A Year in Sum: IQSA 2022

A Year in Sum: IQSA 2022

Emerging from the global pandemic crisis with a new vigor, it’s been a dynamic year for the International Qur’anic Studies Association. The year of 2022 included new publications, partnerships, aleadership, and two annual meetings in and outside of the US!

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The 2022 Annual Meeting of IQSA was hosted by the La Pira Library and Research Institute in Palermo, Italy from September 5–7. For the first time, the Annual Meeting took place in Europe as an independent event, thanks to the support of the La Pira Library. Scholars and colleagues from La Pira and IQSA worked jointly to plan and convene this event, gathering scholars of the Qur’an to share current research and to explore new approaches to study of the Qur’an. Nearly one hundred scholars from at least nineteen countries— from Houston, Texas to Diyala, Iraq and Abu Dhabi, UAE—from various backgrounds and disciplines presented papers. Thanks to the contributions and enthusiasm of all speakers who submitted proposal for both panels and single papers, the conference covered a broad range of topics and approaches, from theology and philosophy to the study of visual and material culture, as well as philology, linguistics, literary studies, translation studies, and gender studies. In all, there were twelve panels of fifty-two papers, plus three lectures, two roundtable sessions, and one read-through session. The enthusiastic and generous support of the whole La Pira team in hosting the conference was fundamental in making the conference in Palermo possible.

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Back state-side, the 2022 North American IQSA Annual Meeting was held in conjunction with the SBL/AAR Annual Meetings in Denver, Colorado from November 18-21, 2022. The Programming Committee led by Andrew O’Connor (St. Norbert College) orchestrated panels based on themes identified in paper submissions. These included The Qur’an and Late Antiquity, Law Beyond Israel, Slavery, Resistance and Freedom, and a final panel presided over by former IQSA Executive Director, Emran El-Badawi. IQSA members and affiliates also met on Saturday evening for it’s annual General Reception, accompanied this year by live music!


IQSA experienced a lot of change in 2022, with Nicolai Sinai (Oxford University) stepping down as Editor of JIQSA and Sean Anthony (Ohio State University) taking his place. We are extremely grateful to Nicolai for his immense contributions to the journal and organization, and we look forward to Sean’s vision for the journal. The ISIQ Monograph Series is currently edited by David S. Powers. As of January 1, 2023 it will be jointly edited by Karen Bauer, Joseph Lowry, and Shawkat Toorawa. We have also ended our publishing arrangement with Lockwood Press and are thankful to Billie Jean and the entire Lockwood Press team for their loyal support of a growing organization. We are extremely pleased to announce a new partnership with De Gruyter, and the availability of Open Access publications for both our journal and book series.



The executive office has been working with a design agency throughout most of 2021-22 to rebuild the IQSA website from the ground up. The new website will be more modern and mobile-friendly. It will feature a new weekly blog, drawing on scholarship from our growing member base. It will also launch with new initiatives including master classes, conference recordings, and webinars—all hosted by leading scholars of qurʾanic studies. The new platform will serve to further IQSA’s mission of advocating for the field of qurʾanic studies in the public square. We hope that the new website will also increase member engagement and add value to an IQSA membership!

IQSAweb.org has all the information necessary for you to benefit from IQSA and for you to get involved. On this site, visitors can familiarize themselves with IQSA’s governance, resources, and programs, as well as learn about its policies, vision, and history.

Online Discussion Group:

Join the IQSA Google Discussion Group to share ideas, discuss, and collaborate with other scholars and members of IQSA. Join by logging in to Google Groups and searching “International Qur’anic Studies Association.” Then click “Apply to Join Group”!

Weekly Blog Updates:

The IQSA blog has attracted widespread international interest and participation of scholars, students, and the general public. The blog includes weekly updates about IQSA, information on its academic meetings (North American and International), schedules for other conferences and colloquia taking place around the world, and various stories and reports on new research. IQSA strongly encourages all those working on new and exciting Qur’anic Studies projects to contribute to the IQSA blog.

Become a Member of IQSA:

Become a member of IQSA – join from the IQSA website, located under “Membership & Governance.” Be sure to follow IQSAweb.org for updates about this and other matters. Through the website, members will receive access to our publications, including:

  • Review of Qurʾanic Research
  • Membership Directory
  • Bilingual English-Arabic Journal of the International Qurʾanic Studies Association

If you are interested in getting involved, writing for the IQSA blog, or have advertising or other inquiries, please write to contactus@iqsaweb.org. Do not forget to find IQSA on Facebook and Twitter!


Consider supporting Qur’anic scholarship with a donation to IQSA. We are a registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions. You can donate to IQSA online by clicking HERE.

You have all made IQSA what it is today—a community of scholars and friends. Please help our community during its time of need. If each of you makes a humble donation it will go a long way to supporting our publishing and programming activity for the coming year(s).

On behalf of IQSA, we wish you a very Happy New Year! كل عام وأنتم بخير

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

Happy New Year from IQSA!

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For over seven years the International Qur’anic Studies Association has made fostering Qur’anic scholarship its mission. The Qur’an is an integral part of world literature, and it has shaped and continues to shape the world in which we live.

Despite significant interruptions and changes due to the Covid-19 health crisis, it has still been a fruitful year for the International Qur’anic Studies Association. IQSA has now published four issues of the bilingual, flagship Journal of the International Qur’anic Studies Association (JIQSA 2016-2019), with volume five to be released in spring 2021. The ISIQ Monograph Series is edited by David S. Powers. ISIQ has released the English translation and updated edition of Michael Cuypers’ A Qurʾānic Apocalypse: A Reading of the Thirty-Three Last Sūrahs of the Qurʾān (2018), and Mun`im Sirry (ed.), New Trends in Qur’anic Studies: Text, Context and Interpretation (2019). Our publishing activity also includes the Review of Qur’anic Research (RQR), the world’s only exclusive review source on critical Qur’anic Studies. Finally, our multilingual blog and discussion group links a community of scholars and students across the globe.


Finally, IQSA maintains an impressive conference portfolio. These include eleven major international congresses, across the US and internationally, as well as IQSA’s first virtual Annual Meeting. Given ongoing uncertainty as a result of the pandemic, IQSA’s 2021 conference schedule is still being deliberated. The IQSA board is currently coordinating both with SBL and with the Fondazione per le scienze religiose Giovanni XXIII / Giorgio La Pira library, Palermo, Italy.

IQSA continues to offer six membership tiers:

(1) Student, Contingent Faculty, Global South or Income Below $30,000 $35
(2) Assistant Professor, Junior or Retired Faculty $75
(3) Associate Professor or Midrange Faculty $100
(4) Full Professor, Senior Faculty or Professional Income $100,000+ $125
(5) Lifetime Member $2,000 (one time installment)
(6) Institutional Membership $400

Exceptions: Scholars from the global south and lower income countries unable to pay membership dues for that year have the option of contacting the executive director for a courtesy waiver.

We also warmly welcomes new Lifetime Member, Abdulla Galadari (Khalifa University), and one new institutional member, the University of Tuebingen. IQSA encourages all to renew their membership for 2021 to receive benefits including:

Finally, we offer a warm welcome to our new Executive Director starting 2021, Hythem Sidky. Hythem brings a wealth of energy and expertise to IQSA, which will prove vital as conferences are increasingly convened both virtually and in-person. We are both excited and fortunate to have Hythem’s leadership in the days ahead.

We appreciate your membership!

U.S. taxpayers! Are you still looking to make an end-of-year tax deductible charitable donation? Consider supporting Qur’anic scholarship with a donation to IQSA. We are a registered 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization eligible to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions. You can donate to IQSA online by clicking HERE.

You have all made IQSA what it is today—a community of scholars and friends. Please help our community during its time of need. If each of you makes a humble donation it will go a long way to supporting our publishing and programming activity for the coming year(s).

Finally, please do not forget to follow our BlogTwitter and Facebook accounts, and to join the new private IQSA Discussion Group. As the global health crisis continues to challenge the status quo for the academic community, IQSA is committed to continue building bridges through scholarship to get through the coming year together. We wish you a very Happy Holidays! كل عام وأنتم بخير

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

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.