Jerry Dávila

 Jerry Dávila

Contact Information

429 Gregory Hall
Department of History MC/466
810 S. Wright St.
Urbana, IL 61801

Office Hours

  • Fridays, 10am-12pm and by appointment
View CV

Additional Campus Affiliations


Jerry Dávila holds the Jorge Paulo Lemann Chair in Brazilian History at the University of Illinois.  Currently he is Director of the University of Illinois Lemann Institute for Brazilian Studies.

Dávila's research focuses on in the influence of racial thought in public policy, as well as the state and social movements in the twentieth century.

He is the author of several books including Hotel Trópico: Brazil and the Challenge of African Decolonization (Duke, 2010), recipient of the Latin Studies Association Brazil Section Book Prize; and of Diploma of Whiteness: Race and Social Policy in Brazil, 1917-1945 (Duke, 2003).

In 2000, Dávila taught as a Fulbright Lecturer at the University of São Paulo, and in 2005, he held the Fulbright Distinguished Chair in American Studies at the Catholic University in Rio de Janeiro. He has also received the National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship and the Fulbright-Hays Research Fellowship.

He has written for publications including the New York Times and the Cairo Review about the experiences of military rule and redemocratization in Brazil, Argentina and Chile, the subject of his Dictatorship in South America (Wiley, 2013).  Dávila is also a co-author of A History of World Societies (Macmillan, 2017).

He is past-president of the Conference on Latin American History, the affiliate of the American Historical Association dedicated to the study of Latin America.


  • History 507 - Race and Ethnicity in Latin America

Selected Publications


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McKay, John, Patricia Ebrey, Roger Beck, Merry Wiesner-Hanks, Clare Crowston, and Jerry Dávila A History of World Societies, 10e Macmillan 2015.
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Dávila, Jerry Dictatorship in South America Wiley-Blackwell 2013.
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Davila, Jerry Hotel Trópico: Brazil and the Challenge of African Decolonization, 1950-1980 Duke 2010.
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Dávila, Jerry Hotel Trópico: Brasil e o desafio da descolonização africana, 1950-1980 Paz e Terra 2011.
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Dávila, Jerry Diploma of Whiteness: Race and Social Policy in Brazil, 1917-1945 Duke 2003.
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Dávila, Jerry Diploma de Brancura: Política social e racial no Brasil - 1917-1945 UNESP 2006.

Book Contributions

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Foreword Brazil: A Century of Change edited by Ignacy Sachs, edited by Jorge Wilheim, edited by Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, translated by Robert Anderson. Foreword Edited by Ignacy Sachs, Edited by Jorge Wilheim, Edited by Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, Translated by Robert Anderson, North Carolina 2009.