Dr Karen Bauer (PhD, Princeton) is a Senior Research Associate in the Qur’anic Studies Unit at the IIS. Dr Bauer’s research centres on the Qur'an and its reception history, the history of emotions in Islam, and gender in Islamic history and thought.
Although she is mostly known as a medievalist, she occasionally ventures into modern territory, such as when she interviewed religious scholars in Iran and Syria for her book Gender Hierarchy in the Qur’an: Medieval Interpretations, Modern Responses (Cambridge University Press, 2015), which detailed the history of Qur'anic interpretation (tafsir) through interpretations of verses on women, and was runner up for the BKFS Book Prize 2016.
She edited the volume Aims, Methods, and Contexts of Qur’anic Exegesis (2nd/8th - 9th/15th centuries) and, along with Feras Hamza, has recently completed An Anthology of Qur’anic Commentaries, Volume 2: On Women (Oxford University Press/IIS, 2021), which comprises annotated translations of Qur’anic commentaries and extensive introductory materials, including a chapter on women in the Qur'an.
This latter forms the basis for her current project, also with Feras Hamza, a critical introduction to women in the Qur'an.
She has published articles on subjects as diverse as women’s right to be judges in Islamic law, the audiences of tafsir, and emotional rhetoric in the Qur'an. Dr Bauer serves on the board and the nominating committee of the International Qur’anic Studies Association (IQSA) and is on the team of the KITAB project at the Aga Khan University Institute of the Study of Muslim Civilisations.