The Lyrical Archive of al-Andalus | Anna Cruz

E338 | The history of al-Andalus has a special place in Arabic poetry -- as well as in American hiphop. al-Andalus, a name for the Iberian peninsula when under the political rule of Muslim dynasties, has remained a symbol of loss, exile and memory, centuries after the last Muslim king lost power. In this episode, Anna Cruz explores this phenomenon through Arabic poetry by Abd al-Wahhab al-Bayati and Mahmoud Darwish, speeches by Malcolm X and the music of Ras Kass. We discuss the way this history of al-Andalus is shaped through retelling by these twentieth century writers and artists. Anna also considers what it would mean to create an archive of al-Andalus that included these multiple ways of understanding its history. More at Anna C. Cruz is Faculty of Arabic and Spanish at Choate Rosemary Hall. She received her PhD in Near Eastern Studies from the University of California, Berkeley in 2016 and most recently completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center for the Humanities at Tufts University. She is currently at work on a publication tentatively titled “The Moor: Reinventing the History of Islamic Spain through Arabic Poetry and Hip Hop.” Shireen Hamza is a doctoral student in the History of Science department at Harvard University. Her research focuses broadly on the history of science and medicine in the Islamicate Middle Ages, especially in the Indian Ocean World. CREDITS Episode No. 339 Release Date: 27 November 2017 Audio editing by Shireen Hamza Music: Nature of the Threat - Ras Kass Special thanks to Ras Kass for the use of this song. Images and bibliography courtesy of Anna Cruz available at

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