[P6501] Communal Boundaries and Networks of Learning and Communication in the Pre-Modern Maghrib

Created by Camilo Gómez-Rivas
Thursday, 12/02/21 11:30 am


Our panel has two principal themes of inquiry and spans the tenth to the eighteenth century Maghrib. The first focuses on the nature of inter-religious and inter-regime relations at different historical junctures, and in different social and political contexts, to shine a light on the nature of relations often seen as precluded or overdetermined by religious ideology. One paper analyzes the nature of negotiations between sovereigns in the Almoravid era and the role of the religious establishment in modulating these. Another examines the nature of local relations and the associated informal arrangements along the border areas of early modern Spanish and Portuguese presidios. A third paper examines the accounts of Husaynid chroniclers and European diplomats and the relationships they forged in Ottoman Tunis, paying special attention to how they conceived of these “friendships” in relation to the early modern state.

The second theme is closely related: It focuses on the networks of learning and communication, which could both serve as basis and be a product of the relationships described above. Two papers examine such networks from different angles: One investigates the survival, memory, and transmission a of a key text of the principal learning establishment of Maghrib (Saḥnūn’s Mudawwana in Fatimid Qayrawan). And the other analyses the constitution of a Sufi zāwiya in northern rural Morocco, paying special attention to the network in which this religious learning center operated, as an autonomous and highly influential long-range institutional web.

Our panel, with its long historical span and multiple perspectives promises to illuminate richly the interaction of these two intertwined aspects of medieval and early modern Maghribi society: The dynamics that regulated the interaction of social groups and the networks of communication upon which these groups consolidated themselves and established ongoing relationships with other groups. The juxtaposition of these related aspects will help formulate a way of conceiving actors and social groups whose identities are fluid and dependent upon the dynamic movement, purveyance, and generation of information through learning and communication.


Hist; Hist; Hist; Hist; Hist; Hist; Hist




Camilo Gómez-Rivas

(University of California, Santa Cruz)
Panel Participating Role(s): Organizer; Presenter;

Caitlyn Olson

(NYU Abu Dhabi)
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;

Tomoaki Shinoda

(Tokyo University of Foreign Studies)
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;

Aslisho Qurboniev

(ISMC Aga Khan University)
I specialise in medieval Islamicate history with a focus on the Fatimid period. Geographically my interested is very broad, particularly strong interested the Maghrib and Khurasan (and Transoxiana). While I have had a very traditional Islamic Studies...
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;

Catey Boyle

(Harvard University)
I am a Ph.D. candidate in the History Department with a secondary field in the studies of Women, Gender, and Sexuality. As a social and cultural historian of North Africa and the French Empire, I study transregional slave trades in Tunis in the 18th and...
Panel Participating Role(s): Presenter;