About Paul Love.
I’m a historian of northern Africa with an interest in book history, manuscript studies, codicology, libraries, and intellectual networks. My past research has focused on the history of medieval (8th-15th c.) Ibadi Muslim communities in northern Africa. I hold the post of Assistant Professor of North African, Middle Eastern, and Islamic History at Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane (AUI), Morocco. For a full CV and list of publications, see my Academia.edu page.
My first book, entitled Ibadi Muslims of North Africa Manuscripts, Mobilization, and the Making of a Written Tradition (Cambridge University Press, 2018), is a history of the Ibadi prosopographical tradition in the medieval Maghrib (11th-16th c.) and its role in the construction and maintenance of an Ibadi community in the region.
My next book project looks at the history of the Ibadi community in the post-formative period, centered on early-modern and modern (17th-20th c.) Cairo. The study is a social history of an Ibadi trade agency, school, and library called the “Buffalo Agency” (Wikālat al-jāmūs).
I’m also currently doing work on the history of Ibadi and other Arabic manuscript collections both in northern Africa and Europe. I have a few different projects on the history of specific collections including Ibadi manuscripts in Naples (Italy), networks of private libraries on the island of Jerba (Tunisia), and the history of the Jaʿayyiṭ family library in Tunis (Tunisia). Finally, I have a growing interest in colonial knowledge production on the history of Islam in the Maghrib and its intersections with the formation and use of Arabic manuscript collections in Europe.
Teaching & Advising Interests.
Whether as a primary adviser for MA graduate students in our Master of Arts in North African and Middle Eastern Studies (NAMES) here at Al Akhawayn University or as an external examiner, I’m interested in working with graduate students who have or would like to develop projects on pre-modern Northern African or Saharan history, Ibadi studies, Arabic manuscript studies, colonial history in the Maghrib, or Muslim intellectual traditions in northern Africa.