Deadline TODAY! Call for Papers – IQSA Annual Meeting 2023

Today is the deadline to submit paper proposals for IQSA’s Annual Meeting to be held in San Antonio, Texas from November 17-20, 2023. Paper proposals should be submitted through the SBL’s automated online submission system under the corresponding “Affiliates” link by March 14, 2023 (note: IQSA membership is required for proposal submission; see below). Paper proposals will be accepted through 11:59 PM (23:59) US Eastern Time (UTC-4). 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 Linguistic, Literary, and Thematic Perspectives on the Qur’anic Corpus unit invites proposals for papers that engage with the study of the Qur’an from a literary standpoint and examine aspects such as rhetorical devices, literary motifs, characterization, themes, voices, sound, structure of passages or surahs, etc. While the unit welcomes proposals that explore any of these aspects, this year we particularly encourage papers that utilize linguistic, literary, and thematic perspectives to study the legal and prescriptive material found in Medinan surahs and verses.

Manuscripts and Textual Criticism

The aim of the Qur’an: 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. For the 2023 meeting in San Antonio, the unit welcomes papers on any topic within the range of the interests of the Manuscripts and Textual Criticism program unit. For the 2023 meeting in San Antonio, the unit welcomes papers on any topic within the range of the interests of the Manuscripts and Textual Criticism program unit.

The Qur’an and the Biblical Tradition

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 2023 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.

Qur’anic Studies: Methodology and Hermeneutics

The Methodology and Hermeneutics Unit invites proposals for papers that focus on the theological and hermeneutical relationship between the Qur’an and extra-Qur’anic sources of truth or authority, including the prophetic Sunna, communal Sunna, consensus (ijma’), the Shi’i Imams and their Sunna, hadith literature, biographical literature (sira), formative exegetical literature (tafsir), the rulings of Muslim scholars (‘ulama’), the Sufi shuyukh or Sufi poetry, mystical unveiling (kashf), studies of the material universe, intellect, and so forth.

For example, proposed papers could consider:

  • The hermeneutical relationship between the Qur’an and the prophetic Sunna; for instance, in how hadith, sīra, or “occasions of revelation” (asbāb al-nuzūl) impact exegesis;  
  • How principles from Islamicate philosophy (falsafa) or theology (kalām) are used to exegete the Qur’an, or how specific verses become significant within Muslim ontological and cosmological discourse;
  • How the idea of the Imams as the authoritative interpreters of the Qur’an influences exegesis in Shiʾī Islam;
  • How Sufi works of literature like the Mathnawī of Rūmi or Divān of Hāfiz distill the Qur’an for popular audiences;
  • How Sufi exegetes read the Quran through the lenses of mystical principles and spiritual experience;
  • Ways in which modern and contemporary Qur’anic interpretation adheres to or departs from influential premodern methods of tafsīr, and so forth.

Surah Studies

The Surah Studies Unit invites proposals for individual papers on any of the 37 surahs in the 30th juz’ (Juz’ ‘Amma), viz. from Surat al-Naba’ (78, “The Announcement”) to Surat al-Nas (114, “Humanity”). Proposals about any aspect of any surah—or cluster of surahs—are welcome. Proposals which can take our collective thinking in new directions are especially encouraged. These might broach (1) such general themes as: addressee(s), chronology and dating, the eschaton, oaths and oracular language, rhyme and rhythm, or textual cruxes; (2) topics specific to particular surahs, such as: astral imagery and phenomena in Surat al-Buruj (85, “The Constellations”) or Surat al-Takwir (81, “Rolling Up”), non-human beings in Surat al-Nazi‘at (79, “The Dispatchers”), Surat al-‘Alaq (96, “The Clot”), and Surat al-Fil (105, “The War Elephant”), or the language of commerce and trade and wealth in Surat al-Takathur (102, “Vying”) and Surat al-Ma‘un (107, “Liberality?”); or (3) devotional, liturgical and recitational aspects of the surahs and the juz’. The Surah Studies Unit welcomes diverse methods and new approaches. The raison d’être of the Unit is specifically to bring different perspectives into dialogue with one another.

The Qur’an and Late Antiquity

For the 2023 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. We are especially interested in papers that present and discuss new and comparative methodologies to approach the interplay between Late Antique phenomenon and the Qur’an.

The Societal Qur’an

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. Papers might, for instance, discuss topics such as:(1) ritual uses of the Qur’an; (2) practices of teaching the Qur’an; (3) talismanic and medical uses of the Qur’an; (4) the production of manuscript, print, and new media versions of the Qur’an and their commodification; (5) the role of the Qur’an in public debates, political organisation, and identity building; (6) the Qur’an in arts and media; (7) multilingual representations of the Qur’an. Proposals are encouraged that engage with sociological, anthropological, and political science theories and methods in their pursuit of the societal and lived Qur’an.

Questions? Email! We look forward to seeing you in San Antonio!

Andrew Rippin Best Paper Prize Winner 2023

rippinThe International Qurʾanic Studies Association is delighted to announce that the sixth annual Andrew Rippin Best Paper Prize (open to papers delivered by early career scholars at the 2022 Annual Meeting) has been awarded to Eric Devilliers for his paper: ““Seconding Sinai?: The Re-presentation of Mosaic Theophany 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 Professor 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 seventh annual Andrew Rippin Best Paper Prize will follow the 2023 IQSA Annual Meeting.

An abstract of the award-winning paper follows:

Seconding Sinai?: The Re-presentation of Mosaic Theophany in the Qur’an
Mosaic theophany constituted an axis of exegetical controversy in Late Antiquity. Jews and Christians offered contrasting accounts of what Moses saw at the Burning Bush and at Mount Sinai and therefore assigned different significance to these visual dispensations. In particular, Christian theologians interpreted Mosaic theophanies in a way that emphasized Jesus Christ’s prophetic and ontological superiority. Jesus Christ, they argued, alone truly saw God; Moses did not see God atop Mt. Sinai, and insofar as he saw God, he saw the coming of Christ.

An investigation of how the Qur’an receives the Mosaic theophanic accounts and the logic behind its reformulations remains a scholarly desideratum. This paper, then, outlines how the Qur’an systematically re-presents these two biblical episodes (e.g., in Q 7:142-172, 20:9-36, 27:6-12, and 28:29-35) to respond to Christian and Jewish presentations of theophany and visual dispensation. I argue that, in these passages, the Qur’an takes up Christian exegetical narratives and their paradigm of vision in order to inventively incorporate many late antique traditions into its own prophetology. In these Qur’anic accounts, vision delineates a boundary between God and man. However, prophetic authority is based upon the prophet’s ability to see – either God, or facets of the Unseen. Thus, the Qur’an presents a creative tension: Muhammad’s humanity seems to preclude vision of God; yet, his prophetic superiority seems to affirm a more authentic vision of God than those of other prophets (e.g., Q 53, 81).

Eric_DeVilliers_HeadshotEric DeVilliers hails from Fredericksburg, Virginia. He is a PhD candidate at the University of Notre Dame, specializing in Qur’anic studies and Islamic theology. His dissertation investigates the roots and significance of the controversy surrounding the vision of God (ru’yat Allah) from Late Antiquity to the early Islamic period. He is currently performing research in Cairo on a Fulbright student research grant that explores the topic of the vision of God in the Kalām tradition.

Want to try your hand at next year’s Andrew Rippin Best Paper Prize? Submit your proposals for the Call for Papers: IQSA Annual Meeting 2023 to be held in San Antonio, Texas this November!

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2023. All rights reserved.