About Paul Love.
I’m a historian of northern Africa with an interest in book history, manuscript studies, codicology, libraries, and intellectual networks. My research focuses on the history and manuscript traditions of Ibadi Muslim communities in northern Africa. I hold the post of Associate Professor of North African, Middle Eastern, and Islamic History at Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane (AUI), Morocco.
Research & Publications.
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 Maghrib (11th-16th c.) and its role in the construction and maintenance of an Ibadi community in the region.
In 2021, I co-edited a special issue of the Journal of Islamic Manuscripts on “Ibadi Manuscripts and Manuscript Cultures”, the contents of which can be viewed here.
I have also published articles in the Journal of African History, History Compass, Manuscript Studies, Journal of Islamic Manuscripts, Revista al-Qantara, and the Journal of North African Studies. Many of my publications are available for download on Zenodo.org or on my Research Gate page.
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 networks of private libraries on the island of Jerba (Tunisia) as part of “EAP1216 The Jerba Libraries Project,” a digitisation and conservation project supported by the British Library’s Endangered Archives Programme.
Finally, I have a growing research 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.