On October 16, 2015, the Digital Islamic Humanities Program at Brown University held its third annual scholarly gathering, a symposium on the subject “Distant Reading & the Islamic Archive,” organized by Elias Muhanna. My presentation was about the OU/Exaptive Discourse Map pilot project:
David R. Vishanoff. “A Customizable Exaptive ‘Xap’ for Charting Currents of Islamic Discourse across Multiple Bibliographic and Full Text Datasets.” Third Annual Islamic Digital Humanities Conference, “Distant Reading and the Islamic Archive,” Middle East Studies Program, Brown University, October 16, 2015.
A full record of the conference, including recordings, is available on the web site of Brown’s Digital Islamic Humanities Project.
The slides from my presentation are available here.
The photo above was taken by Rythum Vinoben.
Harith Bin Ramli and Ramon Harvey hosted a warm, lively, and coherent symposium on theologies of revelation at the Cambridge Muslim College. It was a beautiful and memorable day, epitomized by this image of Shahrur and Mohammed:
My presentation was a reflective pause, looking back on my previous work on classical legal hermeneutics, drawing in my recent readings in Indonesian Qur’anic hermeneutics, and pondering some of the intellectual challenges and moral dangers of thinking systematically about revelation:
“Can Qur’anic Interpretation Be both Practically Adequate and Theologically Principled? Some Instructive Historical Examples of the Delicate Connection between Hermeneutical Theories and Doctrines of Divine Speech.” From Revelation to Scripture: A Symposium on Divine Speech and Prophetic Inspiration in Islam, Cambridge Muslim College, Cambridge, England, September 12, 2015.
The new material in this paper about the Indonesian thinker Aksin Wijaya was previously discussed at the International Qur’anic Studies Association in 2014. This paper was not published, but a revised and expanded version will be presented at a conference on “Dynamics of Tradition: Islamic Theology and Law in Relation” at the University of Paderborn, September 19, 2021, and will hopefully be published in a volume of essays from that conference.
Another image from the day–Farrokh and Ramon during one of the many coffee breaks:
At the IAHR meeting in beautiful Erfurt, in a paper session organized by Carool Kersten on “Retraditionalisation, Anti-Foundationalism and Glocalisation in a Post-Islamist Muslim World,” I presented a simple comparison of three Indonesian thinkers whose works I had been reading, and whom I had just had the opportunity to interview in Indonesia:
Hermeneutics and the Traditional Islamic Sciences in Indonesia Today: Rhetoric, Retraditionalisation, or Creative Anti-Foundationalism?” International Association for the History of Religions, Erfurt, Germany, August 24, 2015.
Here is a link to a pdf of the paper as presented. This is an oral presentation version, without documentation. It is not intended for publication, though the figures discussed here will doubtless appear in some future publication.
At IQSA’s 2015 international meeting in Indonesia I presented my vision for a new digital humanities tool, the OU/Exaptive Discourse Map ‘Xap’:
“Genealogies of Qur’anic Hermeneutics: Tracing Trajectories through Online Data.” International Conference “New Trends in Qur’anic Studies,” co-hosted by the International Qur’anic Studies Association (IQSA) and the State Islamic University (UIN) Sunan Kalijaga. Yogyakarta, Indonesia, August 6, 2015.
Here are links to the richly illustrated full paper and the slide show presented at the 2015 IQSA meeting in Indonesia.
Congratulations to IQSA for this lively and diverse meeting, which was a major step toward IQSA’s vision of being a truly international scholarly organization.