HBK Symposium on Islamic Art

The 8th Biennial Hamad bin Khalifa Symposium on Islamic Art will take place on November 10-11 at VCUarts in Doha, Qatar.

HBKThe theme of the 2019 conference is The Seas and the Mobility of Islamic Art. The symposium will explore the relationship between Islamic art and trade routes, migration, and travel. Among other topics, the speakers will discuss the following:

How did exposure to imported materials and ideas transform formerly local artistic traditions? What role did travel, diplomacy, and gift-giving play in crafting seemingly discrete forms and practices? How are the movements of people, shifting markets for labor, and the uneven distribution skills and techniques, bound up with the formation and metamorphosis of styles? How did the shipment of commodities and curiosities from distant places shape and change social, cultural, and religious institutions? What role do the objects created from such interactions have in enhancing cultural understanding or generating enmity and mistrust? And how has the ever-increasing pace of globalization affected such developments?

The program also includes discussions on the Qur’an and Islamic artwork. A complete program can be found here.

 

Conference Co-chairs

Radha Dalal, Assistant Director of Art History and Assistant Professor of Islamic Art, VCUarts Qatar

Sean Roberts, Interim Director of Art History and Associate Professor of Pre-Modern Mediterranean Art, VCUarts Qatar

Jochen Sokoly, Associate Professor of Islamic Art, VCUarts Qatar

 

Registration is now open.

For more information, write to Marisa Brown at mabrown@vcu.edu.

 

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

 

 

Call for Papers: The Qur’ān and Ethiopia: Context and Reception

Submissions are solicited for a one-day symposium on ‘The Qurʾān and Ethiopia: Context and Reception’, which will be held at The Catholic University of America (Washington, DC USA) on Monday, April 8, 2019.

quranethiopia

Connections between the Qurʾān and Ethiopia are vast and varied. On the one hand, Ethiopia provides an important historical context (among many others) for understanding the Qurʾān in its Late Antique milieu. After all, throughout Late Antiquity, Ethiopia was a major political power, situated just across the Red Sea from the Arabian Peninsula. Occasionally, Ethiopia even interceded directly in affairs in the peninsula, as evidenced above all by the Najrān episode. In addition, Islamic literature relays many connections that Muḥammad and his followers had with Ethiopia, including most famously the first Ḥijrah in which companions of the prophet sought refuge in Ethiopia. Thus, it comes as no surprise that there are Ethiopic loanwords in the Qurʾān, perhaps none more saliently than the Ethiopic word maʾǝdd ‘table, Eucharist’, which is found as the name of the fifth sūrah (al-Māʾidah). While Ethiopic loanwords in the Qurʾān have long been known, a number of questions remain: What do these loanwords tell us about the context in which the Qurʾān came into existence? And, more broadly and significantly, can we move beyond loanwords? That is, what are the other ways in which Ethiopia may provide a context for understanding the Qurʾān in its historical setting?

On the other hand, the Qurʾān also had—and still has—a reception in Ethiopia. Modern day Ethiopia is home to a sizable Muslim community: The 2007 census reported that just over one-third of the country’s ca. 74 million inhabitants identified as Muslim. Similarly, in neighboring Eritrea, which is historically part of the ancient kingdom of Axum, almost half of the ca. 5.5 million inhabitants in 2011 were Muslim, according to a report by the U.S. Department of State. These modern Muslim populations have historical antecedents stretching back to the rise of Islam. Thus, Ethiopia provides fertile ground for studying the reception of the Qurʾān for well over a millennium. The reception of the Qurʾān in Ethiopia is an especially opportune topic for a symposium at The Catholic University of America, which thanks to a recent gift by Gerald and Barbara Weiner now holds an invaluable collection of more than 175 Arabic manuscripts from Ethiopia, including a number of copies of the Qurʾān as well as exegetical works (tafsīr). Thus, ultimately, this symposium aims to locate the Qurʾān in Ethiopia, both as a context for its early development and as a location for its later reception.

Abstracts describing the precise topic treated with a length of approximately 200-300 words can be sent as an electronic version (pdf and MS word document) to Aaron Butts (buttsa@cua.edu). The deadline for submission is November 1, 2018.

Papers presented at the symposium will be considered for publication in an edited volume, which aims to make this interesting topic available to a wider audience.

 

Questions can be addressed to:

Dr. Aaron Butts
Assistant Professor of Semitic Languages and Literatures
Department of Semitic and Egyptian Languages and Literatures
The Catholic University of America
buttsa@cua.edu

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