Darién Davis’ IMéRA residency in 3 questions
The Historian Darién Davis answers our questions about his IMéRA residency from February to July 2021.
Darien Davis is Professor of History and Black Studies and former chair of history department, at Middlebury College, Vermont, USA. He is holder of the IMéRA/Fulbright Chair on migration studies onto the research topic: Black Orpheus, Migration, and the Circulation of Brasiliana and Mapping Migrations
What motivated your choice to come to IMéRA to work on this research project: Black Orpheus, Migration, and the Circulation of Brasiliana and Mapping Migrations?
IMéRA offers a wonderful opportunity to work on projects and to get feedback from residents and the staff who have connections in the city. Marseille is also a perfect place to work on migration and to connect Atlantic world migration to the Mediterranean world. The city is a living laboratory of conviviality among different groups of people. One can see the promises of democracy at work and the challenges.
What process do you follow during your residency at IMéRA?
My process involves reading, writing, and editing my work daily. I also make contact with local scholars or informants weekly. In addition, I take guided walks through the city documenting migrant signpost-places or monuments where individuals or institutions have left a mark. It can be a plaque, a place, a statute, a monument, a museum, or a graffiti.
What outcomes do you plan to give to your research project by the end of your residence?
I will learn more about migration and migration policies in France. I will definitely learn more about Marseille, and southern France and it’s people, even during confinement. I hope to finish editing two chapters of my book and have 4-5 short essays on the signposts that I have documented for my website. I also will give a research talk at IMéRA and at a laboratory in town.
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