Profile of <span>Darien Davis</span>
Office
Axinn Center 335
Tel
(802) 443-3167
Email
davis@middlebury.edu
Office Hours
On leave Spring 2022

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 Taught

Course Description

Introduction to Black Epistemologies
In this class we will explore the rich traditions of black thought and aesthetics in the post-colonial Atlantic world. Using Stuart Hall’s views on diaspora, we will survey various black ontologies from the Haitian Revolution to Black Lives Matter, from jazz and candomblé to junkanoo. We will study different strategies that African descendants such as Claude McKay, Arturo Schomburg, Zora Neal Hurston, Abdias do Nascimento, and Manuel Mendive utilized to document black struggle, solidarity, justice and beauty. Steve McQueen, Francoise Ega, Sidney Poitier, Audre Lorde, Maryse Condé and Solange will provide insights on black emancipation and joy. We will necessarily consider the tensions between creolization and decolonization to gain an appreciation of embodied black knowledge sui generis.

Terms Taught

Fall 2022

Requirements

AMR, CW, HIS

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Course Description

Themes in the Atlantic World, 1492-1900
Linking the Americas with Europe and Africa, the Atlantic has been a major conduit for the movement of peoples, ideas, technology, foods, and customs. This course will explore four themes from the rise of European imperialism and African Slavery to the dawn of national consciousness and minority rights across the Americas. We will study four major themes: (1). Comparative European Colonization and the First Peoples; 2) Comparative Slavery and the Black Experience (3) Decolonization, National Consciousness, and Ideas of Freedom; and (4) Pseudoscience, Migrations and Creolization. We will draw on primary and secondary sources from the Anglophone, Francophone, Lusophone, and Hispanophone worlds to give us a broad comparative perspective. Pre-1800. 2hr/disc. with periodic film screenings.

Terms Taught

Fall 2022

Requirements

CMP, HIS, SOC

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Course Description

Diasporas in History
Disruptions, disasters, and dreams have led to migrations and diasporas for millennia. In this course we explore the global flow of people across political boundaries throughout history. We will use specific case studies from (but not limited to) the African, Jewish, Latin American, and Asian diasporas to challenge the idea of the unified nation-state, meanings of race and assimilation, and ideas of belonging to more than one place. We will analyze how nationalists divide “natives” and “migrants” and utilize Adichie’s idea of “the danger of the single story” to study intersectional alliances within and across diaspora groups. 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.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018

Requirements

CMP, HIS, SOC

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Course Description

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. The class will pay close attention to the construction of national institutions, racial and national ideologies, and the celebration of national culture. We will also study Brazil’s impact on the world, from its export of cultural products in cinema, music, and literature in translation, to soccer. It will be important to study the communities of Brazilians in diverse places such as Miami, New York, London, and Paris. We will utilize various writing, oral, and digital methods to examine the major political, economic, and cultural movements that defined Brazilian history from the creation of the empire in the 1820s to the political and cultural tensions of the current regime 3 hr. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2020

Requirements

AAL, AMR, HIS

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Course Description

History of Cuba and Puerto Rico: 1868-Present
The year 1868 marked the start of the independence movement of Cuba and Puerto Rico. By the beginning of the twentieth century Cuba had secured independence while Puerto Rico had become an American colony. In this class we will examine the similarities and differences in the political, socioeconomic, and cultural development of these two island nations from the founding of the independence movement to hurricane Maria. We will pay attention to the development of the concept of nationhood, the role of intellectuals and artists in creating community, and how each nation navigated its relationship to the US government, its migrant communities, and other Caribbean states. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2019

Requirements

AAL, AMR, HIS, SOC

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Course Description

Latin America in the 1960s: A Digital History Course
Latin America was at the center of the Cold War in the 1960s. U.S. intervention and military repression contrasted with Marxist and other utopian visions for peace and social justice. This seminar will explore these tensions by examining critical political, economic, and cultural watersheds of the era. We will study the influence of personalities such as Franz Fanon, Che Guevara, Elena Poniatowska and movements that challenged the status quo of the post World War II era. We will explore the tensions between nationalism and transnationalism, as well as the dissonance between class and racial utopian ideals and migration and exile. The class will work on digital projects and exercises that allow us to recreate the past and analyze specific case studies. We will immerse ourselves in the new revolutionary and the countercultural aesthetics in art, film, and music in movements such as tropicália, black consciousness, and liberation theology. We will also uncover the links with the historical dynamics in the United States and Europe. 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2019

Requirements

AAL, AMR, CMP, HIS, SOC

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Course Description

Special research projects may only be taken during the Junior or Senior year, preferable after taking HIST 0600. Approval of department chair and project advisor is required.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Spring 2023

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Course Description

Senior Independent Study I
The optional History Senior Thesis is written over two terms, with the final grade applying to both terms. Approval is required. Students submit thesis proposals in the spring before the year that they choose to write their thesis. Students generally begin their thesis in the fall and complete it during winter or spring. Approval is required to begin the thesis in winter or spring. All students must attend the Thesis Writer's Workshops in fall and winter semesters and work with a faculty advisor to complete a 55-70 page paper. Please see detailed guidelines under history requirements.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023

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Course Description

Senior Independent Study II
With departmental approval, senior history majors may write a two-term thesis under an advisor in the area of their choosing. The final grade is applied to both terms. Students must submit thesis proposals in the spring before the academic year that they choose to write their thesis. They must attend the Thesis Writers' Workshops held in the fall and winter of the academic year in which they begin the thesis. The department encourages students to write theses during the fall (0700) and winter terms (0701), but with the permission of the chair, fall/spring and winter/spring theses are also acceptable. Under exceptional circumstances, the department may approve a thesis initiated in the spring of an academic year and finished in the fall of the following year. Further information about the thesis is available from the department.

Terms Taught

Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023

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