The canonisation of the Quranic reading traditions ( qirāʾāt
) goes back to the 10th c. scholar ibn Mujahid who established the canon. Up until recently, it was thought that his work functioned as our historical horizon- everything we can know about the pre-canonical situation is filtered through his choices and thinking. However, there are hundreds of Quranic manuscripts from the time preceding the canonisation stretching back at least to the beginning of the 8th c. that make use of diacritics to instruct the reader. These pre-canonical reading traditions provide a vista into the pre-history of Quranic recitation, yet they have so far gone almost entirely unstudied. The ERC Consolidator grant project QurCan aims to mine these rich historical sources to understand what Quran recitation was like before ibn Mujahid, how the reading traditions developed, and how this led to the crystallized canon that we know today.Key Responsibilities
The tasks of the Postdoctoral researcher in the Digital Humanities are twofold: On the one hand you will work closely with the Principal Investigator in building to develop the tools to facilitate data collection. This will require setting up tools and a database that facilitates rapid transcription of vocalized manuscripts, and saving them in a machine-readable format, and developing tools to allow the collation of this data and search through the resulting data and compare manuscripts with one another. On the other hand, the researcher will conduct statistical research of the resulting data set, to uncover pattern between the different readings present in manuscripts through statistical methods and stemmatology of the different Quranic reading traditions and the relationship between the readings uncovered in manuscripts and those found in the literary sources.