Annual Meeting Updates: Letter from the SBL Executive Director

Annual Meeting Updates: Letter from the SBL Executive Director

Friends of IQSA—please find a message from the Executive Director of our affiliate organization, the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL), with important updates regarding this year’s Annual Meeting to be held in San Antonio, Texas.


6 August 2021

Dear Colleagues,

SBL recognizes that the coronavirus continues to impact your planning for the Annual Meeting, and comfort levels, health constraints, and accessibility will vary from person to person. We have worked hard to be able to offer both in-person and virtual-only options. We thank all who are currently registered for the upcoming SBL Annual Meeting 2021 and offer a brief update to those registered or planning to register.

The continuing uncertainty is a source of anxiety for everyone. At the same time, we are being careful not to rush into decisions in the midst of a rapidly changing situation.

Your health and safety are key to our planning. We are closely monitoring governmental and medical recommendations regarding COVID-19 and the Delta variant in order to follow best practices to help reduce your exposure and risk. As we get closer to the meeting, we will issue protocols appropriate to the situation.

We will be as flexible as possible to accommodate the varying needs of members. Already we are taking the following steps:

  •  The change date for registrations, including full refunds or change in registration types, has been extended to 21 October 2021. You can register now and alter your plans as you see fit through that date with no penalty.
  • We will continue to work with program unit chairs to adapt sessions according to the changing needs of presenters.
  • As guidance changes, we will continue to keep the Annual Meetings website up-to-date with meeting requirements, recommendations, and best practices. The challenge of planning for the 2021 Annual Meetings is one that exceeds even that of 2020. We ask for your continued patience as we work to provide the best and safest experience that meets your needs.

Please feel free to write to with any questions you may have about registration, and bookmark the SBL Annual Meeting Website for updates.


John F. Kutsko
Executive Director

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!


Q: How do I register for the IQSA Annual Meeting?
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?
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?
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?
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?
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.


Q: I’ve registered and I can’t attend the Annual Meeting, can I get a refund for my registration fee?
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  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?
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.



Emran El-Badawi
Executive Director
July 17, 2020

Corovavirus Health Alert Updates (May 2020)

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

As communities across the world feel the impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic (Covid-19), we are mindful of the lives affected. It is during such extraordinary times of uncertainty that we remind you all, the International Qur’anic Studies Association is a community of scholars and friends. IQSA remains committed to its Mission and Vision, including fostering qur’anic scholarship, and holding regular meetings for scholars of the Qur’an. Ongoing health concerns and travel restrictions continue to pose challenges.

The Board is currently exploring the possibility of hosting online paper presentations alongside a much smaller in person Annual Meeting in Boston in November, 2020. The Board is in close contact with its affiliate, the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) and will explore all options to ensure a successful annual conference.

The presentation and discussion of members’ research during the year, accepted through a rigorous review by program units, is a core IQSA member service. We are aware that travel will be difficult or impossible for many members this year. We are committed to providing a venue for scholarly exchange so that every paper accepted has an opportunity for presentation.

Registration for the Annual Meeting is now open through the SBL website, and you can read a statement regarding this from SBL, including the provision that the registration fee is fully refundable.

The IQSA Board will continue inform our members of the path ahead at the earliest possibility.

We recognize that the circumstances could change between now and November, and we will advise membership on changes that may be necessary. If at all possible, please ensure to keep your IQSA membership up to date as well – we need your support in these trying times.

Dr. Asma Hilali, President
Dr. Mehdi Azaiez
Dr. Karen Bauer
Dr. Shari Lowin
Dr. Johanna Pink
Dr. Devin Stewart
Dr. Sarra Tlili
Dr. Holger Zellentin, Chair
Dr. Suleman Dost, Secretary
Dr. Emran El-Badawi, Executive Director, Treasurer

Corovavirus Health Alert

Dear Colleagues,

The International Qur’anic Studies Association (IQSA) is monitoring the situation closely as the Covid-19 Coronavirus continues to impact communities throughout the globe. Our mission remains to foster Qur’anic Studies, bringing about peace and mutual understanding through scholarship. At this time, the health and safety of our members and friends is our highest priority.

We are aware that our members and their institutions have concerns about the spread of the Coronavirus. Most academic institutions have closed temporarily or moved to online instruction. Colleagues with health concerns are encouraged to follow the directives offered by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC for the US, or their national equivalent elsewhere) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

The restrictions imposed on travel by an increasing number of nations, while unfortunate, are a crucial measure to curb the growth of the virus. That being said travel restrictions do impact the convening of international conferences. Countless spring and summer meetings have been cancelled as a result. We remain in contact with our affiliates, including the Society of Biblical Literature and American Academy of Religion, with whom our annual meetings are convened. Of immediate concern is the November 20-23, 2020 Annual Meeting to be held in Boston, MA, USA.

Registration does not typically open until mid-April. We hope to gain greater clarity on the situation between now and then. Nevertheless, we suggest that you postpone booking airfare that does not have flexible change policies until registration opens.

We hope the virus is contained soon, and urge everyone to exercise the utmost caution meanwhile. Should you have any questions or concerns please write



Holger Zellentin, Chair

Emran El-Badawi, Executive Director