Paleo-Qur'anic Manuscripts Conference: State of the Field, May 4-6, 2017

Paleo-Qur'anic Manuscripts: State of the Field

May 4-6, 2017

Central European University, Budapest

This conference aims systematically to take stock of the state of the field in Qur'anic manuscript studies and assess its broader significance. The conference hopes to consider the new directions provided to the field of Qur'anic studies by the digital revolution, in terms of access to the manuscripts and tools for editing their texts, and by the new understanding of philology accruing from digital philology. The broader consequences of material discoveries for the history of the Paleo-Qur'anic text and for the early history of Paleo-Islam will complement more technical discussions and contributions to the conference. 

Keynote Lecture
François Déroche

Aziz Al-Azmeh, Nadia Al-Bagdadi, Mario Boffo, Barbara Bordalejo, Kinga Dévényi, François Déroche, Andrew Edmondson, Yasmin Faghihi, Alba Fedeli, Frédéric Imbert, Huw Jones, Morteza Karimi-Nia, Michael Marx, Shady Nasser, Efim A.Rezvan, Walid Saleh, Naila Silini, Carsten L.Wilke, Eva Mira Youssef-Grob


Thursday, 4 May


Welcome address and introductory remarks by Aziz Al-Azmeh (CEU)           Keynote Address by François Déroche (Collège de France)

Location: CEU, Nador 15, Auditorium B             

18:30 – 19:30  Reception        

Friday, 5 May

9:00 – 11:00    Session 1. Overview: current projects on Qur'anic manuscripts

Location: Nador 15, Room 103

Overview of the most recent projects in the field of Qur’anic manuscript studies, focusing on the materiality of these artefacts. The overview aims to present and discuss both collaborative and individual projects.

Chaired by: Aziz Al-Azmeh (CEU)

Panel Speakers
Michael Marx (Corpus Coranicum, Berlin) 
Efim Rezvan (Kunstkamera, St. Petersburg)                                                     Morteza Karimi-Nia (Encyclopaedia Islamica Foundation, Tehran)                                                                                                                                               11:00 – 11:30  Coffee Break

11:30 – 12:30  Visit to Oriental Collection of the Library of the Hungarian Academy od Sciences (MTA)

12:30 – 13.40 Lunch

13:40 – 15:00    Session 2. Textual Transmission 

Location: Nador 15, Room 103

The session explores the characteristics of the later qirā’āt tradition as the comprehension of the relationship between qirā’āt and manuscript texts is essential in understanding the context of early undated Qur’anic fragments.

Chaired by: Kinga Dévényi (MTA)

Panel Speakers
Silini Naila (Université de Sousse, Tunisie)
Shady Nasser (Harvard University)

15:00 – 16:30   Session 3. digital encoding: perspectives and examples

Location: Nador 15, Room 103

Digital encoding is a revolutionary approach to manuscript studies, because of the technical possibilities it affords and the radical change in approaching texts. Examples of digital editions and phylogenetic analysis will be illustrated.

Chaired by: Huw Jones (Cambridge University Library)

Panel Speakers                                                                                           Barbara Bordalejo (University of Leuven)                                                           Alba Fedeli (CEU) and Andrew Edmondson (University of Birmingham) 

16:30 – 17:00  Coffee Break

17:00 – 18:30   Session 4. Policy and Politics of Access to the object 

Location: Nador 15, Room 103

Institutions have different policies on availability and online access to manuscripts. This session will present the case of Cambridge Digital Library, and the Italian project for cataloguing and studying the new manuscripts discovered in the Great Mosque of Sana’a in 2007.

Chaired by: Alba Fedeli (CEU)

Panel Speakers                                                                                               Yasmin Faghihi (Cambridge University Library) and Huw Jones (Cambridge University Library)                                                                         Mario Boffo (Former Italian Ambassador to Yemen)                                                       

Saturday, 6 May


Location: Nador 15, Room 103

The session focuses on new elements featured in papyri and epigraphic materials and their role in comparison with undated manuscripts from the beginning of Islam.

Chaired by: François Déroche (Collège de France)

Panel Speakers
Eva Mira Youssef-Grob (University of Zurich)                                       Frédéric Imbert (Institut français du Proche-Orient, Beirut)                                                                                                                                                              11.00 – 11.30  Coffee Break

11.30 – 13.15    Session 6. Prospects in Perspective: Implications of material evidence

Location: Nador 15, Room 103

A roundtable and discussion aimed at considering the implications and impact of the material evidence for Qur’anic studies at large.

Chaired by: Nadia Al-Bagdadi (CEU)

Panel Speakers                                                                                                 Alba Fedeli (CEU)
François Déroche (Collège de France)
Walid Saleh (University of Toronto)
Aziz Al-Azmeh (CEU)

13:20 – 14:30   Lunch

14:30  Closing Remarks


This conference has been made possible with the generous support of The Fritz Thyssen Foundation and is organised by the CEU Center for Religious Studies and the Institute for Advanced Study at CEU and under the Aegis of the Ambrosiana