Teresa Davis

Postdoctoral Fellow in Transnational Latin American History

Department of History

Office: Bowden Hall 103

Phone: (404) 727-1694

Email: teresa.elisabeth.homan.davis@emory.edu


Teresa Davis  (B.A. University of Chicago; Phd. Princeton University). Modern Latin America, legal history, the history of international law, intellectual history and the history of capitalism in Argentina, Chile and the broader Southern Cone.

My research focuses on the entangled histories of law and capitalism, especially on the origins and fate of efforts to legally manage the globalization of capital. My dissertation explored the role of Argentinean, Spanish and Chilean lawyers in mediating, promoting and challenging the arrival of capitalist globalization in the South Atlantic between 1870 and 1939. Grounding the story are the shifting geographical and political imaginaries that emerged as intellectuals, jurists and diplomats, as well as private entrepreneurs, bankers and migrants, moved with increasing ease across the Atlantic and within the Americas. I argue that, in the late nineteenth century, South Atlantic challenges to the growing dominance of Europe and the United States were framed primarily in the language of capitalist circulation and exchange. Whereas the Global South projects of the post-World War II period emphasized the links between economic liberalism and empire, South Atlantic jurists in the earlier period drew most heavily on a distinction between liberal free trade, on the one hand, and empire and monopoly capitalism on the other. Through a variety of projects and ideas, my dissertation narrates the history of the South Atlantic effort to create greater equality within, rather than outside of, a capitalist world economy.

I am currently at work revising my dissertation for publication as a book. Additionally, I am working on an article on the history of  jus soli citizenship in Latin America. In it, I will explore the shift from nineteenth-century approaches to jus soli--which linked it to the economic imperatives of constructing a labor force and populating territories--to twentieth-century arguments for jus soli as a form of universal citizenship. Finally, I am conducting new research on the transnational legal battle over the creation of Argentina’s state-owned oil company in 1922.