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Dr Sacha Davis


School of Humanities and Social Science (History)

Career Summary


Sacha Davis has lectured at the University of Newcastle since 2008. He received his doctorate from the University of New South Wales following study in Sydney and Cluj-Napoca. He has previously taught at the University of Sydney, Macquarie University and Australian Catholic University, and been a visiting researcher at the University of Turku.

Research Expertise
My primary research interest is in German nationalism in Central/Eastern Europe (the former Habsburg lands) from in the late nineteenth century to the Second World War, with a focus on the interwar period. I have particular interests in German nationalism, transnationalism and diaspora. Other, related topics include Transylvanianism; landscape and nationalism; nationalism and the family; wine, food and nationalism; travel writing in Eastern Europe; and minority fascism. I am currently researching German-Romani interactions in the Habsburg and former Habsburg lands.

Recent publications include a co-edited special issue of German Studies Review on the theme "Germanness beyond Germany: Collective Identity in German Diaspora Communities" (Vol 39 No 1, 2016, co-edited with Alexander Maxwell (Victoria University of Wellington).


  • PhD (History), University of New South Wales
  • Bachelor of Arts (Honours)(History), University of New South Wales
  • Post Graduate Specialisation - History, Universitatea Babes-Bolyai - Cluj Napoca - Romania


  • German
  • Germany
  • Habsburg
  • Hungary
  • Roma
  • Romania
  • Saxon
  • Transylvania
  • Transylvanianism
  • Zigeuner
  • diaspora
  • eugenics
  • fascism
  • landscape
  • migration
  • minority
  • nationalism
  • transnationalism
  • travel writing
  • travelogue
  • wine


  • German (Fluent)
  • Finnish (Fluent)

Fields of Research

Code Description Percentage
210307 European History (excl. British, Classical Greek and Roman) 100

Professional Experience

UON Appointment

Title Organisation / Department
Lecturer University of Newcastle
School of Humanities and Social Science


Dates Title Organisation / Department
Member - Antipodean East European Study Group Antipodean East European Study Group
30/06/2012 -  Member The Society for Romanian Studies
1/09/1998 -  Member Arbeitskreis für Siebenbürgische Landeskunde e. V.


For publications that are currently unpublished or in-press, details are shown in italics.

Chapter (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2011 Davis SE, 'East-West discourses in Transylvania: Transitional Erdély, German-Western Siebenbürgen or Latin-Western Ardeal?', The East-West Discourse: Symbolic Geography and its Consequences, Peter Lang, Oxford 127-154 (2011) [B1]

Journal article (9 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2018 Davis SE, 'Hospitality networks, British travel writers, and the dissemination of competing Transylvanian claims to civilization, 1830s 1930s', Nationalities Papers, 46 612-634 (2018) [C1]
DOI 10.1080/00905992.2018.1448375
2017 Davis SE, 'Competitive Civilizing Missions: Hungarian Germans, Modernization, and Ethnographic Descriptions of the Zigeuner before World War I', Central European History, 50 6-33 (2017) [C1]
DOI 10.1017/S0008938917000012
Citations Scopus - 2Web of Science - 2
2016 Davis SE, 'Constructing the Volksgemeinschaft: Saxon Particularism and the Myth of the German East, 1919 1933', German Studies Review, 39 41-64 (2016) [C1]
DOI 10.1353/gsr.2016.0028
Citations Scopus - 1
2016 Maxwell A, Davis SE, 'Germanness beyond Germany: Collective Identity in German Diaspora Communities', German Studies Review, 39 1-15 (2016) [C1]
DOI 10.1353/gsr.2016.0016
Citations Scopus - 2Web of Science - 4
2014 Davis S, 'Wine and Modernity in the Transylvanian Saxon Imagination (1860 1930)', Central Europe, 12 136-158 (2014) [C1]
DOI 10.1179/1479096314Z.00000000028
2013 Davis SE, 'Hungarians in America: Contrasting Studies. Review of Várdy, Steven Béla; Várdy, Agnes Huszár, Hungarian Americans in the Current of History and Vida, Istva´n Korne´l, Hungarian Émigrés in the American Civil War: A History and Biographical Dictionary.', H-Net Reviews, online (2013) [C3]
2012 Davis SE, 'Reflecting on the diaspora: The Transylvanian Saxon self-image and the Saxons abroad', Zeitschrift für Siebenbürgische Landeskunde, 35 150-170 (2012) [C1]
2009 Davis SE, 'Maintaining a "German" home in Southeast Europe: Transylvanian Saxon nationalism and the metropolitan model of the family, 1918-1933', History of the Family, 14 386-401 (2009) [C1]

In the interwar period, Transylvanian Saxons looked to models from the metropole by which to reform the Saxon community and reinforce their social standing relative to other ethni... [more]

In the interwar period, Transylvanian Saxons looked to models from the metropole by which to reform the Saxon community and reinforce their social standing relative to other ethnicities in Transylvania. In doing so, they were influenced by the ongoing debate in Germany over the "national character" of the German family. Saxon social reformers treated the metropolitan family as a prescriptive model providing a safe path to modernity that could be seamlessly integrated with traditional Saxon culture. In practice, social reformers selectively adopted and carefully adapted to local needs the metropolitan models that they urged the community to accept. They did so by dividing external influences into those that were beneficial, and thus "German", and those which were harmful, and therefore "foreign". The plurality of influences from Germany before 1933 facilitated the selective adoption of metropolitan models for emulation. This flexibility declined rapidly after 1933. National Socialism, which was far less tolerant of regional variations and interpretations, generated tensions between local and national. This article explores the articulation of the Saxon family in the context of domesticity, female emancipation, moral decline, eugenics and economics. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

DOI 10.1016/j.hisfam.2009.08.003
Citations Scopus - 5
Davis SE, ' A most picturesque mass of rags : Romani costume and undress in nineteenth-century travel descriptions of Hungary', Patterns of Prejudice, 1-23
DOI 10.1080/0031322x.2019.1656884
Show 6 more journal articles

Review (5 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2017 Davis SE, 'Review of Turda, Marius, Eugenics and Nation in Early 20th Century Hungary. (2017)
2017 Davis SE, 'Review of Georgescu, Tudor, The Eugenic Fortress: The Transylvanian Saxon Experiment in Interwar Romania. (2017)
2015 Davis SE, 'Review of Manz, Stefan, Constructing a German Diaspora: The Greater German Empire : 1871 1914. (2015) [C3]
2004 Davis SE, 'Review of Applegate, Celia; Potter, Pamela, eds., Music and German National Identity. H-German, H-Net Reviews. January, 2004. (2004)
2002 Davis SE, 'Review of Dieckhoff, Alain and Gutiérrez, Natividad (eds.). Modern Roots: studies of national identity. (Ashgate Publishing, 2001.)', The Global Review of Ethnopolitics (2002)
DOI 10.1080/14718800208405108
Show 2 more reviews

Conference (2 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2010 Davis SE, '"Our faithfully kept, age-old inheritance": Transylvanian Saxon folk customs, particularism and German nationalism between the Wars.', Europe s Expansions and Contractions: Proceedings of the XVIIth biennial conference of the Australasian Association of European Historians (Adelaide, July 2009), Adelaide (2010) [E3]
2004 Davis SE, 'Transylvanian Saxon identity and the relationship with the Romanian nation-state, 1919-1933.', Europe s pasts and presents: proceedings of the Fourteenth Biennial Conference of the Australasian Association for European History, Brisbane (2004)

Other (1 outputs)

Year Citation Altmetrics Link
2018 Hunt J, Davis S, 'Deutsches Erbe / German Heritage', (2018) [O1]
Co-authors Jaime Hunt

Grants and Funding


Number of grants 2
Total funding $8,518

Click on a grant title below to expand the full details for that specific grant.

20191 grants / $5,000

Faculty of Education and Arts New Start Grant$5,000

Framing Germanness: Transylvanian Saxon particularism, and the collapse of German polycentrism 1919-1933

Funding body: Faculty of Education and Arts, University of Newcastle

Funding body Faculty of Education and Arts, University of Newcastle
Scheme New Start Grants
Role Lead
Funding Start 2019
Funding Finish 2019
Type Of Funding Internal
Category INTE

20171 grants / $3,518

German as a heritage language in Newcastle and the Hunter$3,518

Funding body: Australian Linguistic Society

Funding body Australian Linguistic Society
Project Team Doctor Jaime Hunt, Doctor Sacha Davis
Scheme Research Grant
Role Investigator
Funding Start 2017
Funding Finish 2017
GNo G1601158
Type Of Funding C3112 - Aust Not for profit
Category 3112

Research Supervision

Number of supervisions


Current Supervision

Commenced Level of Study Research Title Program Supervisor Type
2019 PhD Bulgaria and Europe: An Examination of the East-West Dichotomy PhD (History), Faculty of Education and Arts, The University of Newcastle Principal Supervisor

Dr Sacha Davis


School of Humanities and Social Science
Faculty of Education and Arts

Focus area


Contact Details

Phone (02) 4921 5217
Links Personal webpage
Personal webpage


Room MCLG17a
Building McMullin Building
Location Callaghan
University Drive
Callaghan, NSW 2308