Looking Back on IQSA 2020

screen-shot-2020-11-28-at-10.37.57-amThe International Qur’anic Studies Association’s Annual Meeting, usually an occasion for scholars to come together for a weekend of research and reunion, took a slightly different form this year, though still offering an opportunity to hear the latest scholarship and see (at least some) familiar faces. Rather than an in-person meeting, the COVID-19 pandemic prompted IQSA (along with the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature) to shift to a virtual format with talks and special events spread out over two weeks.

Despite the changes, the association was still able to hold twelve panels on topics ranging from the Qurʾān’s relationship with the Bible or the Late Antique milieu to manuscript studies and exegetical reflections. Talks were broadcast live around the globe, giving speakers the ability to answer questions from the audience and facilitate communication between participants via the chat and Q&A features. Events that typically take place over light refreshments like the General Reception, Business Meeting, and Graduate Student Luncheon also transitioned to the Zoom platform. Rounding out the program was a Presidential Address from Asma Hilali (which opened the conference on November 30) and a Closing Session on December 10 looking back at the panoply of topics probed, debated, and defended by the forty-one panelists.

IQSAZOOMWhile of course members would prefer to be able to meet together face to face—and despite the undeniable reality of Zoom fatigue—the benefit of the virtual format was in opening up the conference to scholars for whom travel to the traditional forum would be prohibitively expensive. This was reflected in the strong attendance across the board for this year’s talks; despite the travails of scheduling, technology, and different time zones, most panels drew a comparably sized audience as they would have in a more traditional year.

Turning to the future, the IQSA community is hoping for a faraj after the shidda of 2020 and looking forward to future conferences that build off the lessons of this year’s unusual circumstances (not to mention actually seeing each other in the flesh!). The ninth century scribe and poet Abū al-ʿAbbās Ibn Thawābah, anticipating to his freedom from prison, offers us some solace—and hopefully augurs a better 2021 for our modern world as well:

عواقبُ مكروهِ الأمور خيارُ … وأيّامُ سوءٍ لا تدومُ قصارُ
وليس بباقٍ بؤسُها ونعيمُها   … إذا كَرَّ ليلٌ ثمّ كَرَّ نها

Dire events lead to good things.
Hard times are short: they pass.
Pain does not endure, but time
brings joy, and joy will last.

(al-Tanūkhī, al-Faraj baʿd al-shidda, trans. Julia Bray: Stories of Piety and Prayer: Deliverance After Adversity, 217; the lines have also been attributed to al-Shāfiʿī)

On behalf of IQSA, we thank all of our program unit chairs, board and committee members, and participants for their unwavering support that made this unprecedented event possible. Follow us IQSA Blog, Facebook, and Twitter for updates as we transition into the New Year!

By Conor Dube (Ph.D. Candidate, Harvard University)

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

Prepare for the 2020 IQSA Virtual Annual Meeting!

The 2020 IQSA Annual Meeting held for the first time in a new virtual format is just 10 days away! Please see below for some friendly reminders for participants and attendees as you prepare to attend.

Membership & Registration
Current IQSA membership is required and verified by staff upon registration for the IQSA Annual Meeting. However, SBL/AAR membership is not required to attend the IQSA Annual Meeting. You can renew your IQSA membership HERE.

To register for this year’s meeting, visit the SBL Annual Meeting Page and choose Register for the Annual Meeting. Then, complete a New Registration under the Affiliate Members category, and choose International Qur’anic Studies Association when prompted.

Dates and Times
The virtual meeting schedule is extended to avoid potential timing conflicts, time zone limitations, and religious and Thanksgiving holidays. The meeting will take place Monday – Thursday over two weeks. The new dates are November 30 – December 3 and December 7 – 10, from 9AM to 9PM EST. All times on the conference schedule are listed in Eastern Standard Time (UTC-5).

Program Platform
The SBL and AAR Virtual Annual Meetings Platform is now live on your computer! You can search and browse all of the sessions and publishers who are participating. After you log in, you can start to build your own schedule. Much more functionality will be unveiled once the Virtual Annual Meeting starts!   To log into the Virtual Annual Meetings Platform, you will use your registration Reference Number as your username, and your last name as your password.   Download the Mobile App to access the Virtual Annual Meeting on your mobile device!  

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IQSA Virtual Events
IQSA will still hold its Annual President Address, Business and General Meetings, Graduate Student Roundtable, and a closing session. To participate, members must be registered for the Annual Meeting through SBL/AAR.  

Presidential Address
11/30/2020
1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Asma Hilali, University of Lille, Panelist (40 min)
Fred Donner, University of Chicago, Respondent (20 min)  

Business Meeting
12/02/2020
10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
*Members Only

General Meeting
12/02/2020
11:30 AM to 12:30 PM
Open to Public

Graduate Student Roundtable
12/03/2020
11:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Closing Session
12/10/2020
1:00 PM to 1:30 PM  

Questions or concerns? For registration and logistics, email information@annual-meetings.org. For IQSA specific questions, email contactus@iqsaweb.org. We look forward to seeing our members and affiliates next month for this exciting event!    

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

SBL and AAR Virtual Annual Meetings Platform

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The SBL and AAR Virtual Annual Meetings Platform is now live on your computer!

You can search and browse all of the sessions and publishers who are participating. After you log in, you can start to build your own schedule. Much more functionality will be unveiled once the Virtual Annual Meeting starts!

To log into the Virtual Annual Meetings Platform, you will use your registration Reference Number as your username, and your last name as your password.

Download the Mobile App to access the Virtual Annual Meeting on your mobile device!

Screen Shot 2020-10-26 at 11.06.10 AM

Schedule of Events: IQSA 2020

The Virtual Annual Meeting of the International Qur’anic Studies Association is only one short month away! From November 30 to December 10, scholars from over a dozen countries and universities across the globe will meet to share their scholarship in 9 different panels. Registration is still open for this meeting held in conjunction with the SBL/AAR Annual Meetings in a new virtual format. You can save on the forthcoming registration fee by joining IQSA and registering for the Annual Meetings as an Affiliate Member HERE. 

For a sneak peak of the panel themes, presenters, and paper topics, view the 2020 IQSA Schedule online. We look forward to seeing many of our IQSA colleagues, affiliates, and friends in this unprecedented virtual gathering!

Reminder: IQSA 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting

AM2020_BANNER_virtualWhile Covid-19 and health restrictions have changed the format of IQSA’s Annual Meeting in conjunction with SBL/AAR, the meeting itself is still scheduled for November in a new and exciting format expanding its reach to scholars worldwide!

Registration is open for the first ever virtual IQSA Annual Meeting held in conjunction with the SBL/AAR Annual Meetings. You can save on the registration fees by joining IQSA and registering for the Annual Meetings as an Affiliate Member HERE. To become an IQSA member click HERE.

For more information about the transition to a virtual program, please see the IQSA Policy Update and SBL Announcement. In addition, find FAQ’s about this year’s meeting below. We hope you’ll join us and meet us in virtually for a new and exciting program!


ANNUAL MEETING FAQs

Q: How do I register for the IQSA Annual Meeting?
A: 
To register for this year’s meeting, visit the SBL Annual Meeting Page and choose Register for the Annual Meeting. Then, complete a New Registration under the Affiliate Members category, and choose International Qur’anic Studies Association when prompted.

Q: What are the dates of IQSA’s Annual Meeting?
*The virtual meeting schedule will be extended to avoid potential timing conflicts, time zone limitations, and religious and Thanksgiving holidays. The meeting will take place Monday – Thursday over two weeks. The new dates are November 30 – December 3 and December 7 – 10, from 9AM to 9PM EST / 1PM to 1AM ECT.

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. However, you must register as an active IQSA member if you are presenting at an IQSA session.

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

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 Annual Meeting registration costs. However, IQSA encourages its members to seek financial aid through institutional grants and other funding.

VIRTUAL MEETING FAQS

Q: I’ve registered and I can’t attend the Annual Meeting, can I get a refund for my registration fee?
A:
In order to receive 100% registration refund, all registration cancellations must be requested in writing (email) by October 21, 2020. After October 21, only cancellations for medical reasons, accompanied by documentation from a physician or medical facility, will be refunded.

Please send meeting cancellation requests to information@annual-meetings.org.  Registrations or workshops cannot be switched to another person’s name. Proof of payment may be required.

Q: If I had already registered for the live Annual Meetings, what do I need to do to register for the online Annual Meetings?
A:
In a word, nothing. Your registration will automatically be good for the virtual meeting. If you wish to cancel your registration, you may do so without any cancellation fee through 21 October.

Q: I booked a hotel room when I registered for the Annual Meetings. What do I need to do?
A: If you reserved a hotel room in during your conference registration, your hotel reservation has already been cancelled; there is nothing you need to do at this time. If you booked a hotel independently (i.e., not as a part of your conference registration), you will need to cancel on your own.

Q: What is included in my registration fee?
A: The registration fee for the conference will be the same as the early-bird rate ($225 for affiliates). The registration fee helps to cover the substantial costs that come with producing a conference of this size, even a virtual one.

 

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

IQSA Annual Meeting Update (July 2020)

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Given the continued risk and danger due to the Coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19), the Boston Annual Meeting 2020, originally scheduled November 22-25, has been cancelled and moved online. The meeting will be 100% virtual and hosted by our affiliate, the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL).

While an online meeting cannot fully replace the multi-faceted benefits of meeting in person, IQSA is optimistic about the new opportunities this brings its members and guests, especially colleagues with limited access to funds to travel or face travel restrictions.

The online meeting will widen access for members without funding or resources to attend an in-person meeting, including international members, students, adjunct and contingent faculty, and independent scholars. It will open up possibilities for both synchronous (live) and asynchronous (recorded) participation. It will allow attendees to avoid the inevitable scheduling conflicts that prevent participation in sessions of interest. We are exploring options to allow some presenters to pre-record presentations. The executive office is working directly with SBL and can offer the following preliminary guidance to virtual presenters and attendees:

* The new meeting schedule will be extended to avoid potential timing conflicts, time zone limitations, and religious and Thanksgiving holidays. The meeting will take place Monday – Thursday over two weeks. The new dates are November 30 – December 3 and December 7 – 10, from 9AM to 9PM EST / 1PM to 1AM ECT.

* Conference attendees will have access to recorded presentations through a meeting application for approximately one month.

* Conference attendees will have access to a virtual book exhibit, including the possibility of meeting virtually with publishers.

* We are working on holding virtual receptions, business meeting and committee meetings.

* The IQSA Program Book AM 2020 will be published online as normal. No print copies will be available.

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. We understand these are challenging times, and offer our heartfelt gratitude for your patience and trust.

 

Sincerely,

Emran El-Badawi
Executive Director
July 17, 2020