Symposium

The Word Illuminated: Form and Function of Qur’anic Manuscripts

Thursday–Saturday, December 1–3
Turkish Embassy and Ripley Center Lecture Hall

Watch the symposium online

Costly paper, finely tooled bindings, special scripts, and intricate illumination are among the characteristics that distinguish the manuscripts in The Art of the Qur’an. In this symposium, investigate the materiality of luxury copies of the Qur’an made between the eighth and the seventeenth century from Herat to Istanbul. Also learn about the complex and layered significance these Qur’ans acquired as they changed ownership. Speakers examine the volumes in their historical, cultural, and artistic contexts and discuss their use as potent symbols of piety and political and religious authority. The symposium is organized in conjunction with the exhibition The Art of the Qur’an: Treasures from the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts and is made possible in part through the support of the El-Hibri Foundation.


Program


Thursday, December 1, 6:30–7:30 pm

Turkish Embassy

Keynote Lecture: Let’s Start with the Questions: Jane McAuliffe, Library of Congress

*Registration is required for the Keynote Lecture at the Turkish Embassy.

Friday, December 2, 9:15 am–4:30 pm

Ripley Center Lecture Hall


9:15–9:45 am
Coffee
9:45–10 am
Welcome and introduction
10–11:20 am
Presentations

Astâr al-awwâlîn: The Qur’anic Handwritten Tradition and its Beginnings
François Déroche, Collège de France, Paris

The Imperial Ghaznavid Qur’ans: A Case of Collaborative Productions 
Alya Karame, University of Edinburgh


11:20–11:40 am
Break
11:40 am–1 pm
Presentations

Grandeur and Gold: Qur’an Codices for Sultan Uljaytu and the Ilkhanid Court
Sheila Blair, Boston College

Mamluk Qur’ans: Opulence and Splendor of the Islamic Book
Alison Ohta, Royal Asiatic Society, London


1–2:30 pm
Lunch break
2:30–4:30 pm
Presentations

A Luxury Market? Yāqūt al-Musta‘ṣimī’s Qur’ans
Nourane ben Azzouna, University of Strasbourg

Rendering the Word of God: The Art of Qur’ans with Interlinear Persian and Turkish Translations
Ünver Rüstem, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore

A Sixteenth-Century Shiraz Masterpiece: Chester Beatty’s Ruzbihan Qur’an
Elaine Wright, Chester Beatty Library, Dublin


Saturday, December 3, 9:30 am–12:30 pm

Ripley Center Lecture Hall


9:30–10 am
Coffee
10 am–12 pm
Presentations

Rise of the En‘am-ı şerif: Investigating the Production of Selections of Suras in the Sixteenth-Century Ottoman Empire
Simon Rettig, Freer|Sackler

Sight and Sound in Early Qur’ans
Alain George, University of Edinburgh

The Qur’anic Soundscape of Mimar Sinan’s Mosques
Nina Ergin, Koç University, Istanbul


12–12:30 pm
Concluding remarks
Julian Raby, Freer|Sackler

The Word Illuminated
Abstracts
Bios
Related Exhibition
The Art of the Qur'an


The Word Illuminated: Form and Function of Qur’anic Manuscripts is made possible in part through the support of the El-Hibri Foundation.

Program offered in conjunction with The Art of the Qur’an: Treasures from the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts, organized by the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Republic of Turkey.

We would like to thank the Turkish Embassy in Washington, DC for hosting the keynote lecture.

Principal sponsor:

Major sponsors:


Additional support is provided by Hagop Kevorkian Fund, El-Hibri Foundation, Capital One, and an anonymous donor.


The Freer|Sackler is closed for renovation and reinstallation. The popular exhibition Turquoise Mountain: Artists Transforming Afghanistan is still on view in the International Gallery. (Enter through the Ripley Center.) Join us for our reopening celebration on October 14–15, 2017.