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Professor David Treece

Professor David Treece

David TreeceCamoens Professor of Portuguese

+44 (0)20 7848 1825
Address Department of Spanish, Portuguese & Latin American Studies
King’s College London 
Room 5.44 Virginia Woolf Building

22 Kingsway
London WC2B 6LE



David Treece received his BA in Hispanic Studies (1982) and his PhD in Brazilian literature (1987) from the University of Liverpool. Between 1984 and 1987 he worked for the human rights NGO Survival International and produced a report on the impact of a major Amazonian development project, the Greater Carajás Programme, on the region’s indigenous communities. He continued his interests in the politics and social impact aspects of Amazonian development by contributing to film documentaries and to the activities of the NGO Brazil Network. After a year lecturing at the University of Glasgow, in 1987 he joined the Department of Portuguese and Brazilian Studies at King’s, serving as its Head of Department from 2002 to 2005. He was appointed Professor of Brazilian Studies in 2004 and Camoens Professor of Portuguese in 2005. In 1996 he created the Centre for the Study of Brazilian Culture and Society, which became a major European focus for academic work on Brazilian cultural studies, literature and history and is now part of the King’s Brazil Institute.Since 1989 Treece has been an Associate Fellow of the Institute for the Study of the Americas (formerly Institute of Latin American Studies), University of London, teaching on its MA programmes every year. From 2000 he was Associate Fellow of the University of London’s Institute of Romance Studies and a teacher on its MA programme and, since 2001, an Advisory Council member of the Programa Avançado de Cultura Contemporânea, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. In 2000 Treece was awarded the Order of Rio Branco by the Brazilian Government for services to Brazil-UK relations.

Research interests and PhD supervision
  • Brazilian Culture and Literature
  • Popular Music Studies
  • Literary Translation from Portuguese
  • Afro-Brazilian culture and politics

David Treece’s first research addressed how Brazil’s indigenous, Amerindian communities have been represented in the country’s literature, in its social policies and in the history of nationalist thought. This was the subject of his monograph Exiles, Allies, Rebels: Brazil’s Indianist Movement, Indigenist Politics and the Imperial Nation-State (Greenwood Press, 2000), which was published in Portuguese by Nankin and the University of São Paulo Press (EDUSP) in 2008.

From the early 1990s Treece worked on twentieth-century Brazilian poetry and fiction, co-authoring The Gathering of Voices: the twentieth-century Poetry of Latin America (Verso, 1992) with Mike Gonzalez, and translating the work of the contemporary poet Armando Freitas Filho, and novelist João Gilberto Noll. Since 2000 Treece’s research activities have concentrated on Brazilian popular music, especially from bossa nova onwards, and the culture and politics of race and Afro-Brazilian identity. From 2003 to 2007 he directed a collaborative AHRC-funded project “Cultures of the Lusophone Black Atlantic” which, besides conferences, exhibitions and individual research publications, produced Cultures of the Lusophone Black Atlantic (Palgrave/Macmillan, 2007), co-edited by Nancy Naro, Roger Sansi-Roca, and David. Treece. Treece’s new monograph Brazilian Jive: From Samba to Bossa and Rap (Reaktion, 2013) brings together these most recent research interests. Treece coordinates a Research Group in Brazilian Popular Music and is currently developing work on song translation, musical transnationalism and Afro-Brazilian music-making.

Proposals are welcomed from prospective students in the following areas: Brazilian popular music; Brazilian literature, especially nineteenth- and twentieth-century poetry and prose; Afro-Brazilian culture, Brazilian popular culture and cultural history

For more details, please see his full research profile.

Selected publications
  • Brazilian Jive: From Samba to Bossa and Rap (Reaktion, 2013)
  • Exiles, Allies, Rebels: Brazil’s Indianist Movement, Indigenist Politics and the Imperial Nation-State (Westport: Greenwood Press, 2000) – published in Portuguese as Exilados, Aliados, Rebeldes: O movimento indianista, a política indigenista e o Estado-nação imperial (São Paulo: Nankin/EDUSP, 2008)
  • Cultures of the Lusophone Black Atlantic, Nancy Priscilla Naro, Roger Sansi-Roca, and David H. Treece (eds.) (Palgrave/Macmillan, 2007)
  • The Babel Guide to Brazilian Fiction in English Translation (co-edited with Ray Keenoy) (London: Boulevard, 2001)
  • Translations include: João Guimarães Rosa, The Jaguar and other stories (Oxford: Boulevard, 2001/2008); João Gilberto Noll, Hotel Atlantico (London: Boulevard, 1997) and Caio Fernando Abreu, Dragons (London: Boulevard, 1990).
For a complete list of publications, please see his full research profile.

Treece teaches across all areas of Brazilian culture, literature and cultural history, including specialisms in twentieth-century music and poetry, nineteenth-century and contemporary fiction, and the culture and politics of Afro-Brazilian identity and race. 

Expertise and public engagement

Areas of expertise: Brazilian culture, Brazilian popular music and literature.

Advisory Council member, Programa Avançado de Cultura Contemporânea, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.

Co-founder/editor of the Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies until 2004; co-editor of Portuguese Studies journal until 2014.

Member of Editorial Board of Bulletin of Latin American Research and member of Editorial Committee of Bulletin of Hispanic Studies

Has participated in and chaired debates and given lectures on Brazilian literature, music and culture at the British Library, 2010 Southbank Festival Brazil, 2012 Back2Black festival and other events. Co-organised the 2012 Minas – Heart of Brazil festival at King’s College London.

Member of Editorial Board/Committee of Bulletin of Latin American Research,  Bulletin of Hispanic Studies¸ Música Popular em Revista, Revista de Estudios Brasileños, member of International Advisory Board of the journal História e Cultura.

Chair, Council of Management, Latin America Bureau


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