History Professor Publishes Article on Moroccan Andalusian Music Tradition

Carl Davila, Department of History, published an article on a manuscript anthology of the Moroccan Andalusian music tradition.

Carl Davila has published his article, “Reflections on Song, Manuscript #144 and the Social Life of Kunnāsh al-Ḥāʾik: A Study in Social Codicology” in the new collection, Approaches to the Study of Pre-Modern Arabic Anthologies, published by E.J. Brill in Leiden. 

The article uses an 18th-century manuscript of a song collection called Kunnāsh al-Ḥāʾik (“Al-Ḥāʾik’s Notebook”) to explore the social uses and meanings of anthologies and how such documents embody this “use-value” in their form, content, and structure. The chief point is that an anthology, as a form of literature, is largely defined by how owners use it (its “social life”), rather than merely by the contents or even by the “intention” of the author. Individual exemplars may live quite different social lives that are reflected in details of the quality of the paper, handwriting, and other details. Moreover, as time passes and especially as the technology for producing such works changes, individual exemplars may come to have an “after-life” as they find their ways into archives, museums and public libraries to be used by scholars and members of the public as subjects of study and historical evidence.

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