Ash (Aisha) Geissinger is an Associate Professor at Carleton University, Canada. Geissinger’s research is located at the intersection of the study of the Qur’an and its exegesis, the Hadith literature and hadith commentaries, and gender. Their book, Gender and Muslim Constructions of Exegetical Authority: A Rereading of the Classical Genre of Qurʾān Commentary (Brill, 2015) is the first monograph-length critical study of the textual functions of exegetical materials attributed to women which are often quoted in classical Qur’an commentaries. It argues for and models a new approach to studying Qur’an commentaries which utilizes gender as an analytical lens.
Research related to commentary
Qur’an commentators in the formative and early classical periods often utilize gendered rhetoric as well as representations of female figures as sources of materials, often hadiths, which they deemed relevant to quranic exegesis. But little is known about what Qur’an commentators writing in later centuries do with such representations. At present, I am researching the ways that the Durr al-manthūr, a Qur’an commentary written by the prolific Cairene scholar Jalāl al-Dīn al-Suyūṭī (d. 911 AH/1505 CE) utilizes these, while analyzing the significance of such materials for our understanding of his hermeneutical approach.
Publications related to commentary
“Female Figures, Marginality, and Qur’anic Exegesis in Ibn al-Jawzi’s Sifat al-safwa,” in Islamic Interpretive Tradition and Gender Justice: Processes of Canonization, Subversion, and Change, eds. Nevin Reda and Yasmin Amin (Montreal and Kingston, ON: McGill-Queen’s University Press), 151–178. (in press)
Gender and Muslim Constructions of Exegetical Authority: A Rereading of the Classical Genre of Qurʾān Commentary (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2015).
“The Portrayal of the Ḥajj as a Context for Women’s Exegesis: Textual Evidence in al-Bukhārī’s (d. 870 C.E.) Ṣaḥīḥ,” in Insights into Classical Arabic Literature and Islam, Sebastian Guenther, ed. (Brill, 2005), 153–179.
“Applying Gender and Queer Theory to Premodern Sources,” in Routledge Handbook of Islam and Gender, ed. Justine Howe (Abingdon, UK: Routledge, in press).
“‘Will You Not Teach ruqyat al-namla to this (Woman)…?’: Notes on a Hadith’s Historical Uncertainties and Its Role in Translations of Muḥammad,” Islam at 250 AH: Studies in Memory of G.H.A. Juynboll, eds. Petra M. Sijpesteijn and Camilla Adang (Leiden: Brill, 2020), 207–234.
“No, a Woman did not ‘Edit the Qur’an’: Towards a Methodologically Coherent Approach to a Tradition Portraying a Woman and Written Quranic Materials,” Journal of the American Academy of Religion 85.2 (June 2017), 416-445.
“‘Are Men the Majority in Paradise, or Women?’: Constructing Gender and Communal Boundaries in Muslim’s (d. 261 AH/875 CE) Kitāb al-Janna,” in Roads to Paradise: Eschatology and Concepts of the Hereafter in Islam, eds. Sebastian Guenther and Todd Lawson (Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2017), I, 311–340.