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IQSA calls for papers for the Annual Meeting San Antonio, Texas (November 18-22, 2016).

IQSA calls for papers for the Annual Meeting San Antonio, Texas (November (…)

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Dear Friends and Colleagues,


The International Qur’anic Studies Association announces the calls for papers to be presented at the 2016 Annual Meeting to be held in San Antonio, Texas. The Annual Meeting dates are November 18-22, 2016.

The paper proposal submission deadline is March 2, 2016.

For each of IQSA’s five program units please find a detailed call for papers below. Click on the title of the program unit or link below description to be directed to an external link for further instructions on submission of proposals for that unit. For additional information about a specific program unit, contact the unit chairs.

  1. Linguistic, Literary, and Thematic Perspectives on the Qur’anic Corpus
  2. Qur’an Seminar
  3. Qur’anic Studies: Methodology and Hermeneutics
  4. The Qur’an and the Biblical Tradition
  5. The Qur’an: Manuscripts and Material Culture


Panel 1. Literary Analyses of Surat al-Kahf (Q18): This panel seeks to explore different thematic and stylistic aspects of Surat al-Kahf, whether in part or as a whole. Possible papers could examine the sura’s themes, structure, vocabulary, argumentative tools, interplay between sound and meaning, or intertextuality with other Qur’anic or non-Qur’anic texts.

Panel 2. Rhetoric of Persuasion in Qur’anic Discourse

Program Unit Chairs: Anne-Sylvie Boisliveau (, Sarra Tlili (


For the 2016 meeting in San Antonio, we have selected four passages that highlight four themes, to be discussed at two separate panels. The panels, with their passages and themes, are as follows:

Panel n. 1:
Passage 1: Q. XXVII, 45-58 (Narratives)
Passage 2: Q. XXXIII, 28-37 (Women/Contemporary events)
Panel n. 2:
Passage 3: Q. XLIX (Contemporary events)
Passage 4: Q. LXXXIII (Eschatology)
Scholars are invited to submit commentaries for one or both of these panels. To participate on a panel, commentaries must be submitted for both passages in that panel. (Thus, those wishing to participate on both panels are asked to submit four commentaries; those wishing to participate on one panel are asked to submit two commentaries.) Each commentary must not exceed 400 words (prospective panelists should therefore submit no more than 800 or 1600 words). We especially welcome commentaries that address the Qur’an directly and do not rely exclusively on the categories of medieval exegesis.

After reviewing the submissions, the QS chairs will select the panelists and post their commentaries on the QS IQSA website (which will be up in February) via a link whose access will be restricted to the selected panelists. In this way, each panelist will be able to review all of the selected commentaries prior to the Annual Meeting. In San Antonio, the QS will be structured as a round-table forum. Panelists will not be asked to prepare a traditional paper. Rather, for each of the four discussions, one panelist (a volunteer, agreed on by the chairs) will be asked to give a brief introductory overview, presenting the passage and summarizing and synthesizing the commentaries; all panelists will then engage in a free-flowing conversation, expanding on the ideas presented in the submitted commentaries. Both panels will be open to the public, who will have the possibility to ask questions on topics and issues emerging from the panelists’ discussion.

Program Unit Chairs: Mehdi Azaiez (, Clare Wilde (


This year the Methodology and Hermeneutics unit invites proposals for a panel describing the emergent hermeneutics that are used to examine the text of the Qur’an. What are the emergent hermeneutics in, for example, apologetic, feminist, conservative, and scholarly methods of reading the Qur’an? Do emergent hermeneutics force meaning into to the Qur’an, consider the text outside of its historical context and/or stretch its interpretations beyond what is linguistically bearable? How are tensions between fidelity to the text and changing contexts negotiated in various approaches to Qur’anic hermeneutics? Are there traces of historical, critical, and earlier linguistic studies in these emergent hermeneutics? We especially welcome papers that deal with new trends in minority Muslim communities. The unit will additionally host a pre-arranged round-table discussion entitled ‘The Qur’an as a Violent Text?’ The panel will be divided into two parts: eschatological violence (apocalyptic visions, images of God as vengeful, violence in the afterlife), and human, ‘divinely’ sanctioned, violence (jihad and qital, ‘verbal violence’/curses, sexual slavery, qisas, spousal violence). Panelists will be asked to explore and explain the violent images that occur in the text and to address the following questions: How does violence appear in Qur’anic narratives? Is violence in the Qur’an a means of attaining justice/order (as in Q. 2:191, al-fitnatu ashaddu min al-qatl)? Are violent images and themes reflective of earlier scriptural precedent, or of the Qur’an’s original historical context and environment? Can the Qur’an, within the context of originating milieu and read along with other sacred religious texts, be characterized as inherently violent? All inquiries about the Methodology and Hermeneutics panels should be addressed to Karen Bauer,

Program Unit Chairs: Karen Bauer (, Farid Esack (


For the 2016 meeting in San Antonio, we invite papers for three sessions:

Session 1: We invite papers on interactions between the biblical and qur’anic traditions for an open session.

Session 2: Together with the SBL Biblia Arabica consultation, we invite papers for a joint session on “New developments in the study of Karaite Bible exegesis and the Islamic and Christian Oriental contexts.” We are looking for papers that focus on aspects of Karaite Bible commentaries and/or Karaite Bible translations that engage with Islamic and/or Christian sources, overtly or indirectly, either by way of polemics or in order to promote agreement.

Session 3: In collaboration with the SBL Bible and Qur’an section and the IQSA Methodology & Hermeneutics unit, we are organizing a prearranged session on al-Kisa’i’s Qisas al-anbiya’.

Program Unit Chairs: Cornelia Horn ( and Holger Zellentin (


Panel 1: We invite papers that deal with all eras and regions of the Qur’an’s manuscript tradition, as well as the variety of palaeographic, art historical, codicological, and general historical issues one encounters in our discipline. For example, a paper topic may focus on presenting a particular manuscript or group of manuscripts, on exploring a feature of orthographic development, a particular script style, the dating of manuscripts, issues of textual criticism, systems of qira’at, on the Qur’anic arts of the book or on a feature of Qur’anic manuscript studies not listed here but that fits the general parameters listed in the description of the program unit.

Panel 2: This panel aims to provide a forum for the study of the Qur’an as it was applied to objects of daily use, as well as elite artefacts and buildings and for the investigation of scholarly reactions to these developments in hadith collections and other textual sources. We invite contributions on any aspect of the Qur’an’s history and pre-history that lies outside the manuscript tradition. For example, topics relating to Qur’anic citation in the epigraphic (including graffiti as well as formal inscriptions), architectural, ceramic, numismatic and papyrological records and the use of the Qur’an in funerary, apotropaic and prophylactic contexts are all of interest. Topics relating to pre-Islamic inscriptions that might have a bearing on the later formulation of the text of the Qur’an would also be welcome.

Proposals should include a title and an abstract of approximately 400 words.

Program Unit Chairs: Keith Small ( and Luke Treadwell (

View online : IQSA Website (To submit proposal)