Michael A. Toler has been the Archnet Content Manager since September 2012. He also served as Interim Program Head of the Aga Khan Documentation Center at MIT (AKDC@MIT) from July 2018 to April 2020.
Michael has been involved in the digital humanities since the mid-1990s. From 2001-2010 he served as the Program Director for the Al Musharaka Initiative of the National Institute for Technology and Liberal Education. Michael was responsible for the 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 has contributed more than 3,500 images to Archnet, and creates most of the help videos and user guides. He is particularly proud of collaborations with the Tangier American Legation Institute for Moroccan Studies (TALIM) and other institutions, including Wellesley College and the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress to bring online the glass negatives from TALIM's collection showing Tangier, Morocco, Algeria, Spain, and Frace in the period from roughly 1890 to 1930, and the nearly 70 hours of Moroccan music recorded in 1959 by Paul Bowles.
Michael received a Ph.D. 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 Secretary of the Tangier American Legation Institute for Moroccan Studies (TALIM), and serves on the board or advisory groups of numerous academic societies and cultural institutions.
Brodeur, Jason, Morgan Daniels, Annie Johnson, Natsuko Nicholls, Sarah Pickle, and Elizabeth A. Waraksa A. Waraksa. National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education: An Assessment. CLIR Report. Council on Library & Information Resources, November 2016.
Davis, D.A. "Milennial Teaching". Academe, (2003) v. 89, 1, pp. 19-22.
Millichap, N. & Toler, M. (2005). Online Resource Creation Catalyzes Collaboration. Educause Quarterly, 28(4), 57-59. https://er.educause.edu/~/media/files/articles/2005/10/eqm0549.pdf?la=en. Retrieved March 5, 2021.
Toler, Michael A. 2005. “Extending the Campus: Al-Musharaka and Technology-Assisted Collaboration.” Middle East Studies Association Bulletin 39 (2). Cambridge University Press: 169–74. doi:10.1017/S0026318400048100.
"In these numbers the complement of performers had swelled to twenty-eight, and was inclined to split into two separate groups, both singing the same music and doing the same dance. Inasmuch as two groups make for confusion, particularly in the dark and with a crowd of several hundred men and boys pressing in (no women were present) I attempted to keep them together, but it was impossible. (I might add that at ten o’clock at night the temperature was still 108 degrees in front of the entrance to the borj.) Here the instruments are the same as in reel 9B, with the addition of tismamain, a set of three small brass finger-cymbals.”
Bowles, Paul F. "Tafraout." in Folk, Popular, and Art Music of Morocco. The Paul Bowles Moroccan Music Collection. Washington, DC: American Folklife Center, Library of Congress, 1959-1962.
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.