Professor Darién J. Davis teaches courses in Latin American cultural and social history, and on diaspora and immigration. His major areas of research are Brazilian social and cultural history, African and Latino' diasporas in the Atlantic world and transnational cultural formation and resistance. He is the author of numerous articles on human rights, patriotism, immigration, and transnationalism. His latest book manuscript is entitled White Face, Black Mask: Africaneity and the Early Social History of Brazilian Popular Music (2009).
He is also the editor of three scholarly volumes dedicated to Diaspora studies: Slavery and Beyond: The African Impact on Latin America and the Caribbean (1995), Beyond Slavery: The Multi-faceted Legacy of Africans in Latin America and the Caribbean (2006), Companion to US Latino Literatures (2007). He is currently working on a manuscript on Jewish refugees to Brazil during World War II.
Courses offered in the past four years.
▲ indicates offered in the current term
▹ indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]
FYSE 1444 - Writing Immigrant Lives ▹
Writing Immigrant Lives
In this seminar we will study, analyze, and write immigrant stories and histories from Latin America and the colonial and post-colonial Caribbean. How do we write the history of a family member, living or deceased? How is history different from biography? We will analyze diverse written, oral, and visual texts about transnational experiences including works by Julia Alvarez, Derek Walcott, Tânia Cypriano, Edwidge Danticat, Richard Rodriguez, Ruben Blades, and others. Ultimately, with the aid of primary sources, oral history, genealogy, law enforcement records, as well as other, less conventional resources, we will reconstruct and write the transnational lives of immigrants in our families and communities. 3 hrs. sem. AAL CW HIS
HIST 0106 - Colonial Latin America
Colonial Latin America
In this course we will examine the formation of Latin American societies from 1492 to 1800, with emphasis on the contact of indigenous, European, and African civilizations; the conditions that facilitated European conquest; life in the colonial societies; and the political, economic, and philosophical changes that led to the independence movements of the 19th century. Pre-1800. 2 hrs. lect./1 hr. disc. (formerly HIST 0285) AAL HIS SOC
Fall 2011, Fall 2013
HIST 0107 - Modern Latin America
Modern Latin America
This survey course will trace the philosophical, economic, political, and cultural developments of Latin America from independence to the present day. Particular emphasis will be placed on the formation of nation-states; issues of development, including agricultural production and industrialization; national and cultural symbols; and social relations within Latin American societies. The aim of the course is to provide a broad background of major themes and issues in Latin American societies which include Mexico, Central America, and South America. 2 hrs. lect./1 hr. disc. (formerly HIST 0286) AAL HIS SOC
Spring 2012, Spring 2014
HIST 0287 - Modern Caribbean
In this course we will study the modern history of the Caribbean focusing on Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Haiti and Jamaica from 1789 to the present day. We will pay close attention to the independence movement, abolition, construction of national cultures, and the impact of Europeans and Africans and other civilizations on each nation, as well as to the connections among these major islands in the 19th and 20th century and to the other islands and mainland nations. We will discuss diverse revolutionary political and cultural movements, issues of poverty and development, and issues of migration. AAL HIS
Spring 2011, Spring 2013
HIST 0288 - Modern Brazil
Brazil is the Portuguese-speaking power of Latin America. In this course we will study the history of modern Brazil from independence to the present day, and discuss the contemporary developments that have transformed Brazil into an international force today. We will pay close attention to the construction of national institutions and culture in the 19th and 20th centuries. We will examine the major political, economic, and cultural movements that defined Brazilian history during the empire, the first republic, the Vargas era, and the military dictatorship. We will conclude with a look at Brazil's representative democracy from the 1980s to the present. (formerly HIST 0211) 3 hr. lect. AAL HIS
Fall 2012, Fall 2013
HIST 0300 - African Diasporas ▹
African Diasporas in the Modern World
In this course we will study the diversities and commonalities of African diaspora communities from a global perspective using prisms of nationhood, gender, and color throughout the Americas and Western Europe. With the help of diverse texts in multiple languages, we will study four themes: the invisibility/visibility of “black-ness” in the formulation of nationhood; cultural production [particularly music], resistance and accommodation in places as diverse as Paris and Lima; relationships to police, authority, and the justice system through court cases in places such as New York and Rio de Janeiro; and challenges of transnational movements from pan-Africanism to U.N. conferences against racism. Students will consult and compare texts in multiple languages and IGS majors will be encouraged to write one of the papers in Spanish, French or Portuguese and focus on comparisons using sources in one these languages. 3 hrs. lect. AAL CMP HIS SOC
HIST 0322 - History of Latinos in the U.S.
History of Latinos in the United States
In this course we will explore the historical experiences of the peoples from Latin America in the United States. We will trace these experiences from their roots prior to the 19th century through to the present. Within this population, we will consider the diversity of experiences along religious, ethnic, and racial lines. We will study the political, economic, social, and cultural impact of both large communities of Mexican, Cuban, and Puerto Rican immigrants and smaller communities of Dominican and Brazilian immigrants. We will also compare the experiences of other minority groups in the Unites States, such as African Americans, and with similar groups in Europe. AAL CMP HIS
HIST 0427 - Diaspora & Trans-nationalism
Diaspora and Trans-nationalism
In this course we will explore the global flow of people across national boundaries in the modern era. During the first part of the course we will examine the major theoretical frameworks of transnational migration and diasporas by reading the works of writers such as Hannah Arendt, Edward Said, and W. E. B. Dubois. We will focus on the social and cultural processes that pose challenges to the traditional hegemony of the nation-state, and examine the political and economic relations of diaspora communities to homeland. In the second half of the course we will study how organic intellectuals, performers, and other artists from all across the Atlantic world agitated to transform the social dynamics within the political, linguistic, and geographical boundaries of their new home while re-imagining new relations with the place they once called home. Students will choose a research topic on a diaspora community of their interest and be required to make direct contact with the communities we study. 3 hrs. sem. (formerly HIST 0413) AAL CMP HIS
Fall 2011, Spring 2014
HIST 0428 - Blame it On Bossa Nova
Blame It On Bossa Nova: The History of a Transnational Phenomenon
What is bossa nova and what impact did it have on the world? In this course we will examine the history of this complex international phenomenon and its connection to social and political trends of the 1950s and 1960s. We will study the national and transnational impact of bossa nova and the post-World War II development of the bossa nova aesthetic and ethos in Latin America, Europe (particularly France), and the United States. Our study of bossa nova will also help us discuss broader philosophical questions such as how we define who owns a cultural product, why we consume cultural products from abroad, and whether we can truly understand other cultures in translation? CMP HIS
HIST 0429 / PGSE 0429 - Gandhi
This course will focus on the works and actions of Mahatma Gandhi. At one level, the readings will provide an introduction to the philosophy and life of one of the most significant, influential, and well-known figures of the 20th century. At another level, the course will discuss in detail the major themes and occurrences in modern Indian history, tracing the rise and ultimate victory of the Indian nationalist movement. The class will read a variety of texts, including books written by Gandhi, tracts published by his political and religious opponents, social commentaries, contemporary novels, and engaging histories. (formerly HIST 0414)3 hrs. sem AAL HIS
HIST 0500 - Special Research Projects ▹
Special research projects during the junior year may be used to fulfill the research seminar requirements in some cases. Approval of department chair and project advisor is required.
Spring 2011, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2015
HIST 0700 - Senior Independent Study ▹
The History Senior Thesis is required of all majors. It is written over two terms, with the final grade applying to both terms. The project is generally begun in the fall and completed during winter or spring. Approval is required to begin the thesis in winter or spring, and such students must still attend the Thesis Writer's Workshops that take place in fall and winter.
Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2015
INTD 0500 - Independent Study
INTL 0703 - LAS Senior Thesis
Latin American Studies Senior Thesis