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Brockport / History / Faculty / Dr. Carl Davila

History Faculty

Dr. Carl DavilaDr. Davila

Office: 331 Liberal Arts Building
Phone: 585.395.5699


  • Arabic Language and Culture, Arab History, Classical Islam


  • Ph.D., Yale University, 2006 (Arabic Studies)
  • B.A., SUNY College at Brockport, 1998 (History)

Awards and Honors

  • 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.

Courses Taught 

  • Medieval Islamic Civilization
  • Classical Arabic and Islamic Poetry
  • Classical Arabic Literature in History
  • Jihad
  • Sufism
  • The Qur' ān
  • Graduate Topics in World History: Topics in Arab-Islamic Historiography
  • Islamic Spain:  Histories and Legacies
  • Middle East Regional Seminar
  • Orientalism
  • Gender in the Islamic World


  • The Pen, the Voice, the Text:  Ramal al-Māya in Cultural Context. Leiden: EJ Brill, forthcoming.
  • Al-Āla: History, Society and Text  Wiesbaden: Reichert Verlag, 2013.
  • Elite Music and Dance," in Mapping the Medieval Mediterranean, ca. 300-1550: An Encyclopedia of Perspectives in Research, Amity Nichols Law, volume editor.  Leiden: E.J. Brill, forthcoming.
  • The Andalusi Turn: The Nūba in Mediterranean History,” Journal of Mediterranean Studies, special issue in press.
  • “East Winds and Full Moons: Ramal al-Māya and the Peregrinations of Love-Poetry Images,” Journal of North African Studies, special issue produced by the Spain-North Africa Project, vol. 19 no. 1, 2014. 7-26.
  • Yā man qātilī bi-l-tajannī: Love, Contextualized Meaning and Praise of the Prophet in Ramal al-Māya.” Quaderni di Studi Arabi, Special Issue 7, 2012. 47-68.
  • "Fixing a Misbegotten Biography: Ziryab in the Mediterranean World." Al-Masâq: Islam and the Medieval Mediterranean, 12 (ii) 2009.
  • "Andalusian Strophic Poetry Between the Spoken and the Written: The Case of the Moroccan Andalusian Music Tradition"  in Muwashshah: Proceedings of the Conference on Arabic and Hebrew Strophic Poetry and its Romance Parallels, School of Oriental and African Studies [SOAS], London, 8-10 October 2004.  Ed. Ed Emery. London: RN Books. 2006
  • "Sunset in the Gardens of al-Andalus" (poetry from the Moroccan Andalusian Music in translation) Palimpsest, April 2005.

Conferences and Presentation

  • “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, the College at 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.

Current Projects

  • Further study of the reception and integration of the Andalusi literary-musical legacy in North Africa. I am particularly interested in the ways that the various nūba traditions have enmeshed the classical Arabic poetic stream in discourses of communal identity, national memory and so on.
  • Co-editing with Jonathan Shannon a forthcoming anthology entitled Echoes of al-Andalus, featuring a range of scholarship on the Andalusian music traditions of the Mediterranean region..

Dr. Davila 2


Last Updated 9/3/14


History major Gabrielle Brannigan received a scholarship to enter the MA program in Social Studies and Special Education at the University of Rochester's Warner School of Education.

Dr. Takashi Nishiyama has published a book, Engineering War and Peace in Modern Japan, 1868-1964 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014).

Dr. Takashi Nishiyama was interviewed by Mainichi, a major national newspaper in Japan, for the Oct. 3, 2014, issue.

The department hosted an NEH Workshop, Rochester Reform Trail, for K-12 teachers in July 2014.

History major Amy Freeman has published an article on the Eastman Dental Dispensary in the Democrat and Chronicle.

Dr. Takashi Nishiyama was interviewed by Yomuiri, a major national newspaper in Japan.

Dr. Ken O'Brien has been named a SUNY Provost Fellow for the 2013-2014 year.

Dr. Bruce Leslie has been named a SUNY Distinguished Service Professor.


The Malik Lecture will be held on Thursday, February 12, 2015, at 7 pm at the Tower Fine Arts Center Mainstage.

The Robert Marcus Lecture will be held on Wednesday, April 15, 2015, at 7:30 pm in the lecture hall (room 104) of the Liberal Arts Building.