Keynote Speakers

Conference Salon, Chellah Hotel, 2007

Dr Dwight Reynolds, Senior Professor of Religious Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA. From 1991-2001 Dr Reynolds presented over 60 concerts with the UCSB Middle Ensemble including performances in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, at the International Sharq Taronalari (Songs of the East) music festival, August 22-September 3, 1999, and multiple performances in Berkeley, Los Angeles, Pasadena, Mendicino, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Tucson (AZ), and Washington DC. He is author of Arab Folklore: A Handbook (2008), section editor for The Cambridge History of Arabic Literature: the Post-Classical Period; co-editor of The Garland Encyclopedia of World Music, Volume 6: The Middle East; editor and co-author of Interpreting the Self: Autobiography in the Arabic Literary Tradition (2001); and author of Heroic Poets, Poetic Heroes: The Ethnography of Performance in an Arabic Oral Epic Tradition (1995).

"Back and Forth across the Straits: the Early Formation of Andalusian Music"

This presentation offers new insights into the early formation of Andalusian music by tracing the trajectories of musicians and musical instruments back and forth across the Straits of Gibraltar drawing on evidence from medieval Arabic texts and a variety of iconographic sources. The image that emerges from careful study of the early centuries is of a vibrant musical culture exposed to influences from many different directions which valued innovation and experimentation. In addition, the sources demonstrate the close affinity between the music of al-Andalus and North Africa for many centuries, but also confirm that these regions had developed distinct styles by the late Middle Ages.

Dr Mohamed Laamiri, Associate professor at the Institut des Etudes Africaines, Rabat. His research has been focused on British writings on Morocco with a special interest in travel writings and captivity tales dealing with North Africa. He has published many articles in English, French and Arabic mostly dealing with the image of Morocco and North Africa in British Writings. He is co-editor (with Sara Mills) of a special issue on Morocco in the electronic journal Working Papers on The Web at Sheffield Hallam. Currently he is working on a book on Morocco in British Writings and on a project on North African literature in English. Proposed paper “Tangier’s City-Space between Colonial History and Tourist Geography.”

Mr Jonathan Curiel, staff writer with the San Francisco Chronicle (CA) USA. He is author of the forthcoming Al' America: The Islamic and Arab Roots of American Culture (The New Press). He has researched Islamic culture as a Reuters Foundation Fellow at Oxford University, and has taught journalism as a Fulbright Scholar at Punjab University in Lahore, Pakistan. As a journalist, he has reported stories from Iran, Pakistan, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Mali. His body of stories on Arabs and Muslims has been honored by Columbia University. Proposed paper: "The Hidden Roots of American Culture: Arab-Islamic Contributions to Blues Music and Beyond".

Dr Deborah Kapchan, Associate Professor of Performance Studies at New York University, USA. She writes on Moroccan art and performance and is the author of Gender on the Market: Moroccan Women and the Revoicing of Tradition (1996) as well as Traveling Spirit Masters: Moroccan Trance Music in the Global Marketplace (2007). Her third book, Poetic Justice: Translating Art and Ideology in Morocco (Contracted with University of Texas Press) is in progress. She has been a Guggenheim Fellow, a Fulbright-Hays recipient, as well as a grantee of the American Institute of Maghreb Studies and the Social Science Research Council. Recent articles include: “Talking Trash: Creating Home and Anti-Home in Austin’s Salsa Culture” in American Ethnologist (2006), “A Colonial Relation not my Own: Coming Home to Morocco and France,” in Ethnologia Europaea (2007) and “Nostalgia in Contemporary Moroccan Poetry” in Arte East (2007). Her article “Performing the Festive Sacred in Morocco: Sufi Tourism and The Promise of Sonic Translation” is currently under review with American Anthropologist. Proposed paper: "The Ancestors of Tangier: Abdellah El Gourd, Randy Weston and Trans-Atlantic Narratives of Diaspora".

Dr. Andrew Hussey, cultural historian and biographer, born in Liverpool, UK. He was a Senior Lecturer in French at the University of Wales Aberystwyth and since 2006 he has been the Head of French and Comparative Studies at University of London Institute in Paris. He has written on French social and political movements, particularly the infamous May 1968 riots in France, and the Situationists, headed by Guy Debord and Raoul Vaneigem. He also regularly contributes to The Observer newspaper. More recently he provided the foreword to How to Enjoy Paris in 1842 (2007), written by Francis HervĂ©. Among his Publications The Inner Scar: The Mysticism Of Georges Bataille (2000); The Game Of War: The Life And Death Of Guy Debord (2001); The Beast At Heaven’s Gate: Georges Bataille And The Art Of Transgression (2006); Paris: The Secret History (2006). Proposed paper: "Paris is About the Last Place: William Burroughs in and out of Tangier".

Dr Allen Hibbard, Professor of English and Director of Middle East Center, Middle Tennessee State University, USA. He is author of Paul Bowles: A Study of the Short Fiction (1993) and Paul Bowles Magic & Morocco (2004) in addition to numerous articles on Jane and Paul Bowles, William S. Burroughs, and Alfred Chester; editor, Conversations with William Burroughs (2000).

Dr Regina Weinreich, Professor of Humanities & Sciences at The School of Visual Arts in New York, USA. She is co-producer/ director of the award-winning documentary Paul Bowles: the Complete Outsider and a writer on The Beat Generation: an American Dream. The author of the critical study, Kerouac's Spontaneous Poetics, she edited and compiled Kerouac's Book of Haikus. A leading scholar of the Beat Generation, she has contributed to numerous essay collections and literary journals including The Paris Review and Five Points. As a journalist, her work has appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Village Voice, Boston Globe, San Francisco Chronicle, Talk Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, American Book Review, Hamptons Magazine, the Forward, the East Hampton Star, among others.

For more information about Dr Weinreich's participation and the
screening of her documentary film, “Paul Bowles: The Complete Outsider”, click here

Dr Susan Gilson Miller, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at Harvard University, where she teaches courses on Moroccan and North African history. She is also Director of the Moroccan Studies Program at Harvard. She writes about Mediterranean cities and is especially interested in their former Jewish quarters. Her most recent book is "The Architecture and Memory of the Minority Quarter in the Muslim Mediterranean City", co-edited with Mauro Bertagnin, Harvard University Press, 2008. Her current project is a general history of Morocco from the urban historical perspective. Proposed paper: "Staging Tangier: Architecture, History, and Memory."

- listed in order of appearance -

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