People sections

Letter from the Chair

Jerry Dávila

Professor of History
HISTORY; LEMANN INSTITUTE, Director; Affiliated Faculty of Latin American and Caribbean Studies

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Contact Info

  • Address:
    429 Gregory Hall
    Department of History MC/466
    810 S. Wright St.
    Urbana, IL 61801
  • Telephone: No Phone listed
  • CV: Download my C.V.

Office Hours

Tuesdays, 1:30-3:30pm and by appointment

Areas of Specialization

Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor, History of Latin America, Brazil, African Diaspora, race and ethnicity


Ph.D. Brown University, 1998, B.A. Dartmouth College, 1991


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

He serves as President of the Conference on Latin American History, the affiliate of the American Historical Association dedicated to the study of Latin America.

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 has authored several books including Hotel Trópico: Brazil and the Challenge of African Decolonization (Duke, 2010), winner 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 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 also 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 most recent book, Dictatorship in South America (Wiley, 2013).


  • History 405 - Brazil



  • Dávila, Jerry. Dictatorship in South America. . Wiley-Blackwell, 2013.
  • Dávila, Jerry. Hotel Trópico: Brasil e o desafio da descolonização africana, 1950-1980. . Paz e Terra, 2011.
  • Davila, Jerry. Hotel Trópico: Brazil and the Challenge of African Decolonization, 1950-1980. . Duke, 2010.
  • Dávila, Jerry. Diploma de Brancura: Política social e racial no Brasil - 1917-1945. . UNESP, 2006.
  • Dávila, Jerry. Diploma of Whiteness: Race and Social Policy in Brazil, 1917-1945. . Duke, 2003.

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Book Contributions

  • "Foreword." Foreword. Brazil: A Century of Change. . Trans. Robert N. Anderson. Ed. Ignacy Sachs, Jorge Wilheim, and Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro. North Carolina, 2009.