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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


  • Arab History, Classical Islam, Arabic Language and Culture


  • 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 

  • The Ancient World
  • Research Methods in History
  • Medieval Islamic Civilization
  • Anthropology of Islam
  • Gender in the Islamic World
  • Jihad
  • Sufism
  • Qur'an
  • Graduate Topics in World History:
    " From Battle-days to Days of Faith": Topics in Arab-Islamic History
  • Al-Andalus: History and Legacy
  • Arabic Literature in History
  • Middle East/North Africa Regional Seminar
  • Orientalism
  • Women in the Mediterranean World
  • Study-Tour of Islamic Spain and Morocco


  • Al-Āla: History, Society and Text.  Forthcoming from Reichert Verlag, Wiesbaden.
  • Elite Music and Dance," in Mapping the Medieval Mediterranean, ca. 300-1550: An Encyclopedia of Perspectives in Research, Amity Nichols Law, volume editor.  Forthcoming from E.J. Brill, Leiden.
  • "Teaching Said: Culture Discourse Meets Culture Critique," in Counterpoints: Edward Said's Legacy, May Telmissany and Stephanie Tara Schwartz, editors.  Newcastle Upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2010.
  • "Fixing a Misbegotten Biography: Ziryab in the Mediterranean World." Al-Masâq: Islam and the Medieval Mediterranean, 12 (ii) 2009.
  • Review: Varieties of Muslim Experience: Encounters with Arab Political and Cultural Life, by Lawrence RosenAnthropological Quarterly, 82 (1) 2009.
  • "Kun shafî'î: The Value of Orality and Literacy in the Moroccan Âla" in Echoes of al-Andalus, Carl Davila and Jonathan Shannon, eds. (forthcoming)
  • "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
  • "Ila l-muhibbati l-azima...": The Performance of Authority in Nineteenth-Century Alawi Official Correspondence," JAGMES. (in press)
  • "Sunset in the Gardens of al-Andalus" (poetry from the Moroccan Andalusian Music in translation) Palimpsest, April 2005.
  • "Sunset in the Gardens of al-Andalus," Nebulua 2.1 Online Journal, March 2005 (

 Conferences and Presentation

  • "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.
  • "Woman, Song and Freedom: The Bifurcations of Gender Ideology in 9th-Century Cordoba" paper presented at the Middle East Studies Association annual meeting, Washington, D.C., December, 2011.
  • "'They called her the imâm': 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-dâratin 'alâ t-tamâm : The Facets of al-madîh an-nabawî in Nûbat Ramal al-Mâya" lecture given at the Yale Arabic Colloquium, December, 2010.
  • Knowledge is the Beginning: Daniel Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra film and panel discussion presented at the College at Brockport, April, 2009.
  • "The Palestine Question" lecture given at the Oak Orchard Speaker Series, Holley, NY, October, 2009.
  • "Is 'Islamic Feminism' Necessary?  A Case in Point" presented at the Seneca Falls Dialogues: "Multidisciplinary Perspectives on Women's Leadership/Activism: Past, Present, and Future", Seneca Falls, NY, October, 2008.
  • 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.
  • "'Islamofascism?' Engineered Discourses on Islam" Presidential Fellows Lecture given at the College at Brockport, November, 2006.
  • "Teaching Said: Culture Discourse Meets Culture Critique" presented at the Counterpoints Conference on the Legacy of Edward Said, University of Ottawa, October, 2008."Text and Performed Text: Linguistic Registers in the Moroccan Âla," presented at the Middle East Studies Association annual conference in Boston, MA, November 2006.  
  • "Fixing a Misbegotten Biography: Ziryâb in the Mediterranean World," presented at the International Medieval Conference, University of Leeds, UK, July 2006.
  • "Kun shafi`i: Orality and Literacy in the Moroccan Ala," 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 Ala," 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

  • A paper illustrating that performance and literary context play a key role in allowing certain song texts in Ramal al-Māya to be understood as al-madīḥ al-nabawī, even though their images derive from secular ghazal poetry and sometimes attribute contrary qualities to the Prophet Muḥammad. 
  • A paper that traces the real and imaginary trajectories of motifs and images derived from ghazal poems in Ramal al-Māya in order to demonstrate that the modern Moroccan Andalusian music tradition exemplifies the migration of literary-cultural artifacts across the Mediterranean Islamic world and in particular, between medieval Iberia and modern North Africa, driven as much by cultural-historical values as by literary content as such.
  • Co-editing with Jonathan Shannon a forthcoming anthology entitled Echoes of al-Andalus, featuring new scholarship on the Andalusian music traditions of the Mediterranean.

Dr. Davila 2


Last Updated 7/31/14


Department hosts NEH Workshop, Rochester Reform Trail, for K-12 teachers in July 2014

History major Amy Freeman publishes article on Eastman Dental Dispensary in the D&C

Dr. Takashi Nishiyama interviewed by Yomuiri, Japan's major national newspaper.

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

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




The Robert Marcus lecture will be on Thursday, March 6, at 7:30 pm in the New York Room in Cooper Hall.