Darién Davis, sélectionné pour la chaire Fulbright/IMéRA en études migratoires

Darién Davis has just been selected as Fulbright/IMéRA chair on Migration Studies for the next academic year. He is professor of history at Middlebury College, and department chair. Short bio and research projects just below.

Short bio

Darién J. Davis is professor of history and chair of the history department at Middlebury College and former chair of Latin American Studies.  Davis teaches courses on Latin American, Caribbean and Atlantic world history with specialties in the history of migration and diaspora in the Atlantic world and comparative migration studies. He is the author of four book length manuscripts, three edited volumes, numerous peer-reviewed articles, book chapters and curricular development texts. A polyglot who has lived and worked in the Caribbean, South America, Canada, Europe and the United States, Professor Davis has worked as a consultant to a number of academic and non-government agencies including the London-based Minority Rights Group. His current work focuses on the insertion, perception and consumption of Brazilian migrants and culture into the political landscapes of Europe and the United States since World War II.



Professor Davis is working on two projects of interest. The first is an book length project entitled Black Orpheus, Migration, and the Circulation of Brasiliana During the Cold War. In this work Professor Davis explores the importance of Brazil and Brazilian culture in the United States and France at a critical crossroads in the political and economic realignment of power after World War II when American and French societies we reshaping their empires and their spheres of influence.  He begins with the success of the 1958 film Black Orpheus, which was widely acclaimed by French and American audiences, and examines the migration of Brazilian bodies and cultural products to France and the United States in the 1960s. Within these contexts, the author analyzes how Brazilian migration and the consumption of Brazilian culture played important strategic roles in the development of the country’s domestic and foreign policy objectives. Within this historical period, Afro-Brazilian cultural images including musical forms, religion and secular celebrations flowed across national boundaries presenting counter-representations and possibilities for French and Americans in the midst of their own civil and political transformations.

Professor Davis’ second project entitled “Mapping Migrations: is a digital project that documents how countries curate migrations in museums. This interdisciplinary digital project documents and the way that museums and national memorials in the Atlantic World curate, document, and imagine its migratory pasts.  Professor Davis has visited 8 museums and several selected monuments to migration. He will post, describe and analyze the way that various institutions frame the migration past. He is interested in a series of questions about how countries memorialize their migrant past and view the migrants in their midst. From a comparative perspective, Professor Davis aims to help us understand the role and place of museums such as Musée National de L’histoire de L’immigration and Ellis Island National Museum of Immigration play in the debates on migration and nationhood.