Andrew Rippin Best Paper Prize Winners 2020

The International Qurʾanic Studies Association is delighted to announce that the third annual Andrew Rippin Best Paper Prize (open to papers delivered by early career scholars at the 2019 annual meeting) has been awarded to both Saqib Hussain (University of Oxford) and Andrew J. O’Connor (St. Norbert College). The winners of the Andrew Rippin Best Paper Prize receives a cash award. In addition, an expanded and edited version of the winning paper qualifies for publication in the Journal of the International Qur’anic Studies Association.rippin

This award is given in honor of Prof. Andrew Rippin (1950-2016), a leading scholar of the Qurʾān and inaugural president of the International Qur’anic Studies Association (2014). Prof. Rippin is remembered as “an esteemed colleague, revered mentor, and scholarly inspiration to many members of the IQSA community.” An announcement regarding submissions for the fourth annual Andrew Rippin Best Paper Prize will follow the 2020 IQSA annual meeting in Boston.

An abstract of both award winning papers follows:

“The Prophet’s Visions in Sūrat al-Najm.”
Saqib Hussain

Several fruitful studies have shown that sūrah-opening oaths frequently depict an observable, physical phenomenon as an artistic illustration of a supernatural reality that the sūrah goes on to describe. Q al-Najm 53 opens with an oath by the movement of the Star (al-najm), and goes on to describe the Prophet’s two visions of an angelic or divine being.  However, the connection between the oath by the Star and the Prophetic visions has hitherto proven difficult to establish. There are in addition several features of the visions that are difficult to understand. I show in this paper, by reference to pre-Islamic poetry and pre-Islamic astronomy, that the opening oath is recalling the motion of the Pleiades across the night sky, and this mirrors the Prophet’s described encounter with the divine/angelic being in the sūrah. This allows us to solve several interpretive difficulties that the sūrah presents. In addition, there appears to be a strong continuity between the broader astronomical lore of the sūrah and Safaitic inscriptions, which in turn can be used to further our understanding of the sūrah. Finally, as the Prophetic visions seem to describe the onset of revelation, I explore the possibility that we can use the astronomical data embedded in the sūrah to help date the solar month when the first revelation occurred.

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“Paraenesis, Recreation, and the Revocation of Bodily Agency in Surat Ya Sin (Q 36).”
Andrew O’Connor

Surat Ya Sin (Q 36) employs a remarkable variety of imagery associated with the body, including both direct statements about parts of the body and evocative language appealing to one’s sense of pleasure or harm. This symbolism serves a paraenetic purpose, fostering a particular response from its addressees. Thus, it urges addressees to become inhabitants of paradise through appealing to their sense of bodily enjoyment, constructing a mental picture of leisure and recreation. However, the second component of this discourse is intentionally jarring and brings to mind violence to the body; in short, to describe unbelief the surah employs corporeal imagery that implies the revocation of bodily agency. The damned lose control of their body—their very limbs work against them to ensure their perdition. With this language in particular we can find echoes and developments of biblical symbolism. In this paper, I present the diverse ways that Surat Ya Sin constructs its arguments utilizing symbolism of the body. The surah uses somatic presentations of the otherworld as part of a rhetorical strategy: linking bodily resurrection with a bodily subsistence after judgment. I first (1) present a brief overview of some recent scholarship on heaven, hell, and the resurrection in the Qur’an and then (2) argue for the centrality of the doctrine of bodily resurrection in Q 36. Lastly I highlight the contrast between corporeal agency in (3) paradise and (4) the revocation of agency for unbelievers.

Saqib-pictureSaqib Hussain is a doctoral student at the University of Oxford, holding a scholarship from the AHRC and affiliated with the QuCIP project. He has studied for several years in Damascus and Cairo, focusing on Arabic and Qur’anic exegesis. His DPhil research is on the term “wisdom” in the Qur’an, and its possible connection to late antique notions of natural law. He has a forthcoming publication on Qur’anic textual criticism in the edited volume Unlocking the Medinan Qur’an, and a chapter on several minor Qur’anic prophets in the forthcoming Biblical Traditions in the Qur’an.

O'ConnorAndrew J. O’Connor is Assistant Professor of Theology & Religious Studies at St. Norbert College in De Pere, Wisconsin (USA). He completed his Ph.D. in 2019 at the University of Notre Dame. His doctoral dissertation analyzed the Qur’an’s different models of prophethood in conversation with notions of prophecy within other communities in the Near East. He also holds a M.A. from the University of Chicago and a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Andrew’s current research interests are the Qur’an’s engagement with Jewish and Christian traditions (and the cultural/religious environment of Late Antiquity broadly speaking) and the Qur’an’s eschatology. Andrew was the recipient of a Fulbright Research Grant to study in Amman, Jordan, for 2017–18.

 

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2020. All rights reserved.

Andrew Rippin Best Paper Prize 2019-20

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Andrew Rippin was the inaugural president of the International Qur’anic Studies Association (2014). He is remembered as “an esteemed colleague, revered mentor, and scholarly inspiration to many members of the IQSA community.”

In honor of Andrew Rippin, the International Qur’anic Studies Association (IQSA) will award a prize to the best paper delivered at the 2019 Annual Meeting in San Diego, CA by a graduate student or early career scholar (Ph.D. awarded 2014 or later).

The prize winner will receive $250. In addition, the award committee will provide him/her with detailed feedback and guidance enabling him/her to expand the paper into a scholarly article that qualifies for publication in the Journal of the International Qur’anic Studies Association (JIQSA), subject to peer review.

Interested scholars should submit a draft of the paper which they read at the 2019 Annual Meeting at San Diego; this draft should be no longer than fifteen double-spaced pages (or 3750 words). Submissions should be sent to contact@iqsaweb.org by January 5, 2020. The prize winner will be announced by February 1, 2020. The winner should then be prepared to submit a fully revised version of the winning article by April 1, 2020. Publication of the final version is contingent upon review by the award committee and editorial staff of JIQSA.

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© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2019. All rights reserved.

Eléonore Cellard wins Andrew Rippin Best Paper Prize 2019

The International Qurʾanic Studies Association is delighted to announce that the second annual Andrew Rippin Best Paper Prize (open to papers delivered by junior scholars at the 2018 annual meeting) has been awarded to Dr. Eléonore Cellard for her paper “From Coptic to Arabic: A new palimpsest for the history of the Qur’ān in Egypt during the first centuries of Islam.” The winner of the Andrew Rippin Best Paper Prize receives a cash award. In addition, an expanded and edited version of the winning paper qualifies for publication in the Journal of the International Qur’anic Studies Association.

This award is given in honor of Prof. Andrew Rippin (1950-2016), a leading scholar of the Qurʾān and inaugural president of the International Qur’anic Studies Association (2014). Prof. Rippin is remembered as “an esteemed colleague, revered mentor, and scholarly inspiration to many members of the IQSA community.” An announcement regarding submissions for the second annual Andrew Rippin Best Paper Prize will follow the 2019 IQSA annual meeting in San Diego.

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An abstract of Eléonore Cellard award winning paper follows:

According to the Islamic tradition, the Qur’ānic text was fixed some years after the conquest of Egypt by ‘Amr ibn al-‘Āṣ. Egypt, however, didn’t received any of the archetypal codices sent by ‘Uṯmān ibn ‘Affān. Without this archetype, how did the Qur’ānic text spread to this region during the first centuries of Islam? Did Egypt play a role in the beginning of the written transmission of the Qur’ān? Unfortunately, the hundreds of early Qur’ānic fragments found in Egypt in the last centuries can’t attest to their Egyptian origin, as they contain no information about their dating or their origins.

A new palimpsest, recently emerged on the antiquities market, could shed some light on these issues. On its scriptio inferior – the original text which has been erased – we could so far decipher fragments of Deuteronomy and Isaiah, probably written in the 6th or 7th century, within a Coptic monastery, located between Cairo and Assiut. The scriptio superior – the upper text which supersedes the Coptic text – is a Qur’ān, sharing similarities with the large copies kept in Fustat (Old-Cairo) and elsewhere, and dating from the middle of the 8th century. The originality of this palimpsest is its lower cost manufacture, reflecting a more modest, and regional context of production in this period, perhaps in Middle-Egypt like the former Coptic manuscript.

Revealing the existence of another way of production of Qur’ān copies as early as the 8th century, this document shows also that the written transmission of the Qur’ān was already well established and under control. Last, but not least, this artifact reminds us of the material proximity of Qur’ānic and Coptic scribal cultures in Egypt. The copyists never ignored each other, but what were exactly their relationships? Studying this palimpsest and the others, we approach the Qur’ān as a tridimensional book, never isolated from the other scriptural cultures, but rather interacting with them, in the multicultural story of Egypt at the end of Late Antiquity.          

portrait pro Eleonore-3Dr. Eléonore Cellard is specialist in Qur’ānic manuscripts. She started her research activities in 2008, under the supervision of François Déroche. In 2015, she submitted her dissertation intitled “The written transmission of the Qur’ān. Study of a corpus of manuscripts from the 2nd H./8th CE” (INALCO/EPHE). Until 2018, she carried on her research at the Collège de France, as research assistant and post-doctoral researcher.  Involved first in the French-German Coranica project, then in the Paleocoran project, she published Codex Amrensis 1, the first volume of the collection of facsimile and diplomatic editions of the earliest Qur’ans (Brill, 2018).

 

 

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2019. All rights reserved.

 

 

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

 

Andrew Rippin Best Paper Prize 2018-19

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Andrew Rippin was the inaugural president of the International Qur’anic Studies Association (2014). He is remembered as “an esteemed colleague, revered mentor, and scholarly inspiration to many members of the IQSA community.”

In honor of Andrew Rippin, the International Qur’anic Studies Association (IQSA) will award a prize to the best paper delivered at the 2018 Annual Meeting in Denver, CO by a graduate student or early career scholar (Ph.D. awarded 2013 or later).

The prize winner will receive $250. In addition, the award committee will provide him/her with detailed feedback and guidance enabling him/her to expand the paper into a scholarly article that qualifies for publication in the Journal of the International Qur’anic Studies Association (JIQSA), subject to peer review.

Interested scholars should submit a draft of the paper which they read at the 2018 Annual Meeting at Denver; this draft should be no longer than fifteen double-spaced pages (or 3750 words). Submissions should be sent to contact@iqsaweb.org by January 5, 2019. The prize winner will be announced by February 1, 2019. The winner should then be prepared to submit a fully revised version of the winning article by April 1, 2019. Publication of the final version is contingent upon review by the award committee and editorial staff of JIQSA.

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

Johanne Christiansen wins Andrew Rippin Best Paper Prize 2018

The International Qurʾanic Studies Association is delighted to announce that the second annual Andrew Rippin Best Paper Prize (open to papers delivered by junior scholars at the 2017 annual meeting) has been awarded to Johanne Christiansen of Aarhus University for her paper “‘And Their Prayer at the House is Nothing but a Whistling and a Clapping of Hands’ (Q 8:35): Negotiating Processions in the Qur’an.” The winner of the Andrew Rippin Best Paper Prize receives a cash award. In addition, an expanded and edited version of the winning paper qualifies for publication in the Journal of the International Qur’anic Studies Association.

This award is given in honor of Prof. Andrew Rippin (1950-2016), a leading scholar of the Qurʾān and inaugural president of the International Qur’anic Studies Association (2014). Prof. Rippin is remembered as “an esteemed colleague, revered mentor, and scholarly inspiration to many members of the IQSA community.” An announcement regarding submissions for the second annual Andrew Rippin Best Paper Prize will follow the 2018 IQSA annual meeting in Boston.

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An abstract of Johanne Christiansen’s award winning paper follows:

The qur’anic text (re)introduces various ritual practices, including those around the Ka’bah. However, the qur’anic descriptions of these rituals are often general, leaving the development of the Islamic ritual complex to later traditions. The qur’anic rituals also vary in detail. Where (e.g.) the fast in Ramadan (Q 2:183-87) is outlined in some detail, the ritual prayer (Q 17:78-79) or almsgiving (Q 31:1-4) are only indicated. Thus, the question remains: why does the Qur’an contain so little information about the central Islamic rituals? There are two answers to this question. 1) Because the rituals were already known to the qur’anic milieu and did not need any further clarification. They go, so to speak, without saying.  2) Because certain aspects of the rituals worried or even generated some ideological uneasiness in the qur’anic community. See (e.g.) Q 2:158: “So whosoever makes hajj to the House, or performs the ‘umrah, it is no fault in him to circumambulate them.” In this regard, the qur’anic strategy seemed to be to not say too much. In this paper, I will argue that both answers are relevant regarding how the Qur’an negotiates the practice of circumambulation. The circumambulation (tawaf) can be defined as a type of demonstrative and participative procession (Lang 2015). It is mentioned several times in the Qur’an, but only once in a polemic distancing from an earlier practice: “And their prayer at the House is nothing but a whistling and a clapping of hands” (Q 8:35). Is this one polemic note an example of “saying too much”? Does the Qur’an here indicate what its community really thought of the pre-Islamic practices around the Ka’bah? The Qur’an is in other contexts explicit when taking a polemical stance against (e.g.) the Jews and Christians (Q 5:12-13). Is it possible that when it comes to ritual practices, the qur’anic strategy was not to utter its criticism too loudly and by that, attract as many adherents as possible? According to Robert Bellah, processional practices are in particular bound to religious orientations before Late Antiquity (Bellah & Joas 2012). However, to walk in a procession seems also to be a basic human need. In this paper, I will demonstrate that the Qur’an, as a late antique text, had to negotiate a solution between an ideal of anti-procession and the feasibility and long-term durability of its ritual practices. A circumambulation with particular gravitas and without clapping and whistling is the pragmatic result of such a negotiation (cf. Halevi 2007). Here, the most important thing, according to the Qur’an, is to pray and address one’s action to God, but if circumambulation is needed, then that can also be accepted (cf. Maghen 2005).

 

christiansenJohanne Louise Christiansen (Ph.D. 2016, Aarhus University) is currently a Postdoctoral fellow at the Danish research project Ambiguity and Precision in the Qurʾan, which is funded by the Danish Independent Research Fund. The project is based at the Faculty of Theology, University of Copenhagen and lead by Professor Thomas Hoffmann. Christiansen’s dissertation was entitled “‘My Lord, Deliver Me from the People of the Evildoers (rabbi najjinī mina l-qawmi l-ẓālimīna)’ (Q 28:21): The Root ẓ-l-m and the Semantic Field of Oppression in the Qur’ān.” She is also the author of the article “The Dark Koran: A Semantic Analysis of the Koranic Darknesses (ẓulumāt) and their Metaphorical Usage,” in Arabica 62 (2015): 185-233.

 

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

 

Andrew Rippin Best Paper Prize 2018

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The International Qur’anic Studies Association (IQSA) is proud to announce the second annual Andrew Rippin Best Paper Prize. The  Prize is awarded to the best paper delivered at the 2017 Annual Meeting in Boston, typically by a graduate student or early career scholar (Ph.D. awarded 2012 or later).

Interested scholars should submit a draft of the paper which they read at the 2017 Annual Meeting at Boston; this draft should be no longer than fifteen double-spaced pages (or 3750 words). Submissions should be sent to jiqsa@iqsaweb.org by January 5, 2018. The prize winner will receive $250, and an expanded and fully sourced edition of the paper will be subject to review and likely publication in the Journal of the International Qur’anic Studies Association Volume 2 (2017).The winner must be prepared to submit a revised “journal article” version of the paper by May 1, 2018. Publication of the final version is contingent upon review by the award committee and editorial staff of JIQSA.

The first annual Andrew Rippin Best Paper Prize was awarded to Jawad Anwar Qureshi of the University of Chicago for his paper “Ring Composition, Virtues, and Qurʾanic Prophetology in Sūrat Yūsuf (Q 12)”. Visit this link for more details.

Andrew Rippin was the inaugural president of the International Qur’anic Studies Association (2014).  He is remembered as “an esteemed colleague, revered mentor, and scholarly inspiration to many members of the IQSA community.”

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Andrew Rippin (third from left) and colleagues at the spring 2014 IQSA board meeting, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

 

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2017. All rights reserved.

Andrew Rippin Best Paper Prize 2018

rippin

In honor of Andrew Rippin, the International Qur’anic Studies Association (IQSA) will award a prize to the best paper delivered at the 2017 Annual Meeting in Boston by a graduate student or early career scholar (Ph.D. awarded 2012 or later).

The prize winner will receive $250 and an expanded and edited version of the paper will qualify for publication in the Journal of the International Qur’anic Studies Association.

Interested scholars should submit a draft of the paper which they read at the 2017 Annual Meeting at Boston; this draft should be no longer than fifteen double-spaced pages (or 3750 words). Submissions should be sent to jiqsa@iqsaweb.org by January 5, 2018.  The prize winner will be announced by February 1, 2018. The winner should then be prepared to submit a fully revised version of the winning article by April 1, 2018. Publication of the final version is contingent upon review by the award committee and editorial staff of JIQSA.

The first annual Andrew Rippin Best Paper Prize was awarded to Jawad Anwar Qureshi of the University of Chicago for his paper “Ring Composition, Virtues, and Qurʾanic Prophetology in sūrat Yūsuf (Q 12)”. Visit this link for more details.

Andrew Rippin was the inaugural president of the International Qur’anic Studies Association (2014).  He is remembered as “an esteemed colleague, revered mentor, and scholarly inspiration to many members of the IQSA community.”

sp-2014-mtg

Andrew Rippin (third from left) and colleagues at the spring 2014 IQSA board meeting, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

 

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2017. All rights reserved.

Andrew Rippin Best Paper Prize Winner 2017

The International Qurʾānic Studies Association is delighted to announce that the first annual Andrew Rippin Best Paper Prize (open to papers delivered by junior scholars at the 2016 annual meeting) has been awarded to Jawad Anwar Qureshi of the University of Chicago for his paper “Ring Composition, Virtues, and Qurʾanic Prophetology in sūrat Yūsuf (Q 12)”. The winner of the Andrew Rippin Best Paper Prize receives a cash award. In addition, an expanded and edited version of the winning paper qualifies for publication in the Journal of the International Qur’anic Studies Association. An announcement regarding submissions for the second annual Andrew Rippin Best Paper Prize will follow the 2017 IQSA annual meeting in Boston.

This award is given in honor of Prof. Andrew Rippin (1950-2016), a leading scholar of the Qurʾān and inaugural president of the International Qur’anic Studies Association (2014). Prof. Rippin is remembered as “an esteemed colleague, revered mentor, and scholarly inspiration to many members of the IQSA community.”

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An abstract of Jawad Qureshi’s award winning paper follows:

This paper focuses on the structure of Surat Yusuf (Q. 12), arguing that the surah demonstrates the most prominent features of ring composition, then noting how its structure informs the larger argument of the surah concerning prophetology. The first half of Joseph’s story of betrayal, exile, slavery, temptation, and imprisonment is mirrored inversely in the second half by his freedom, exoneration, elevation in society, and reunion, forming a perfect chiasm. Scholarship has noted this chiastic structure and building on the work of Michel Cuypers, I argue that the ring structure of Q. 12 is in fact more intricate and detailed than scholarship has considered thus far. Specifically, I demonstrate that Q. 12 is composed of not merely of one ring but that there are in fact four distinct rings—a ring addressing the Prophet (which frames the surah), followed by Joseph’s dream, then Jacob’s narrative, and at the center is a retelling of Joseph’s experience in Egypt. After detailing the surah’s intricate ring composition, using the surah’s ring structure, I argue that each ring argues a set of qurʾānic teachings, namely, the Qurʾan’s monotheistic message and the reality of revelation (Joseph’s ring), trust in God’s plan along with patience through trials (Jacob’s ring), and the truth of revelation (the dream ring). All of this is framed in the ring addressed to the Prophet, putting him in line with Jacob and, more directly, Joseph as a continuity of prophetic missions, shaping the Qurʾān’s unique prophetology. 

Jawad Anwar Qureshi

 

 

Jawad Anwar Qureshi, PhD Candidate
University of Chicago (Divinity School)

2016 Year in Review & Happy 2017

It’s been a fruitful year for IQSA. In 2016 we furthered our work in the Review of Qur’anic Research (RQR), helped launch the the Qur’an Seminar Commentary,  and completed work on the first issue of the Journal of the International Qur’an Studies Association, now in design and production. We also welcomed hundreds of friends and colleagues from around the world to our  Annual Meeting in San Antonio. As the year winds to a close we reflect on our association’s achievements with gratitude to our members, contributors, and readers around the world. We also take this time to renew our dedication to providing valuable resources and opportunities for collaboration in Qur’anic studies in 2017.

2016 has also come with its challenges as well. We acknowledge the passing of renowned Qur’an scholars–and dear friends– during 2016. These include Ali Mabrouk as well as Andrew Rippin. The outpouring of support for the Andrew Rippin Best Paper Prize, and professor Rippin’s legacy has been unprecedented–thank you.

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The work of IQSA wouldn’t be possible without the active support of our members. So start your new year off right by joining or renewing your membership in IQSA! Three tiered membership remains in place for 2017 ($25, $50, $75), with students and select junior or international colleagues paying as little as US$25 (USD). We do our best to keep membership dues low while offering high quality, academic and professional member benefits. Your membership and support are what make this exchange possible–thank you.

To become a member, please click HERE, where you will be asked to fill out a membership form and pay the appropriate membership fees. After completing this process, you will receive login information to save for your records and use to access member benefits at any time. You can then create your own profile for our member directory.

Membership benefits for 2017 include:

We appreciate your membership!

U.S. taxpayers! Are you still looking to make an end-of-year tax deductible charitable donation? Consider supporting Qur’anic scholarship with a donation to IQSA. We are a registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions. You can donate to IQSA online by clicking HERE.

Finally, please do not forget to follow our Blog, Twitter and Facebook accounts, and to join the private IQSA Discussion Group. Thanks for your support!

We wish you a very Happy Holidays! كل عام وأنتم بخير

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2016. All rights reserved.

Andrew Rippin Best Paper Prize

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In honor of Andrew Rippin, the International Qur’anic Studies Association (IQSA) will award a prize to the best paper delivered at the 2016 Annual Meeting in San Antonio by a graduate student or early career scholar (Ph.D. awarded 2011 or later).

The prize winner will receive $250 and an expanded and edited version of the paper will qualify for publication in the Journal of the International Qur’anic Studies Association 2 (2017).

Interested scholars should submit a draft of the paper which they read at the 2016 Annual Meeting at San Antonio; this draft should be no longer than fifteen double-spaced pages (or 3750 words). Submissions should be sent to jiqsa@iqsaweb.org by January 5, 2017.  The prize winner will be announced by February 1, 2017. The winner should then be prepared to submit a fully revised version of the winning article by April 1, 2017. Publication of the final version is contingent upon review by the award committee and editorial staff of JIQSA.

Andrew Rippin was the inaugural president of the International Qur’anic Studies Association (2014).  He is remembered as “an esteemed colleague, revered mentor, and scholarly inspiration to many members of the IQSA community.”

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Andrew Rippin (third from left) and colleagues at the spring 2014 IQSA board meeting, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

 

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2016. All rights reserved.