Call for Papers: IQSA Annual Meeting 2017


The International Qur’anic Studies Association has opened its call for papers for its Annual Meeting to be held in Boston, Massachusetts from November 17-20, 2017. Paper proposals should be submitted through SBL’s automated online submission system via the affiliate form by March 7, 2017 (note: SBL membership is NOT required for proposal submission). Please find the submission links listed next to each program unit below and feel free to 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.


Linguistic, Literary, and Thematic Perspectives on the Qur’anic Corpus
Surah Titles: Connections to Structure, Themes, and Rhetoric of Revelation.

Program Unit Chairs:
Anne-Sylvie Boisliveau (
Sarra Tlili (
Submit Proposals HERE 

Many Muslim and non-Muslim students of the Qur’an assume that there is little connection between surahs and their titles, since most surahs are titled after words or themes that seem peripheral to their major themes. Moreover, manuscripts show that surah titles were probably a later addition to the Qur’anic text. Nevertheless, the connection between surahs and their titles deserves more scholarly attention, as it seems relevant to questions such as the unity of the surahs, their structure, and their possible central theme (common thread). Titles may also relate to the act of “providing a name for (a part of) the Revelation”, an act that has high hermeneutical connotation – and in this regard, much can be inferred from the study of several works by medieval and early modern scholars.The Linguistic, Literary, and Thematic Perspectives on the Qur’anic Corpus Unit invites proposals for papers that explore the connection between Qur’anic surahs and their titles, or any other aspect related to surahs titles. 


The Qur’an: Surah Studies

Program Unit Chairs:
Shawkat Toorawa (
Marianna Klar (
Submit Proposals HERE

The Surah Studies Unit of IQSA invites proposals for individual papers on any aspect of Surat al-Ahzab (Q 33). Proposers may, for example, wish to explore the surah’s textual history, its reception, its structure, its surah-ness, its relationship to other surahs, its composition, its lexicon, its rhetorical features, its style, or indeed any other aspect of the surah inviting analysis. As the raison d’etre of the panel (and the Unit) is to bring different perspectives and scholarship on a given surah into dialogue with one another, the unit chairs will aim to select a methodologically diverse set of papers.


Qur’anic Studies: Methodology and Hermeneutics

Program unit chairs:
Karen Bauer (
Farid Esack (
Submit Proposals HERE

In the 2017 meeting, the IQSA Methodology and Hermeneutics unit will hold two panels. We invite proposals for a panel entitled ‘Minority Tendencies in Qur’anic Hermeneutics.’ We welcome papers that address how different minority Muslim sects and communities (for instance: Qur’anists, Ismailis, Alawis, Ahmadis) interpret the Qur’an, with a focus on their hermeneutical approaches. Are certain methods of interpretation specific to minority groups? How are minority hermeneutics justified? Do minority hermeneutics result in substantially different content in interpretations? The second panel will be a prearranged roundtable discussion on the diverse sources of authority that mediate the believer’s understanding of the Qur’an. This roundtable will particularly focus on the methods by which authority is constructed, invoked, and disputed.


The Qur’an and the Biblical Tradition 

Program unit chairs:
Holger Zellentin (
Cornelia Horn (
Submit Proposals HERE

For the 2017 meeting in Boston, we invite papers on interactions between the Biblical and Qur’anic traditions for an open session.


The Qur’an and Late Antiquity

Program unit chairs:
Michael Pregill (
Greg Fisher
Submit Proposals HERE

For the 2017 IQSA Annual Meeting in Boston, the Qur’an and Late Antiquity program unit invites proposals for one open panel. 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.


The Qur’an: Manuscripts and Textual Criticism 

Program unit chairs:
Keith Small (
Alba Fedeli (
Shady Hekmat Nasser (
Submit Proposals HERE

The aim of this unit 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 the areas of its manuscript tradition, the transmission of the text in manuscripts and the relationship of these texts to those found in references to alternative Qur’anic readings in the qira’at literature and other Islamic literature. This will provide a forum to explore the historical context of the Qur’an from various eras, as well as such diverse but related topics as the palaeographic, codicological and art historical study of the Qur’an’s manuscript tradition, textual criticism applied to the texts found in manuscripts as well as the phenomenon of the alternative Qur’anic readings found in references in Islamic literature to the qira’at. It is hoped that bringing scholars from these disciplines of Qur’an manuscript studies and qira’at studies will serve to enrich and strengthen both of these fields.

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, philological, historical issues, and textual criticism issues one encounters in this discipline. For example, a paper topic may focus on presenting a particular manuscript or collection of manuscripts, on exploring a feature of the Qur’anic arts of the book, of orthographic development, of a particular script style, the dating of manuscripts, issues of textual criticism, systems of qira’at represented in manuscripts, or papers dealing with issues of the qira’at as found in Islamic literature. We will also consider a feature of Qur’anic manuscript studies and the qira’at not listed here but that fits the general parameters listed in the description of the program unit. Proposals should include a title and an abstract of approximately 400 words. 




The paper proposal submissions are due by March 7, 2017.

© International Qur’anic Studies Association, 2017. All rights reserved.