King's College London

Research portal

Professor David Treece

Research interests

    • Brazilian Culture and Literature
    • Brazilian popular music
    • Afro-Brazilian culture and politics; anti-racism in Brazil
    • Translation from Portuguese, including song translation

    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 fiction of João Gilberto Noll, Caio Fernando Abreu and João Guimarães Rosa.

    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 which produced the volume “Cultures of the Lusophone Black Atlantic” (Palgrave/Macmillan, 2007), co-edited by Nancy Naro, Roger Sansi-Roca, and David Treece. In 2013 he published “Brazilian Jive: From Samba to Bossa and Rap” (Reaktion), which brought together those interests in popular music and race. 

  • Besides pursuing practice-based research on Brazilian song translation, Treece is currently developing work on “Music and anti-racism in contemporary Brazil” with the support of a three-year Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship.

Biographical details

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, campaigning in defence of Brazil’s indigenous communities. 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, now incorporated into the King’s Brazil Institute. He is a former co-editor of Portuguese Studies and the Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies. In 2000 he was awarded the Order of Rio Branco by the Brazilian Government for services to Brazil-UK relations.

In 2018 he was awarded a three-year Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship for research on “Music and anti-racism in contemporary Brazil”.

Participation in workshop, seminar, course

Interpreting Songs from Latin America symposium, Centre for Translation and Intercultural Studies

David Treece (Invited speaker)

21 Apr 2015

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

Editorial activity

Revista de Estudios Brasileños (Journal)

David Treece (Editorial board member)

2014 → …

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial activity

Música Popular em Revista (Journal)

David Treece (Editorial board member)

2013 → …

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial activity

ArtCultura: Revista de História, Cultura e Arte (Journal)

David Treece (Editorial board member)

2012 → …

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial activity

Bulletin of Hispanic Studies (Journal)

David Treece (Editorial board member)

2011 → …

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial activity

PORTUGUESE STUDIES (Journal)

David Treece (Editor)

20052014

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial activity

JOURNAL OF LATIN AMERICAN CULTURAL STUDIES (Journal)

David Treece (Editorial board member)

2004 → …

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial activity

bulletin of latin American research (Journal)

David Treece (Editorial board member)

2003 → …

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial activity

JOURNAL OF LATIN AMERICAN CULTURAL STUDIES (Journal)

David Treece (Editor)

19922004

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial activity

Participation in conference

Bi-annual conference of the Association of British and Irish Lusitanists.

David Treece (Keynote/plenary speaker)

7 Sep 2015

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

Translating Brazil: Words and Music, TORCH Global Brazil Network

David Treece (Invited speaker)

1 Jun 2015

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

Brazilian Studies Association (BRASA) international conference

David Treece (Speaker)

22 Aug 2014

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

Types of Public engagement and outreach - Public lecture/debate/seminar

Inaugural Vanessa Knights Memorial Lecture – “Brazilian Song in Translation: Music, Text, Performance”

David Treece (Lecturer)

9 Feb 2016

Activity: OtherTypes of Public engagement and outreach - Public lecture/debate/seminar

Introductory talk on song and the Brazilian dictatorship; performance of my translated song-texts

David Treece (Lecturer)

8 Nov 2014

Activity: OtherTypes of Public engagement and outreach - Public lecture/debate/seminar

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