabia in Late Antiquity: Bridging the Ancient and Islamic” November 17-20, 2021

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Event Information: ASOR Annual Meeting (Chicago, IL): “Persia and Arabia in Late Antiquity: Bridging the Ancient and Islamic,” November 17-20, 2021

Session Chairs: Arvin Maghsoudlou (Southern Methodist University), and Kyle Longworth (University of Chicago)

SESSION DESCRIPTION: Scholarship has long recognized late antiquity as a transitional period separating the worlds of antiquity from those of the middle ages. For Persia and Arabia, late antiquity is historiographically divided, if not bookmarked, by the emergence of the Islamic faith and conquest of the Sassanian Empire. On the one hand, this historiographical division gives the impression that Islam as a political and religious phenomenon was a definitive rupture between Sassanian and Islamic Persia. On the other hand, pre-Islamic Arabia has received rather scant scholarly attention in comparison with its Byzantine and Sassanian neighbors. This session aims to bridge the historiographical divide by exploring elements of late antique Arabia and Persia that do not map conveniently onto political and religious history.

The session is open to topics on the history, art history, and archaeology of late antiquity in Arabia and Persia (200-800 C.E.), especially those with a focus on cultural continuities between the pre-Islamic and ‘early’ Islamic period.

General Instructions for Individual Submissions: https://www.asor.org/am/2021/call-for-papers-2021

The deadline to submit abstracts is March 15, 2021. Please note that this session will be held in-person.

Abstracts (max 250 words) must be submitted electronically through ASOR’s Abstracts Online Management System.

For questions, please contact us: Arvin Maghsoudlou (amaghsoudlou@smu.edu); Kyle Longworth (longworth@uchicago.edu).

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2021. All rights reserved.

Call for Papers: Archaeology of Arabia and the Archaeology of Islamic Society

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ASOR is requesting paper proposals for two different conference sessions: the Archaeology of Arabia and the Archaeology of Islamic Societies. 

logo-redesign-J3Conference Description: The ASOR 2021 Call for Papers is open, and this year the Archaeology of Arabia Session is doubling the fun: online (virtual), and in Chicago.

We warmly invite you to present your research with us in the 2021 ASOR Archaeology of Arabia Sessions — one to be held in Chicago, November 17–20, and the other virtual, December 9–12.

That’s right! This year, you may choose to present a paper at the Archaeology of Arabia (1) Chicago session; (2) virtual session; or (3) present the same paper in the Chicago session and in the virtual session.

The pandemic has kept most of us from fieldwork. Fortunately, the Archaeology of Arabia Session welcomes papers that cover all aspects of Arabian archaeology. We encourage you to dust off old projects and data sets, show off some theory or research proposals, review the state of the field or a museum collection, or consider other aspects of your fieldwork or research, such as community outreach, collaborations with local and state government, social media, or new technical or technological trials (and/or tribulations).

The Session promotes scholars in all career stages and encourages collaborations.

Paper abstracts must be submitted by March 15, 2021. If you are interested or have any questions, please contact us (email addresses below) or see the full Archaeology of Arabia CFP online at <bit.ly/ASOR2021>. 

Please see here for more information on how to submit a paper: https://www.asor.org/am/2021/call-for-papers-2021. You can submit an abstract to either session or you can submit the same abstract to both sessions and it will count as a single paper presentation.

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2021. All rights reserved.

Reminder: Complete the IQSA Meeting Survey by February 28!

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Friends of IQSA,

As our organization plans its upcoming meetings and conferences, we need YOUR feedback on everything from past formats to features to further IQSA’s mission of bringing scholars from the globe together to advance the academic study of the Qur’an.

To that end, please complete this *short* (15 question) survey, which asks for your insights on our regular annual meetings. The survey will close at the end of the month on February 28, 2021, so don’t delay!

This survey is intended to be filled out by active IQSA members only. If your membership is not active, please renew it ASAP at members.iqsaweb.org.

CLICK HERE TO COMPLETE SURVEY

If any of the questions are not applicable to you, please leave them blank. Need help? Email contactus@iqsaweb.org for support.

Thank you for helping to further our organization and its mission by being part of the IQSA community!

Best,
IQSA Executive Office
contactus@iqsaweb.org

Online Conference: “Connecting Distant Worlds,” The International Society for Arabic Papyrology (ISAP), March 15-18, 2021

The International Society for Arabic Papyrology (ISAP) will hold the eConference “Connecting Distant Worlds” online from March 15-18, 2021. A number of leading scholars in the field of Islamic history will be presenting (see program here). 

econfParticipation in the conference without a paper is free, but interested participants should send a notice of intent to participate to Manuella Wangert (m.wangert at lmu.de) no later than 1 March, 2021. For more complete information about the conference, please visit the conference website

Description: Scholars working in pre-modern Arabic and Islamic studies are keenly aware of the importance of original documents. Yet, relevant documents have survived not only in Arabic, but also in Iranian languages, Coptic, Greek, Judaeo-languages and the other scribal idioms that mirror the multilingual past of the Islamic world. The International Society for Arabic Papyrology Online Conference (ISAP ONLINE 2021) will provide a platform to showcase the state of the art of Arabic papyrology, with an emphasis on the edges, connectivity and multilingualism of the Islamic world.

ISAP’s original plan was to hold this conference at Fayyum University, but the pandemic requires us to hold the conference online. As soon as possible, the society will also move ahead with the Fayyum conference.

The conference will consist of a series of afternoon panels and evening lectures (Central European Time) from Monday, 15 March 2021 to Thursday, 18 March 2021. The program will include 20-minute presentations, an evening lecture, as well as an introductory-level student workshop. All lectures will be in English, but questions and discussion can take place in English, Arabic, French or German.

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2021. All rights reserved.

Review of Qur’anic Research, Vol. 7 no. 2 (2021)

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In the second installment of this year’s the Review of Qur’anic Research (Vol. 7 no.2), Mona Siddiqui (University of Edinburgh) reviews Carlos A. Segovia’s The Quranic Jesus: A New Interpretation (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2020).

quranicjesusIn the review, Siddiqui writes “Using a style and lens similar to “The Quranic Noah” (2015), this book is Carlos A. Segovia’s most recent contribution to the literature on the Qurʾān and its relationship to late antique Judaism and Christianity. The book also belongs to the same series, which aims to bring Judaism, Christianity, and Islam into interdisciplinary conversations about the reception and mediation of ideas within these religions. Segovia’s main purpose in this book is to “reread the Jesus passages in light of the Christological developments contemporary with the composition of the quranic corpus” (23). The author’s main concern is that in the modern study of the qurʾānic Jesus, scholars have basically moved in a single direction which is thematic and descriptive and focuses primarily on biographical episodes of Jesus and select verses which create a qurʾānic counter-Christology. This approach overlooks the multi-layered, polyvalent, and “highly complex Christology” (1) contained in the Qurʾān…”

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, 2021. All rights reserved.

Call for Papers: IQSA Annual Meeting 2021

CFP_IQSA21The International Qur’anic Studies Association has opened its call for papers for its Annual Meeting to be held in San Antonio, TX and virtually from November 18–21, 2021. Paper proposals should be submitted through the SBL’s automated online submission system under the corresponding “Affiliates” link by March 23, 2021 though 11:59 PM (23:59) Eastern Standard Time (UTC-5) (note: IQSA membership is required for proposal submission; see below). Submission links can be found below under the respective program units. If you require further information or experience difficulties with the submission process, please contact the chairs of the program unit to which you would like to apply.

Please note that all proposals must include:

  • Author name and affiliation
  • Paper title
  • 400 word paper abstract (written in English)

Eligibility for proposal submissions is contingent upon the following:

  • Active IQSA membership is required at the time of proposal submission for the IQSA Program, and the membership status of all applicants will be checked prior to acceptance
  • Participants must maintain current IQSA Membership through their participation in the Annual Meeting

Please also note that:

  • To ensure equity and diversity amongst participants, participants should submit only one paper presentation per IQSA Annual Meeting
  • All participants must adhere to IQSA’s Professional Conduct Policy
  • Participants will be required to register for the conference by submitting payment through SBL’s online submission system (users are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the “Super Saver” rates which end mid-May)

The Annual Meeting includes panels for each of IQSA’s seven program units:

Linguistic, Literary, and Thematic Perspectives on the Qur’anic Corpus
The Qur’an: Surah Studies
Qur’anic Studies: Methodology and Hermeneutics
The Qur’an: Manuscripts and Textual Criticism
The Qur’an and the Biblical Tradition
The Qur’an and Late Antiquity
The Societal Qur’an

 

PROGRAM UNIT 1
Linguistic, Literary, and Thematic Perspectives on the Qur’anic Corpus

Program Unit Chairs
Anne-Sylvie Boisliveau
Mohsen Goudarzi

The Linguistic, Literary, and Thematic Perspectives on the Qur’anic Corpus unit invites proposals for papers that engage with the techniques utilized in the Qur’an for crafting imagery, characters, and narratives. Proposals may attend to artistic and literary strategies as well as to the broader social, religious, and political ends towards which these strategies are deployed

PROGRAM UNIT 2
The Qur’an: Surah Studies

Program Unit Chairs
Nevin Reda
Shawkat Toorawa

The Surah Studies Unit invites proposals for individual papers on any aspect of Surat al-Naml (27, “The Ants”). Much of the attention directed at the surah has focused on the story of Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. Proposals about any aspect of that narrative are welcome—in particular ones that explore power and gender dynamics—but proposals that can take our thinking about the surah in new directions are especially encouraged. These might broach such topics as: the deployment of animals as characters; the nature of the Arabian prophets’ missions; the role of the surahs’s inaugurators (fawati?), ?a Sin, both in the surah and within the Qur’an as a whole; the rhetorical relationship between the various prophets and prophet-stories; miracles; and much else besides. The Surah Studies Unit welcomes diverse methods and new approaches. The raison d’être of the Unit is to bring different perspectives on a given surah into dialogue with one another.

PROGRAM UNIT 3
Qur’anic Studies: Methodology and Hermeneutics

Program Unit Chairs
Khalil Andani
Celene Ibrahim

This unit aims to understand and contextualize the methods and hermeneutics applied to the Qur’anic text, both historical and contemporary. The Methodology and Hermeneutics unit addresses questions that might implicitly govern other units, such as: What is Qur’anic Studies, and how does the study of the Qur’an differ from the study of its interpretation? What are the methodological differences between descriptive and normative approaches to the text? How does context (intellectual, social, ethical, historical) affect hermeneutical approaches to the text? The unit welcomes papers addressed to the hermeneutics and methods of particular schools of interpretation or thought, and also on hermeneutics as applied to specific subjects or concepts such as social justice and gender. This year the Methodology and Hermeneutics Unit invites submissions for two panels on any aspect of Qur’anic interpretation, hermeneutics, and methodology. Proposals can focus on, among other topics, the following areas:

• The overlaps and distinctions between tafsir and ta’wil in exoteric and esoteric Qur’an commentary literature as they have evolved historically;
• The distinctive hermeneutical features of Qur’anic exegesis performed by minority Muslim communities including Sufi and Shi‘i (Twelver, Ismaili, Nusayri) commentators;
• How the Muslim Peripatetics (falasifa), such as Avicenna, have engaged with the Qur’an through Aristotelian and Neoplatonic lenses;
• The unique hermeneutical approaches of Muslim modernist thinkers in the 19th and 20th centuries;
• Interpretative engagements with the Qur’an from thinkers in South Asia and Southeastern Asia.

Any other topic that deals with Qur’anic hermeneutics is welcome.

PROGRAM UNIT 4
The Qur’an: Manuscripts and Textual Criticism

Program Unit Chairs
Alba Fedeli
Shady Hekmat Nasser

The aim of the Manuscripts and Textual Criticism unit is to provide a cross-disciplinary setting for the exploration of the various interconnected issues that arise when questions concerning the Qur’an’s text are investigated through the prism of its manuscript tradition. This latter term encompasses the field of Qur’an manuscripts per se, but also alludes to such information regarding the history of the text that can be gleaned from the citations, marginal notes, and detailed analysis provided in other branches of the Islamic sciences, for example Qur’an commentaries and the qira’at literature. It is hoped that bringing together scholars from a variety of disciplines will serve to enrich and strengthen each of these fields. The Manuscripts and Textual Criticism unit seeks to create a forum for the application of textual criticism to the Qur’anic text attested both in physical manuscripts and within the wider Islamic tradition. It also aims to investigate palaeographic, codicological, and art historical features in the Qur’an’s manuscript tradition.

The unit welcomes papers on any topic within the range of the interests of the Manuscripts and Textual Criticism program unit. In addition, the unit proposes a special thematic session for 2019: “Life of Qur’an manuscripts.” We invite proposals that touch upon issues related to the modification of manuscripts after they have been produced. Papers dealing with all eras and regions of the manuscript tradition are welcome. Submissions might focus on the insertion of marginalia notes, colophons, waqf statements, annotations, additions, amendments, the recycling of writing surfaces, etc., or on references to such practices in the traditional literature.

PROGRAM UNIT 5
The Qur’an and the Biblical Tradition

Program Unit Chairs
Nora K. Schmid
Holger Zellentin

The focus of this unit is the Qur’an’s relationship to the Biblical tradition in the broadest sense: the books of the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament in the various languages of their original composition and later translations (regardless of a particular book’s status of canonization within specific Jewish or Christian groups), as well as the exegetical, homiletic, and narrative traditions of the Bible in written or oral form. For the 2021 meeting in San Antonio, the Qur’an and the Biblical Tradition unit welcomes proposals that engage any aspect of the relationship between the Bible and the Qur’an.

PROGRAM UNIT 6
The Qur’an and Late Antiquity

Program Unit Chairs
Johanne Christiansen
Michael Pregill

For the 2021 IQSA Annual Meeting in San Antonio, the Qur’an and Late Antiquity program unit invites proposals that utilize various types of material or evidence—be that literary, documentary, or epigraphic—to illuminate the historical context in which the Qur’an was revealed and the early Islamic polity emerged. This year, we are especially interested in papers that present and discuss the historical Muhammad, including new and comparative methodologies to approach this figure, the relationship between Muhammad and the Qur’an, and Muhammad’s role and function in the cultural, political, social, and religious environment of Late Antiquity.

PROGRAM UNIT 7
The Societal Qur’an

Panel Chairs:
Johanna Pink
Lauren Osborne

The Societal Qur’an unit invites proposals for papers that investigate the Qur’an in its lived and societal contexts throughout history, from Late Antiquity to contemporary Late Modernity. Proposals are encouraged that engage with sociological, anthropological, and political science theories and methods in their pursuit of the societal and lived Qur’an. Papers might, for instance, discuss topics such as ritual and artistic uses of the Qur’an, practices of teaching the Qur’an, talismanic and medical uses of the Qur’an, the production of manuscript, print, and new media versions of the Qur’an, or the deployment of the Qur’an in terms of social identity and political organization.

Upcoming Lecture: “‘Our Father’: The Medieval Abrahamic Religion(s)”

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The Jean and Samuel Frankel Center for Judaic Studies at the University of Michigan will host a webinar featuring Sarah Strousma of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem titled “Our Father’: The Medieval Abrahamic Religion(s).” The webinar will begin at 12:00 PM on February 11.

Description: In contemporary parlance, the term “Abrahamic religions” serves to indicate the common ground of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The designation of these three religions as “Abrahamic” is used as a shorthand for their supposed common ancestry as well as for their assumed shared religious principles and values. Since its very purpose is to highlight the commonality of the three religions, the term is always used in the plural. For medieval thinkers in the Islamicate world, however, the Abrahamic model of religion was radically different from the contemporary one.

Advanced registration is required. Interested readers can sign up here.

Sarah Strousma is the Alice and Jack Ormut Professor Emerita of Arabic Studies. She taught in the Department of Arabic Language and Literature and the Department of Jewish Thought at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where she served as the Rector of the University from 2008 until 2012. Her area of academic focus includes the history of philosophical and theological thought in Arabic in the early Islamic Middle Ages, Medieval Judaeo-Arabic literature, and intellectual history of Muslims and Jews in Islamic Spain.

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© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2021. All rights reserved.

Call for Papers: Ties of Kinship and the Early Islamic Empire

The ERC project Embedding Conquest: Naturalising Muslim Rule in the Early Islamic Empire is seeking papers for a conference titled “Ties of Kinship and the Early Islamic Empire”. This conference will take place on December 6-8, 2021 at the University of Leiden.

Picture1Call for Papers:  We invite submissions for an international conference on the language of kinship in Islamic(ate) societies before the modern period (622–1500 CE). The Embedding Conquest (EmCo) team has been investigating the social, political, administrative, religious, and economic ties that sustained strategies and mechanics of protection and dependency in the early Islamic empire, contributing to shaping imperial rule under the Umayyads and the Abbasids. As part of our project, we study how writers and document producers expressed vertical and horizontal relationships, including the use of family terms. We now invite other researchers to join in our conversation focusing on relational ties that were expressed primarily through or as kinship. This international meeting will be a venue for presenting new studies about practices, categories, and discourses through which kinship might

(i) connect individuals and groups to one another

(ii) contribute to binding an empire (or other large political entity) together.

We are interested in exploring how and when the language of kinship was implemented as a persuasive device, an operative category, and a problem-solving mechanism in premodern Islamic(ate) societies. When did the writers of our sources deploy kinship to describe or create group solidarity? What alternatives to kinship were used, instead, as a basis for expressing social cohesion? When was kinship construed for making claims? When was kinship invoked, and when was it deliberately omitted?

The conference will revolve around three major themes:

  • dynastic rule: presentations centered on caliphal and other ruling dynasties, sultanates, imamates, royal households, dynastic claims, and marriage politics;
  • family ties: presentations centered on kinship as part of family relations, households, consanguinity, adoption, property rights, and family law;
  • kinship outside the family: presentations centered on kinship as part of non-familial relations, tribal affiliation, spiritual kinship, slavery, clientship, and patronage.

We invite presentations showcasing new historical research and look for case-studies that may also address broader historical questions, fitting in any of those three themes. We aim at a collaborative discussion about expressions of kinship and social or political relationships, including relationships giving cohesion to state institutions, empires, or dynasties, while also allowing for alternative definitions of kinship and contested visions of empire. Presenters may either focus on particular contexts or take on the approach of comparative, interconnected, or global histories. We welcome a serious engagement with questions of method and/or theory, and we encourage the participants to be aware of recent anthropological perspectives on kinship. Important work on kinship, gender and reproduction in the modern Middle East has been conducted by Soraya Altorki, Soraya Tremayne, Soheila Shahshahani, and others. Authors who have recently engaged with kinship in historical studies of premodern societies include Jessica Coope, Eve Krakowski, and Martina Deuchler. Among ongoing research projects centered on kinship, we would like to signal one based at the University of Bristol and one based at the University of Haifa.

Interested speakers should submit an abstract (300 words) and a short bio to emco@hum.leidenuniv.nl by 31 March 2021. We welcome submissions from leading and junior scholars, advanced graduate students, and independent researchers. In the hopeful scenario in which it will be possible to travel and convene in person in Leiden, the organizers will cover the travel and accommodation expenses of confirmed participants, for the purposes and duration of the conference only. The organizers are committed to gathering a diverse group of presenters and will strive to give more visibility to the work of scholars from traditionally underrepresented groups in academia.

For questions, please write to emco@hum.leidenuniv.nl or to c.palombo@hum.leidenuniv.nl.

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2021. All rights reserved.

IQSA 2020 Annual Meeting Survey

Dear friends of IQSA,

As a learned society, IQSA is committed to understanding its members’ opinions and shaping our academic activities in a way that responds appropriately to them and advances our mission. To that end, we are turning to you for input on our meetings. This *short* (15 question) survey asks you to offer insights on our regular annual meetings.

Please complete the survey as soon as possible and in any case before February 1, 2021. The survey is to be filled out by active IQSA members only. If your membership is not active, please renew it ASAP at members.iqsaweb.org.

CLICK HERE TO COMPLETE SURVEY

If any of the questions are not applicable to you, please leave them blank. Need help? Email contactus@iqsaweb.org for support.

Thank you for helping to further our organization and its mission by being part of the IQSA community!

Best,
IQSA Executive Office
contactus@iqsaweb.org

Copyright © 2021 International Qur’anic Studies Association, All rights reserved.

Welcoming IQSA’s New Executive Director: Hythem Sidky

On behalf of the IQSA board of directors, it is a great pleasure to announce that Dr. Hythem Sidky has been appointed as the International Qur’anic Studies Association’s new Executive Director. He will succeed Dr. Emran El-Badawi, who co-founded IQSA and has been Executive Director since its inception.

hsidky-select-portraits-squareHythem combines expertise in the sciences with a specialization in Qurʾānic manuscripts and reading traditions. He holds an M.S. in applied mathematics and Ph.D. in biomolecular engineering from the University of Notre Dame. Hythem’s dual background allows him to bring together traditional philology and mathematical analysis to study the dynamics and evolution of the Qurʾān in early Islam. He has worked on the stemmatics of Qurʾānic manuscripts, reconstruction of regional oral traditions, and continues to investigate applications of stylometry to the Qurʾān.

In his new role as Executive Director, Hythem will work directly with the Board of Directors and standing committees to lead the organization through these challenging times. He will continue to maintain the operational strength of the organization while increasing its digital presence and reach. Hythem will be responsible for managing the organization’s conferences, meetings, and other operational needs. He will also serve as Treasurer and oversee fundraising and other financial matters. Suggestions, inquiries, or questions concerning IQSA’s operations can be sent to execdirector@iqsaweb.org.

Please join us in welcoming Hythem to his new role as Executive Director. The board of directors is committed to working with Hythem to ensure his successful leadership and the growth of IQSA as it enters its next chapter.

With warm regards,

Holger Zellentin
IQSA Chair of the Board