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.
"We had been promised a six-hour session, but when evening came the Maalem informed me that he would have to leave with his troop earlier than we had agreed, in order to go some 40 miles away to play all night at a wedding, so after some for and a half hours we broke it up. "El Haït” was his attempt to create a feeling of finality.
Number three was a great success with the crowd when I played it back, mainly because any present had heard the Maalem perform the identical piece at the moussem (annual pilgrimage) of Moulay Abdeslam, the most popular local saint. The people travel for days on donkeys and on foot to the top of a high mountain where them moussem is held. There they spread tents (some 50,000 of them) and remain for a week or so, enjoying themselves vastly, and only incidentally observing religious prescriptions as a kind of social obligation. Moulay Abdeslam is the most important moussem in northern Morocco."
Bowles, Paul F. "Arcila." from 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