Carl Davila , Ph.D

Associate Professor
(585) 395-5699
Office: Liberal Arts 321


  • PhD, Yale University, 2006 - Arabic Studies
  • B.A., SUNY College at Brockport, 1998 - History

Areas of Specialty

  • Arabic Language and Culture
  • Arab History
  • Classical Islam

Courses Taught

  • HST 341 Middle East Crisis
  • HST 360 “Of Silk and Swords: Empires of Eurasia”
  • HST 363 Islam
  • HST 365 Classical Islamic Civilization
  • HST 367 Gender in the Islamic World
  • HST 368 Women in the Mediterranean World
  • HST 471/571Islamic Spain: Histories and Legacies
  • HST 472/572 Jihad
  • HST 649 Middle East Regional Seminar
  • HST 650 “The Enemy in the Mirror”: East-West (Mis)representation
  • HST 602 Arabic Literature in History

Research Interests

The Andalusian music traditions of North Africa, especially, the history of the written repertoires and manuscript tradtiions used as historical sources.

Current Projects

For the past few years, I have been delving into the manuscript traditions that lie behind the modern Moroccan Andalusian music anthologies, examining them as both literary works (with the usual complexities of compilation and variation) and as collections of repertoire that reflect the evolution of the tradition over time. I am particularly interested in the very fraught history of the most famous of these anthologies, Kunnāš al-Ḥāʾik. To that end, I working on a series of articles in Al-Abhath entitled “Al-Ḥāʾik’s Notebook.” Part I, an annotated listing of all print and manuscript anthologies relating to the tradition, was published in 2019. Part II is due out in early 2024.

In tandem with this, I have begun a study of an anthology of these songs not in the direct line of the repertoire, entitled Rawḍat al-ghannāʾ fī uṣūl al-ghināʾ. The aim is to uncover as well as possible the exact relationship of this work to the perfomed tradition and, if possible, determine its provenance.

Finally, I have embarked upon a longer-term project of documenting and translating all eleven nūbāt in the modern repertoire, as well as all the songs associated with these nūbāt but found only in the manuscript traditions (the “historical repertoire”). The first volume will be a revised version of The Pen, the Voice, the Text, which should be published in late 2023. The second volume, Sunset in the Gardens of al-Andalus, will deal with nūbat al-Māya and should be out in late 2023 or early 2024, in shāʾ Allah.