- 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
- HST 341 Middle East Crisis
- HST 360 Of Silk and Swords: Empires of Eurasia
- HST 363 Islam
- HST 365 Beyond Veils and Magic Carpets: Islam’s Golden Age
- HST 367 Gender in the Islamic World
- HST 368 Women in the Mediterranean World
- HST 471/571Islamic Spain: Histories and Legacies
- HST 472/572 The War on Terror
- HST 649 Middle East Regional Seminar
- HST 650 “The Enemy in the Mirror”: East-West (Mis)representation
- HST 602 Arabic Literature in History
The Andalusian music traditions of North Africa, especially, the history of the written repertoires and manuscript tradtiions used as historical sources.
I have put a great deal of work in recent years studying the manuscript traditions that lie behind the modern printed anthology of the Moroccan Andalusian music. From the point of view of manuscript studies, I have been very interested in the material aspects of these manuscripts, and from the historical point of view I have been looking at the evolution of the various repertoires associated with this tradition, using those same manuscripts.
- “Rawḍat al-ghannāʾ, a Little-Known Anthology of the Moroccan Andalusian Music,” American Istitute for Maghrib Studies Fellowship, 2022.
- Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2014
- Presidential Fellow, SUNY College at Brockport, 2006-2008
- Fulbright-Hays Fellowship for Dissertation Research in Morocco, “The Moroccan Andalusian Music Tradition: Between the Spoken and the Written,” 2005-2006.
- Fulbright Fellowship for Research in Morocco, “Translation and Textual Analysis of the Andalusian Music,” 2004-2005.
- Graduate Research Grant, American Institute for Maghreb Studies, “Al-Musiqa al-Andalusiyya fi al-Magrib al-Aqsa: The Survival and Preservation of a Literary Tradition.” 2003-2004.
- Presidential Citation for Outstanding Graduating Student, SUNY College at Brockport, 1998.
Sunset in the Gardens of al-Andalus: Nūbat al-Māya, Its History and Repertoires. Leiden: E.J. Brill (in preparation).
The Pen, the Voice, the Text: Ramal al-Māya in Cultural Context. Leiden: EJ Brill, 2016.
Al-Āla: History, Society and Text Wiesbaden: Reichert Verlag, 2013.
- Al-Ḥāʾik’s Notebook, Part II: Manging a Medley of Musical Manuscripts,” Al-Abhath: Quarterly Journal of the American University of Beirut (forthcoming 2024).
- “The Social Life of Musical Manuscripts in 18th-Century Morocco,” in Social Codicology: The Multiple Lives of Manuscripts in Muslim Societies, ed. by Olly Akkerman (forthcoming 2024).
- “Musical manuscripts in early-modern Morocco,” in Manuscripts and Arabic-script writing in Africa, ed. by Charles C. Steward and Ahmed Chaouki Binebine. Cambridge: The Islamic Manuscript Association and Biblioteca Alexandrina (2023): 198-227.
- “Inverse Trajectories: Elite Music and Dance in the Medieval Mediterranean, ca. 500-1550,” Mediterranean Studies, v. 30 no. 1 (2022): 25-50.
- “Wa-matā ilā dhāka l-maqāmi wuṣūlu: Poetry, Performance and the Prophet in the Andalusian Music Tradition of Morocco,” in The Routledge Companion to Arabic Poetry, ed. Suzanne P. Stetkevych (2022).
- “Prophet-Piety in the Moroccan Nūba Tradition,” in In Praise of the Prophet: Forms of Piety as Reflected in Arabic Literature, edited by Ines Weinrich. Baden-Baden: Ergon/Nomos Verlag (2022): 219-246.
- “al-Nawba (nūba), The Encyclopaedia of Islam, Third Edition, Leiden: E.J. Brill (2022).
- “Données sur les papiers à timbres secs des manuscrits d’al-āla,” co-authored with Anne Regourd, Chroniques du manuscrit au Yémen no. 12/31 (2021): 64-81.
- “Reflections on Song, Manuscript #144, and the Social Life of Kunnāsh al-Ḥāʾik: A Study in Social Codicology,” in Approaches to the Study of Pre-Modern Arabic Anthologies, ed. Bilal Orfali and Nadia Maria El Cheikh. Leiden: E.J. Brill (2021): 149-185.
- “al-Āla (music),” The Encyclopaedia of Islam, Third Edition, Leiden: E.J. Brill (2020).
- “Al-Ḥāʾik’s Notebook, Part I: Annotated Annals of the Anthologies of al-Āla,” Al Abhath: Quarterly Journal of the American University in Beirut 67 (2019): 1-38.
- “Text variants, Mixed Orality, and the Anthologies of Ramal al-Maya,” Al-Abhath v. 62-63 (2014-2015): 61-87.
- “The Andalusi Turn: The Nūba in Mediterranean History,” Journal of Mediterranean Studies, v. 23 no. 2 (2015): 149-169..
- “East Winds and Full Moons: Ramal al-Māya and the Peregrinations of Love-Poetry Images,” Journal of North African Studies vol. 19 no. 1 (2014): 7-26.
Yā qātilī bi-l-tajannī: Love Contextualized Meaning, and Praise of the Prophet Muḥammad in Ramal al-Māya,” Quaderni di Studi Arabi n.s. 7 (2012): 47-68.
- “Fixing a Misbegotten Biography: Ziryab in the Mediterranean World.” Al-Masâq: Islam and the Medieval Mediterranean, 12 (ii) 2009.
- “Meaning and Materiality: Musical Manuscripts in Early-Modern Morocco,” lecture given to the Department of History, National University of Ireland at Maynooth, March, 2023.
- “What is the Value of a Number? Digitization and the Manuscripts of al-Āla,” presentation to Manuscripts and Arabic Writing in Africa biennial conference of the Islamic Manuscript Association, co-sponsored by Senghor University and Biblioteca Alexandrina in Alexandria, Egypt, April, 2022.
- ‘The “Lush Garden” of Andalusian Music,’ The Maghrib in Past and Present podcast, episode #143, May, 2022.
- “Many Musical Manuscripts: Art, Craft and Materiality” virtual paper given at the Arabic-Script Manuscripts in Africa conference, The Islamic Manuscript Association, September, 2021.
- “Festivalization, Facebook and the Future of Andalusian Music” paper presented to the 12th Symposium of the ICTM Study Group for Mediterranean Music Studies, Essaouira, Morocco, June, 2018.
- “Zajal and Muwashshaḥ: The Eastward Migration of Andalusi Poetic-Musical Culture” paper presented to the EU Dialogues conference, November, 2017.
- الوتر الخامس: حياة زرياب ومهنته lecture give to the Fifth String Festival of the Oud, Doha, Qatar, March, 2017.
- “In Search of Orality Within the Text,” paper presented to the 11th Islamic Manuscript Association Conference, “Sufism and Islamic Manuscript Culture,” Cambridge, UK, September, 2016.
- “The Andalusi Turn: The Nūba Tradition in the Mediterranean World” lectures given at two parallel conferences: “Sounding Communities: Music and the Three Religions in Medieval Iberia” (UC Riverside and Columbia University, February, 2014)
- “Slaves and Wives, Fact and Fiction: Uncovering Gender Ideology in Classical Islamic Spain” lecture given at the Department of History, National University of Ireland in Maynooth, March 2012.
- “‘They called her the imām’: Artiste Slaves and the Production of Courtly Music in 9th-Century Cordoba” paper presented at the Medieval Academy of America Annual Meeting, New Haven, CT, March, 2010.
“Ka-dāratin ʿalā t-tamām : The Facets of al-madīḥ an-nabawī in Nūbat Ramal al-Māya” lecture given at the Yale Arabic Colloquium, December, 2010.
- Conference organizer: Reconsidering ‘the Orient’ and ‘the Occident’ in the 21st Century: Observing the 30th Anniversary of Edward Said’s Orientalism, SUNY Brockport, 12 April, 2008.
- “The Other Andalusian Music: Andalusi Strophic Poetry in the Moroccan Samâ’ wa-Madîh” presented at the Third International Conference on Andalusian Strophic Poetry at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London, October, 2007.
- “Fixing a Misbegotten Biography: Ziryâb in the Mediterranean World,” presented at the International Medieval Conference, University of Leeds, UK, July 2006.
- “Kun shafīʿī: Orality and Literacy in the Moroccan Āla,” presented at the Middle Eastern Studies Association annual conference in Washington, D.C., November 2005.
- “A Tradition of Teaching a Tradition: Oral and Literate Dimensions of the Moroccan Āla,” presented at the Society for Ethnomusicology annual conference in Atlanta, GA, November 2005.
- “Andalusian Strophic Poetry Between the Spoken and the Written: The Case of the Moroccan Andalusian Music,” presented at Muwashshah: Andalusian Strophic Poetry and Its Hebrew and Persian Cognates conference, School of Oriental and African Studies, London, October, 2004.
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’m 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 the 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 2024. The second volume, Sunset in the Gardens of al-Andalus, will deal with nūbat al-Māya and should be out in late 2024 or early 2025, in shāʾ Allah.