The Qur’anic Studies Unit of the IIS co-sponsored a conference entitled Autour du Coran de Gwalior: polysémie d’un manuscrit à peintures (The Gwalior Qur’an Manuscript: The Polysemy of Illuminated Codex) which took place at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France and the Institut national d’histoire de l’art (INHA) in Paris.
The manuscript at the centre of the conference is a complete copy of the Qur’an found in Gwalior, India, and dated to the fourteenth century. The importance of this manuscript lies in its rich decoration and the complexity of its textual structure. A large portion of the Qur’anic text contains an interlinear Persian translation. The manuscript ends with a book of divination (fal nama) on how to read the Qur’an to find out auguries and omens. The conference was multidisciplinary, bringing together scholars who have been approaching this fascinating manuscript from various different specialisations as part of a four-year collaborative research programme at the unité mixte de recherche (UMR) 8167 ‘Orient et Méditerranée – Laboratoire Islam médiéval’.
The conference was introduced by the organiser, Éloïse Brac de la Perrière from the University of Paris – Sorbonne, after opening remarks from Heather Ecker (Head of Curatorial Affairs at the Aga Khan Museum Project in Toronto), Jean-Pierre Van Staëvel (Professor of Archaeology and History of Islamic Arts at the University of Paris – Sorbonne) and Omar Ali-de-Unzaga (Academic Coordinator of the Qur’anic Studies Unit at The Institute of Ismaili Studies).
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The Gwalior Qur’an Manuscript: Conference Introduction
Convenors: Éloïse Brac de la Perrière (University of Paris – Sorbonne), in collaboration with Francis Richard (Bibliothèque Universitaire des Langues et Civilisations, Paris) and Jean-Pierre Van Staëvel (University of Paris – Sorbonne).
Coordination: Sandra Aube (Panthéon-Sorbonne University).
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Sponsorship and partner institutions: The Institute of Ismaili Studies has co-sponsored this conference in partnership with other institutions, mainly ‘Orient et Méditerranée’, Laboratoire Islam médiéval, unité mixte de recherché (UMR) 8167 and ‘Mondes iranien et indien’, unité mixte de recherche (UMR) 7528. Other supporting institutions include the Aga Khan Trust for Culture; the University of Paris – Sorbonne; the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris; the Laboratoire d’excellence ‘Religion et Sociétés dans le Monde Méditerranéen’ (Labex RESMED) and the Museé des Beaux Arts, Orléans.
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