Skip Navigation
York U: Redefine the PossibleHOME | Current Students | Faculty & Staff | Research | International
Search »FacultiesLibrariesGlendon CampusYork U LionsCampus MapsYork U OrganizationDirectorySite Index
Future Students, Alumni & Visitors

Edit My Profile | Print Full Profile

Andrea A. Davis

Department of Humanities

Associate Professor
 
Office: 821 Kaneff Tower
Phone: 416-736-2100 Ext: 44674
Emailaadavis@yorku.ca
 
  • Overview
  • Projects
  • Publications
  • Teaching
  • Full Profile


Professor Andrea Davis is the 2012 recipient of the Ian Greene Award for teaching excellence. Her research focuses on the literary productions of black women in the Americas. She is particularly interested in the intersections of the literatures of the Caribbean, the United States and Canada and her work encourages an intertextual cross-cultural dialogue about black women's experiences in diaspora.

More...


Research Interests

Latin American and Caribbean Studies , Caribbean, African American and Black Canadian Literatures and Theatre; Social Histories of the African Diaspora; Black Cultural and Feminist Studies, and Community-Based Participatory Research

Current Research Projects

  • Youth and Community Development in Canada and Jamaica: A Transnational Approach to Youth Violence  more...
  • Canada-Jamaica Connections  more...

All Publications

Books

James, Carl E., and Davis, Andrea (eds.) Jamaica in the Canadian Experience: A Multiculturalizing Presence. Halifax, Nova Scotia: Fernwood Publishing, 2012.

Book Chapters

“Erna Brodber and Myalism.” Encyclopedia of Caribbean Religions. Ed. Patrick Taylor and Frederick I. Case. 2 vols. Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 2013, vol. 1. 534

“Women and Healing in Anglophone Caribbean Literature.” Encyclopedia of Caribbean Religions. Ed. Patrick Taylor and Frederick I. Case. 2 vols. Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 2013, vol. 1. 525-534

“From Canada to Jamaica: Miss Lou and the Poetics of Migration.” Jamaica in the Canadian Experience: A Multiculturalizing Presence. Eds. Carl E. James and Andrea Davis. Halifax, Nova Scotia: Fernwood Publishing, 2012. 230-245.

Davis, Andrea and James, Carl E. “Introduction.” Jamaica in the Canadian Experience: A Multiculturalizing Presence. Eds. Carl E. James and Andrea Davis. Halifax, Nova Scotia: Fernwood Publishing, 2012. 10-12.

“Project Groundings: Canadian and Jamaican Youth (Re)Define Violence.” Jamaica in the Canadian Experience: A Multiculturalizing Presence. Eds. Carl E. James and Andrea Davis. Halifax, Nova Scotia: Fernwood Publishing, 2012. 329-342.

'Rearticulations, Reconnections and Refigurations: Writing Africa Through the Americas.' Africa and Trans-Atlantic Memories: Literary and Aesthetic manifestations of Diaspora and History. Ed. NaanaOpoku-Agyemang, Paul E. Lovejoy and David V. Trotman. Trenton, New Jersey: Africa World Press, 2008. 275-290.

'A Feminist Exploration in African Canadian Literature.' Multiple Lenses: Voices From the African Diaspora Located in Canada. Ed. David Divine. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2007. 250-261.

'Sex and the Nation: Performing Black Female Sexuality in Canadian Theatre.' African-Canadian Theatre. Ed. Maureen Moynagh. Toronto: Playwrights Canada Press, 2005. 107-122

Journal Articles

'Black Canadian Literature as Diaspora Transgression: The Second Life of Samuel Tyne.' TOPIA: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies. Ed. Jenny Burman. Spec. issue of Diasporic Pasts and Futures: Transnational Cultural Studies in Canada 17 (Spring 2007): 31-49.

'Translating Narratives of Masculinity Across Borders: A Jamaican Case Study.' Caribbean Quarterly. Ed. Taitu Heron and Hilary Nicholson. Spec issue of Unraveling Gender, Development and Civil Society in the Caribbean 52.2-3 (June-Sept. 2006): 22-38.

'We Have Historically Been ‘Rooted’ in/Routed to this Place and we are Here to Stay: Women’s Voices in Black Canadian Literature.' NEW DAWN: Journal of Black Canadian Studies 1.1 (Spring 2006): 68-74.

'Diaspora, Citizenship and Gender: Challenging the Myth of the Nation in African Canadian Women’s Literature.' Canadian Woman Studies 23.2 (2004): 64-69.

Book Reviews

Healing Cultures: Art and Religion as Curative Practices in the Caribbean and its Diaspora edited by Margarite Fernández Olmos and Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert. Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies 31:61 (2006) 261-263.

The Swinging Bridge by Ramabai Espinet. MaComère: Journal of the Association of Caribbean Women Writers and Scholars vol. 7 (2005) 183-186.

In Praise of New Travelers: Reading Caribbean Migrant Women’s Writing by Isabel Hoving. Resources for Feminist Research 29:3/4 (2002) 258-260.

The Heart Does not Bend by Makeda Silvera. MaComère: Journal of the Association of Caribbean Women Writers and Scholars 5 (2002) 253-255.

Forthcoming

"De Cunny Jamma Oman”: Reading an Errant Diaspora Consciousness in the Fiction of Erna Brodber. Kingston, Jamaica: UWI Press, (forthcoming summer 2014).

Approach To Teaching

As a researcher and educator, teaching has always been one of my passions. The research I do has little meaning if it cannot engage meaningful dialogues about who we are and who we hope to become. For many students coming to African Diaspora Studies, their learning is a personal journey. They are seeking answers to questions that have historically been silenced or ignored within North American high school systems—questions that are difficult and painful to articulate. For many of these students my courses are the first chances they have to critically engage discussions about black history and cultures in the African diaspora. While that is an important liberating experience for students, it is also a difficult process because it can lead to pain, anger, frustration and intolerance. It is intolerance and not pain that most inhibits learning. Pain and anger can lead to critical inquiry and self-criticism. Intolerance silences and closes off the avenues of communication. I have had, then, to be acutely sensitive to the power dynamics operating within the classroom and critical of my own self-positioning. Liberating strategies are of no value if they empower one set of speakers only to silence another. With this in mind, I consciously work towards the creation of a learning space where students can articulate alternative perspectives, where each voice can be mutually respected, and where we can accept both the important points at which we meet and the necessary junctures at which our experiences diverge. I am deeply committed not only to a feminist pedagogy but to an anti-oppressive pedagogy that recognizes difference within and across communities and is sensitive to the multiple performances of race, gender, color, class and sexuality operating within the specific boundaries of the university as well as within wider North American societies. Teaching is a difficult task, if only because in my own learning I often have to face “truths” I would rather not acknowledge. Teaching is also enormously rewarding. I believe, like bell hooks, in the efficacy of an “engaged pedagogy.” The research, the texts, the discussions in the classroom, all have meaning way beyond the context of the university and the academic requirements of an undergraduate degree. The expectations and needs are multiple and varied, and I have to accept that they cannot all be met. I do not have many answers, but I can facilitate the processes of interchange; I can open up the dialogue and help students push the boundaries and break down some of the barriers.

Current Courses

TermCourse NumberSectionTitleType 
Fall/Winter 2014-2015 AP/HUMA1300 9.0  The Cultures of Resistance in the Americas: The African American Experience LECT Course Website 


Professor Andrea Davis is the 2012 recipient of the Ian Greene Award for teaching excellence. Her research focuses on the literary productions of black women in the Americas. She is particularly interested in the intersections of the literatures of the Caribbean, the United States and Canada and her work encourages an intertextual cross-cultural dialogue about black women's experiences in diaspora.


Professor Andrea Davis is the 2012 recipient of the Ian Greene Award for teaching excellence, and she is interim director of the Centre for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CERLAC). Her research focuses on the literary productions of black women in the Americas. She is particularly interested in the intersections of the literatures of the Caribbean, the United States and Canada and her work encourages an intertextual cross-cultural dialogue about black women's experiences in diaspora. She recently co-edited with Carl James the anthology, Jamaica in the Canadian Experience: A Multiculturalizing Presence, that charts the political, economic, historical and cultural connections between Canada and Jamaica. She is also currently working on a comparative study that theorizes the complex ways in which gender, place and voice intersect in black women's discursive practices.

Degrees

PhD, York University
MA, York University
BA (first class hons.), University of the West Indies, Mona Campus


Research Interests:

Latin American and Caribbean Studies , Caribbean, African American and Black Canadian Literatures and Theatre; Social Histories of the African Diaspora; Black Cultural and Feminist Studies, and Community-Based Participatory Research

Current Research Projects

  • Youth and Community Development in Canada and Jamaica: A Transnational Approach to Youth Violence
    Summary: 
    The project brings together three community organizations and 18 researchers from six universities in Canada and Jamaica, organized in three research clusters. It seeks to realize critical social improvements in the lives of youth, ages 16 to 29, by exploring new approaches to research in youth violence.

    Description: 
    The partnership situates its team of Canadian and Jamaican researchers and community workers within an emerging body of research that confirms the success of culturally based programs in encouraging youth and broad civic engagement. The partnership expands this existing research in two important ways. First, it includes a transnational approach between the two countries. The goal is to examine whether positive youth engagement through the arts might be further enhanced for black youth in Canada and Jamaica by bringing these youth into conversations across their intersecting national and cultural borders. Second, by using an approach that combines art-based programs with social history and literature, the partnership expands the research field by seeking to determine whether a greater understanding of Jamaican society might help black Toronto youth achieve the positive identity formation needed to challenge unhealthy behaviour, including violence.

    Project Type: Funded
    Role: Principal Investigator

    Start Date:  Month: Jul  Year: 2011
    End Date:  Month: Jun  Year: 2013

    Collaborator: Vermonja Alston; Erna Brodber; Karen Burke; Mirna Carranza; Peter Cumming; Donald Davis; Asheda Dwyer; Honor Ford-Smith; Cecil Foster; Carl James; Michele Johnson; Donna Hope; Naila Keleta Mae; Richard Maclure; Jalani Niaah; Sonja Stanley Niaah; L'Antoinette Osunide Stines; Ronald Westray
    Collaborator Institution: McMaster University; University of Guelph; University of Waterloo; University of Ottawa; University of the West Indies (Mona); Nia Centre for the Arts; Jamaica Youth Theatre; Woodside Community Action Group
    Collaborator Role: Co-researchers and partners

    Funders: 
    SSHRC

  • Canada-Jamaica Connections
    Summary: 
    This project records the diverse experiences and contributions of Jamaicans living in Canada and culminates in an anthology and conference to coincide with the commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Jamaica’s Independence from Britain in 2012.

    Description: 
    The fiftieth anniversary of Jamaica’s independence, to be celebrated in 2012, allows Jamaicans in the island and abroad an opportunity to reflect on the achievements of this small island nation in the relatively short period of its existence. Perhaps most significantly, Jamaica’s increasingly powerful influence on global culture cannot go unremarked. The growth of Jamaican diasporas beyond Britain to the United States, Canada and West Africa, beginning shortly after Independence, has served to strengthen Jamaica’s global reach, so that today Jamaica’s cultural, economic and political achievements are felt way beyond its national borders. This collection of essays acknowledges the immense and widespread contributions of Jamaica and Jamaicans to Canadian society. Directed to both academic (researchers, teachers, students) and non-academic audience (general public, governments, media), the anthology explores the various interconnections between Jamaica and Canada, paying attention to the countries’ shared colonial and commonwealth relations. Importantly, the collection seeks to build knowledge and understanding between the two countries. By mapping Jamaica’s contributions to Canadian development from a trans-Canada perspective, from British Columbia in western Canada to Nova Scotia in the Maritimes, these essays allow us to articulate a new understanding of engaged multicultural citizenship that positions Jamaica as integral, rather than marginal, to Canada’s developed economy. By engaging a diverse range of Jamaican racial and ethnic perspectives, the collection also seeks to reveal the complexity and richness of Jamaican cultural influences.

    Project Type: Funded
    Role: Co-Investigator with Carl James

    Start Date:  Month: Sep  Year: 2011
    End Date:  Month: Dec  Year: 2012

    Collaborator: Carl James
    Collaborator Institution: York Centre for Education and Community
    Collaborator Role: Co-Investigator

    Funders: 
    IDRC

All Publications

Books

James, Carl E., and Davis, Andrea (eds.) Jamaica in the Canadian Experience: A Multiculturalizing Presence. Halifax, Nova Scotia: Fernwood Publishing, 2012.

Book Chapters

“Erna Brodber and Myalism.” Encyclopedia of Caribbean Religions. Ed. Patrick Taylor and Frederick I. Case. 2 vols. Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 2013, vol. 1. 534

“Women and Healing in Anglophone Caribbean Literature.” Encyclopedia of Caribbean Religions. Ed. Patrick Taylor and Frederick I. Case. 2 vols. Champaign: University of Illinois Press, 2013, vol. 1. 525-534

“From Canada to Jamaica: Miss Lou and the Poetics of Migration.” Jamaica in the Canadian Experience: A Multiculturalizing Presence. Eds. Carl E. James and Andrea Davis. Halifax, Nova Scotia: Fernwood Publishing, 2012. 230-245.

Davis, Andrea and James, Carl E. “Introduction.” Jamaica in the Canadian Experience: A Multiculturalizing Presence. Eds. Carl E. James and Andrea Davis. Halifax, Nova Scotia: Fernwood Publishing, 2012. 10-12.

“Project Groundings: Canadian and Jamaican Youth (Re)Define Violence.” Jamaica in the Canadian Experience: A Multiculturalizing Presence. Eds. Carl E. James and Andrea Davis. Halifax, Nova Scotia: Fernwood Publishing, 2012. 329-342.

'Rearticulations, Reconnections and Refigurations: Writing Africa Through the Americas.' Africa and Trans-Atlantic Memories: Literary and Aesthetic manifestations of Diaspora and History. Ed. NaanaOpoku-Agyemang, Paul E. Lovejoy and David V. Trotman. Trenton, New Jersey: Africa World Press, 2008. 275-290.

'A Feminist Exploration in African Canadian Literature.' Multiple Lenses: Voices From the African Diaspora Located in Canada. Ed. David Divine. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2007. 250-261.

'Sex and the Nation: Performing Black Female Sexuality in Canadian Theatre.' African-Canadian Theatre. Ed. Maureen Moynagh. Toronto: Playwrights Canada Press, 2005. 107-122

Journal Articles

'Black Canadian Literature as Diaspora Transgression: The Second Life of Samuel Tyne.' TOPIA: Canadian Journal of Cultural Studies. Ed. Jenny Burman. Spec. issue of Diasporic Pasts and Futures: Transnational Cultural Studies in Canada 17 (Spring 2007): 31-49.

'Translating Narratives of Masculinity Across Borders: A Jamaican Case Study.' Caribbean Quarterly. Ed. Taitu Heron and Hilary Nicholson. Spec issue of Unraveling Gender, Development and Civil Society in the Caribbean 52.2-3 (June-Sept. 2006): 22-38.

'We Have Historically Been ‘Rooted’ in/Routed to this Place and we are Here to Stay: Women’s Voices in Black Canadian Literature.' NEW DAWN: Journal of Black Canadian Studies 1.1 (Spring 2006): 68-74.

'Diaspora, Citizenship and Gender: Challenging the Myth of the Nation in African Canadian Women’s Literature.' Canadian Woman Studies 23.2 (2004): 64-69.

Book Reviews

Healing Cultures: Art and Religion as Curative Practices in the Caribbean and its Diaspora edited by Margarite Fernández Olmos and Lizabeth Paravisini-Gebert. Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies 31:61 (2006) 261-263.

The Swinging Bridge by Ramabai Espinet. MaComère: Journal of the Association of Caribbean Women Writers and Scholars vol. 7 (2005) 183-186.

In Praise of New Travelers: Reading Caribbean Migrant Women’s Writing by Isabel Hoving. Resources for Feminist Research 29:3/4 (2002) 258-260.

The Heart Does not Bend by Makeda Silvera. MaComère: Journal of the Association of Caribbean Women Writers and Scholars 5 (2002) 253-255.

Forthcoming

"De Cunny Jamma Oman”: Reading an Errant Diaspora Consciousness in the Fiction of Erna Brodber. Kingston, Jamaica: UWI Press, (forthcoming summer 2014).


Teaching:

Approach To Teaching

As a researcher and educator, teaching has always been one of my passions. The research I do has little meaning if it cannot engage meaningful dialogues about who we are and who we hope to become. For many students coming to African Diaspora Studies, their learning is a personal journey. They are seeking answers to questions that have historically been silenced or ignored within North American high school systems—questions that are difficult and painful to articulate. For many of these students my courses are the first chances they have to critically engage discussions about black history and cultures in the African diaspora. While that is an important liberating experience for students, it is also a difficult process because it can lead to pain, anger, frustration and intolerance. It is intolerance and not pain that most inhibits learning. Pain and anger can lead to critical inquiry and self-criticism. Intolerance silences and closes off the avenues of communication. I have had, then, to be acutely sensitive to the power dynamics operating within the classroom and critical of my own self-positioning. Liberating strategies are of no value if they empower one set of speakers only to silence another. With this in mind, I consciously work towards the creation of a learning space where students can articulate alternative perspectives, where each voice can be mutually respected, and where we can accept both the important points at which we meet and the necessary junctures at which our experiences diverge. I am deeply committed not only to a feminist pedagogy but to an anti-oppressive pedagogy that recognizes difference within and across communities and is sensitive to the multiple performances of race, gender, color, class and sexuality operating within the specific boundaries of the university as well as within wider North American societies. Teaching is a difficult task, if only because in my own learning I often have to face “truths” I would rather not acknowledge. Teaching is also enormously rewarding. I believe, like bell hooks, in the efficacy of an “engaged pedagogy.” The research, the texts, the discussions in the classroom, all have meaning way beyond the context of the university and the academic requirements of an undergraduate degree. The expectations and needs are multiple and varied, and I have to accept that they cannot all be met. I do not have many answers, but I can facilitate the processes of interchange; I can open up the dialogue and help students push the boundaries and break down some of the barriers.

Current Courses

TermCourse NumberSectionTitleType 
Fall/Winter 2014-2015 AP/HUMA1300 9.0  The Cultures of Resistance in the Americas: The African American Experience LECT Course Website