Michael A. Toler has been the Archnet Content Manager since September 2012. Since July 2018 he has been Interim Program Head of the Aga Khan Documentation Center at MIT (AKDC@MIT). Prior to that he served as the program Director for the Al Musharaka Initiative of the National Institute for Technology and Liberal Education. Michael was responsible for development of content for the Arab Culture and Civilization Online Resource, and for coordinating inter-institutional, collaborative endeavors of faculty, librarians, and technologists using technology to enhance teaching and research on topics relating to Islam, the Middle East, and North Africa.
Michael received a PhD in Comparative Literature with a Certificate in Translation Studies from Binghamton University (SUNY), after teaching in Morocco at L'Ecole Supérieure Roi Fahd de Traduction and Al Akhawayn University in Morocco. He also holds an MA and BA in English from New York University and Virginia Commonwealth University, respectively. He has published and lectured extensively on digital pedagogy and scholarship, as well as the literature, history, cinema, music, and cyberspace of the Maghreb, and the Middle East more widely. Michael is Board Member and Secretary of the Tangier American Legation Institute for Moroccan Studies.
"Hamadi ben Boyout was obviously not of the same racial antecedents as all but one of the girls; he was a Negro, while they were of Arab and Arabo-Be rber extraction. Souqaina; whose drumming can be heard on Reel 7B, turned out to be better as a dancer than as a drummer. The woman named Mahjouba (these names the women use are not necessarily their true names; as "artistes" they have the right to pseudonyms) ) was the racial exception; she too was of Negro extraction. Her sung duet with ben Boyout in number 1 on this reel is proof that they shared the same vocal tradition. Unhappily she refused to remove the voluminous veils which covered her mouth and most of her face, so that it was difficult to catch her singing, and she did not like the idea of having the microphone held in front of her. The drum used by ben Boyout was unique in my experienqe. Shaped like a cooking pot, it measured about thirty inches in diameter and stood a foot high, with brilliantly colored designs painted on the membrane. Its volume was excessive for indoor use, and for this reason in the recordings its sound somewhat covers the voices and hand-clapping. I think this defect could have been obviated partially, had we been able to have the performers out-of-doors, but this did not appear to be possible. And it might have been just as overpowering outside as it was in." Source:
The Paul Bowles Moroccan Music Collection (AFC 1960/001), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., Courtesy of the Paul Bowles Estate and Irene Hermann / Tangier American Legation Institute for Moroccan Studies