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.

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.

2018 IQSA Annual Meeting FAQs

Have questions about the 2018 IQSA Annual Meeting to be held in Denver, Colorado from November 16-19, 2018. We have answers! Read up on some Frequently Asked Questions about this year’s annual meeting below:

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ANNUAL MEETING FAQs

Q: What are the dates of IQSA’s Annual Meeting?
A:
The IQSA Annual Meeting begins and ends November 16-19, 2018 one day before the regular SBL/AAR Meeting.

Q: How do I register for the Annual Member as an IQSA member?
A:
Register as an AFFILIATE MEMBER on SBL’s Meetings and Events page. Scroll to the bottom of the page for the Affiliate link and choose “International Qur’anic Studies Association” in the drop-down menu.

Q: Do I have to be an IQSA member to register for the Annual Meeting?
A: 
YES – current IQSA membership is required and verified by staff upon registration. However, SBL/AAR membership is not required to attend the IQSA Annual Meeting. You can renew your IQSA membership HERE.

Q: I already registered for the Annual Meeting as an SBL/AAR member. Do I have to register again as an affiliate to attend IQSA events?
A:
No – duplicate registration is not required to attend IQSA events if one has already registered as an SBL/AAR member.

Q: Where can I find a schedule of events for the Annual Meeting?
A: 
IQSA  and SBL/AAR’s Program Book will be distributed in print and online as the meeting date draws closer. Members can chose to access the Program Book via mobile app, online, or in print while completing the registration process.

Q: Where can I find information about Housing and Travel Accommodations?
A: Visit SBL’s Meetings and Events page and/or choose your hotel during your online registration.

Q: Does IQSA provide funding or reimbursement for its members to attend the meeting?
A: 
At this time, IQSA does not have the resources to provide financial assistance for housing and travel at the Annual Meeting. However, IQSA encourages its members to seek financial aid through institutional grants and other funding.

Q: I will be traveling internationally. How do I obtain a non-immigrant Visa Letter?
A: Check the required box during online registration (see below) and email contact@iqsaweb.org to arrange for a Visa Letter.

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

We look forward to seeing you in Denver!

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

Survey: IQSA Annual Meeting User Experience

As the 2018 IQSA Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado (November 16-19) approaches, the International Qur’anic Studies Association seeks feedback from its members and affiliates on last year’s Annual Meeting in Boston, MA. Glance back at the 2017 Program Book, reflect on your experience last November, and take THIS SURVEY!

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Your feedback is very important to IQSA and its success as one of the only learned societies dedicated to the critical study of the Qur’an. We look forward to seeing you in November!

 

 

 

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

REGISTRATION OPEN Annual Meeting 2018

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Registration is NOW OPEN for the IQSA Annual Meeting held in conjunction with the SBL/AAR Annual Meetings in Denver, Colorado from November 16-19, 2018. You can save on the registration fee by joining IQSA and registering for the Annual Meetings as an Affiliate Member HERE! To become an IQSA member click HERE. Registration for the IQSA Annual Meeting does not require SBL or AAR membership.

Reserve your spot before rates increase on May 24th!

For step by step instructions to Register for the Annual Meeting, click HERE.

For step by step instructions to Join IQSA, click HERE.

Questions? Email contact@iqsaweb.org. Otherwise, we look forward to seeing you in Denver!

Best,
IQSA Executive Office

How to Register for the 2018 Annual Meeting: Step by Step Instructions

Registration is NOW OPEN for the IQSA Annual Meeting held in conjunction with the SBL/AAR Annual Meetings in Denver, Colorado from November 16-19, 2017. You can save on the registration fee by joining IQSA and registering for the Annual Meetings as an Affiliate Member! Go HERE for Step by Step Instructions on Joining IQSA. Scroll down for Step by Strep Instructions on registering for the Annual Meeting.

Step 1: Open a web browser and go to SBL’s Meetings and Events page. Select “Register for the Annual Meeting” under the “Registration and Housing” heading.

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Step 2: Scroll to the bottom of the page and click “New Registration” under the “Affiliate Members” heading.

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Step 3: Click “New Registration.”

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Step 4: Fill in your Last Name and Email address (there is no identifier code for IQSA members). Click “Continue.”

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Step 5: Select “International Qur’anic Studies Organization” from the drop-down menu and fill in the rest of the required fields. Click “Continue.”

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Step 6: Select your Child Care, Visa Letter, and Program Book preferences and fill in your disability accommodations and emergency contact information. Click “Continue.”

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Step 7: Complete your preferences for events, tours, environmental options, and luncheons (noting the extra charge per item). Click “Continue.”

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Step 8: Select your housing and accommodation preferences and click “Continue.”

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Step 9: Fill in your arrival and departure dates, occupancy, special requests, and payment information. IQSA events will take place from November 17-20. Click “Continue.”

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Step 10: Choose if you will be registering as a guest, noting the additional price. Click “Continue.”

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Step 11: Complete method of payment information, noting the Terms and Conditions and Cancellation Policy. Click “Make Payment.”

 

Step 12: Print or email the confirmation and receipt/invoice for your own records, following the instructions in the dialog boxes.

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You are now finished registering for the IQSA Annual Meeting! We look forward to seeing you in Denver!

Please email contact@iqsaweb.org for any questions or concerns.

 

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

CALL FOR PAPERS: IQSA Annual Meeting 2018

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The International Qur’anic Studies Association has opened its call for papers for its Annual Meeting to be held in Denver, Colorado from November 16-19, 2018. Paper proposals should be submitted through the SBL’s automated online submission system under the corresponding “Affiliates” link by March 7, 2018 (note: SBL membership is NOT required for proposal submission). Submission links can be found below under the respective program units. Please contact the chairs specified by each program unit to which you’d like to apply if you require further information or experience difficulties with the submission process. Abstracts should be written in English, have a length of around 400 words, and include the name and affiliation of the author. IQSA welcomes all submissions and looks forward to an exciting program in Denver.

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

Paper proposals should be submitted through the SBL’s automated online submission system under the corresponding “Affiliates” link. Submission links can be found below under the respective program units. The paper proposal submissions are due by March 7, 2018. For additional information about a specific program unit, you may contact the unit chairs listed on the website via email. If you experience difficulties or have questions about the SBL submission form, please email contact@iqsaweb.org. Abstracts should be written in English, have a length of around 400 words, and include the name and affiliation of the author. IQSA welcomes all submissions and looks forward to an exciting program in Denver.

 

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

Program Unit Chairs:
Anne-Sylvie Boisliveau
Sarra Tlili

The Linguistic, Literary, and Thematic Perspectives on the Qur’anic Corpus unit invites proposals for papers that engage with the Qur’an at the thematic (as opposed to the stylistic or the structural) level. Proposers may for example address themes such as Qur’anic prophetology, eschatology, cosmology, ecology, and social status, or may investigate the meaning of certain Qur’anic words.

 

PROGRAM UNIT 2
The Qur’an: Surah Studies

Program Unit Chairs:
Shawkat Toorawa
Marianna Klar

The Surah Studies unit invites proposals for individual papers on any aspect of the five surahs known collectively as al-Musabbihat (Q 57, 59, 61, 62, and 64). Although traditionally considered to be a group, there is a dearth of secondary scholarship on their form, their structural parallels, their implied unity, or indeed their many differences. Barely mentioned in Neuwirth 2010, these five surahs are excluded from analysis altogether in Cuypers 2016, and garner only a small handful of references in Sinai 2017; and yet Paret (in his 1977 Konkordanz) includes a long list of internal parallels and correspondences for these surahs, hitherto uninterpreted, while Bazargan, intriguingly, considers only surahs 57, 61, and 64 of the Musabbihat to be diachronically coherent wholes (Sadeghi 2011).

A varied blend of a number of qur’anic genres, encompassing sections of hymnic praise, punishment stories, assertions of the resurrection and the truth of God’s message, eschatology, commandment passages, both inter- and intra-community polemics, and references to contemporary events and community practice, the striking similarity of their opening verses nonetheless commands attention. Proposers might also wish to explore the relationship of rhyme to structure, or assess further evidence of the presence of textual borders throughout any or all of the Musabbihat. Presenters might focus on the surahs’ use of rhetorical devices, the presence of Leitwörter, the placement of hapax legomena, the use of repetitive lexical patterns, or recurring images. The surahs’ distinctive theological concepts–God’s Light, for instance, His Balance, or the matter of Divine doubling–might be deemed worthy of individual attention. In sum, proposals are invited on any aspect of the Musabbihat, their reception, their structure, their relative surah-ness, their relationship to other surahs, their composition, their lexicon, their rhetorical features, or their style.

 

 

PROGRAM UNIT 3
Qur’anic Studies: Methodology and Hermeneutics 

Program unit chairs:
Karen Bauer
TBC

This unit aims to understand and contextualise 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 papers from any aspect of the methods and hermeneutics in the study of the Qur’an. We will also be convening a pre-arranged roundtable discussion on bias and identity politics in the field of Qur’anic Studies.

 

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

Program unit chairs:
Alba Fedeli
Shady Hekmat Nasser

The aim of this unit, originally founded and curated by Keith Small, is to provide a cross-disciplinary setting to address the variety of interconnected issues that arise when questions concerning the Qur’an’s text are explored in relation to its manuscript tradition. Manuscript tradition refers to the transmission of the Qur’anic text in Qur’anic manuscripts, marginal notes to the text, and citations of the Qur’anic text as found in other works of Islamic literature, such as commentaries and particularly the qira’at literature. This will provide a forum to explore the relationship between Qur’anic manuscripts and Qur’anic citations, focusing on textual variants and the historical context of the Qur’an in various historical periods. In addition to the analysis of textual data, the unit also examines other topics, such as palaeographic, codicological, and art-historical features in the study of the Qur’an’s manuscript tradition, the application of textual criticism to manuscript texts, as well as the phenomenon of textual variants as found in the Islamic qira’at literature. It is hoped that bringing together scholars from the subdisciplines of Qur’an manuscript studies, Qur’anic commentaries and qira’at studies will serve to enrich and strengthen these fields.

This year the programming unit will schedule a thematic session entitled “Reading and Accessing Manuscripts of the Qur’an and of Qur’anic Commentaries”. We invite papers that deal with all eras and regions of the manuscript tradition encompassing manuscripts of the Qur’an, Qur’anic commentaries, and qira’at works, as well as the variety of palaeographic, art historical, codicological, philological, historical, and text-critical issues that one encounters in this discipline in terms of access to collections and new technologies for manuscript study. For example, papers may focus on presenting a particular manuscript or collection of manuscripts, on introducing future and past projects for accessing, digitising and displaying collections or on describing new technologies for reading or analysing manuscript texts and exploring issues of textual criticism. Papers on any topic within the range of the interests of The Qur’an: Manuscripts and Textual Criticism programme unit are welcome. Proposals should include a title and an abstract of approximately 400 words.

 

 

PROGRAM UNIT 5
The Qur’an and the Biblical Tradition

Program unit chairs:
Holger Zellentin
Cornelia Horn

For the 2018 meeting in Denver, we invite papers on exegetical, narrative, legal, or any other interaction between the Biblical and Qur’anic traditions for an open session.

PROGRAM UNIT 6
The Qur’an and Late Antiquity

Program unit chairs:
Michael Pregill
TBC

For the 2018 IQSA Annual Meeting, the Qur’an and Late Antiquity program unit invites proposals for two open panels. We seek papers that utilize various types of evidence, whether literary, documentary and epigraphic, or material/visual/archaeological, to illuminate the historical context in which the Qur’an was revealed and the early Islamic polity emerged. We are especially interested in papers that utilize comparative methodologies to contribute to a better understanding of the Qur’an’s place in its cultural, political, social, and religious environment.

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We look forward to seeing you in Denver!

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