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CSI'S Monday Majlis: Dwight Reynolds

Behind Enemy Lines: Muslim and Jewish Musicians in post-Reconquista Christian Lands

The CSI Monday Majlis is a Monday evening, online event, where invited speakers present on aspects of their current research.

Event details


As Christian forces conquered more and more Muslim-ruled territories in the 13th to 16th centuries, some aspects of Arab and Jewish culture were appropriated and others violently eradicated. One surprising element in this maelstrom of cultural exchanges and transformations is the continued presence of Muslim and Jewish musicians in Christian courts, as municipally hired performers, in Christian festivals and processions, and in the Iberian countryside. This talk surveys what we know about the lives of these musicians who lived and performed “behind enemy lines,” and asks what their lives can tell us about music in medieval and early modern Iberia as a whole.


Dwight F. Reynolds is Distinguished Professor of Arabic language and literature at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he has taught since 1991. He has authored, co-authored, and edited books on the Arabic oral epic tradition of Sīrat Banī Hilāl, pre-modern Arabic autobiography, folklore of the Arab World, musics of the Middle East, popular literature in the late medieval/early modern period, and, most recently, the history of Andalusian music and medieval Arab music and musicians. His book, The Musical Heritage of al-Andalus (Routledge/Taylor&Francis, 2021) received both the 2022 Premio del Rey prize for early Spanish history from the American Historical Association and the 2022 Early Music prize from the American Musicological Society.


In the spirit of the label ‘Majlis’ and also to make the talks even more interesting, we are experimenting with a new format presenting the topic discussed by our speaker as embedded in their own research journey. Please come and enjoy the talks and the discussions. If you’d like to be included in the CSI (Centre for the Study of Islam (Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter) mailing list, please contact the CSI Manager: Sarah Wood (

We’ll be happy to welcome you!

Istvan T Kristó-Nagy

We’d like to invite you to the next online Monday Majlis of the Centre for the Study of Islam, Exeter:

Monday the 6th of March, 17:00-18:30 (UK time)

Dwight F. Reynolds, Behind Enemy Lines: Muslim and Jewish Musicians in post-Reconquista Christian Lands.

Monday Majlis

Registration is required.
Register please on this link: