|Name:||Natalie Zemon Davis|
|Birth Day:||November 8, 1928|
|Birth Place:||Detroit, United States|
|Height:||in centimeters - N/A|
|Weight:||in kg - N/A|
She earned a PhD from the University of Michigan in 1959.
Davis attended Kingswood School Cranbrook and was subsequently educated at Smith College, Radcliffe College, Harvard University, and the University of Michigan, from which she received her PhD in 1959. In 1948, she married Chandler Davis.
In her book best known to the public, The Return of Martin Guerre (1983), she followed a celebrated case of a 16th-century impostor in a village in the Pyrénées so as to see how peasants thought about personal identity. Often linked with Carlo Ginzburg's microhistory The Cheese and the Worms about the radical miller Menocchio, Davis's book grew out of her experience as historical consultant for Daniel Vigne's film Le retour de Martin Guerre. Her book first appeared in French in 1982 at the same time as the premiere of the film.
Though Davis's historical writings are extensively researched, she sometimes resorts to speculation, using analogous evidence and inserting words like "perhaps" and phrases like "she may have thought." Some critics of her work find this troubling and think that this practice threatens the empirical base of the historian's profession. Davis's answer to this is suggested in her 1992 essay "Stories and the Hunger to Know," where she argues both for the role of interpretation by historians and their essential quest for evidence about the past: both must be present and acknowledged to keep people from claiming that they have an absolute handle on "truth." She opened her Women on the Margins with an imaginary dialogue, in which her three subjects upbraid her for her approach and for putting them in the same book. In her Slaves on Screen (2000), Davis maintains that feature films can provide a valuable way of telling about the past, what she calls "thought experiments," but only so long as they are connected with general historical evidence.
Natalie Zemon Davis subsequently taught at Brown University, the University of Toronto, the University of California at Berkeley, and from 1978 to her retirement in 1996, at Princeton University, where she became the Henry Charles Lea Professor of History and director of the Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies. In addition to courses in the history of early modern France, she has taught or co-taught courses in history and anthropology, early modern Jewish social history, and history and film. She has also been an important figure in the study of the history of women and gender, founding with Jill Ker Conway a course in that subject in 1971 at the University of Toronto: one of the first in North America. Since her retirement, she has been living in Toronto, where she is Adjunct Professor of History and Anthropology and Professor of Medieval Studies at the University of Toronto.
In 2010, Davis was awarded the Holberg International Memorial Prize, worth 4.5 million Norwegian kroner (~$700,000 US), for her narrative approach to the field of history. The awards citation described her as "one of the most creative historians writing today" who inspired younger generations of historians and promoted "cross-fertilization between disciplines". The citation said her compelling narrative "shows how particular events can be narrated and analyzed so as to reveal deeper historical tendencies and underlying patterns of thought and action".
On 29 June 2012, Davis was named Companion of the Order of Canada, the highest class within the order.
On 10 July 2013, Davis was awarded the 2012 National Humanities Medal by President Barack Obama for "her insights into the study of history and her exacting eloquence in bringing the past into focus."
On 13 September 2013, Davis was awarded an honorary degree from the University of St Andrews.
Davis's studies of the past have sometimes had present-day resonance. Her book on The Gift in Sixteenth-Century France (2000) is both a picture of gifts and bribes in the 16th century and a discussion of a viable mode of exchange different from the market. In Trickster Travels (2006), she describes how the early 16th-century North African Muslim "Leo Africanus" (Hasan al-Wazzan) managed to live as a Christian in Italy after he was kidnapped by Christian pirates and also sees his writings as an example of "the possibility of communication and curiosity in a world divided by violence." In 2017, she served as historical consultant for Wajdi Mouawad's new play Tous des Oiseaux that premiered in Paris at the Théâtre de La Colline. Set in present-day New York and Jerusalem, the play follows a German/Israeli family riven by conflict when the geneticist son wants to marry an Arab-American woman who is doing her doctoral dissertation on Hassan al-Wazzan/Leo Africanus, the subject of Davis' Trickster Travels Her book (in-process), Braided Histories on 18th-century Suriname studies networks of communication and association among families, both slave and free, on the plantations of Christian and Jewish settlers.
Natalie married Chandler Davis in 1948 and they have three children.
Currently, Natalie Zemon Davis is 92 years, 8 months and 28 days old. Natalie Zemon Davis will celebrate 93rd birthday on a Monday 8th of November 2021. Below we countdown to Natalie Zemon Davis upcoming birthday.