Michael F. DAVIEBorn 1950, attended French schools and universities in Lebanon.
After obtaining my Baccalauréat, I went to the Geography Institute of the Near and Middle East (Institut de Géographie du Proche et du Moyen-Orient), a branch of the University of Lyon 2 in Beirut. There, I obtained my first university degree, the DUEL. In 1973, I passed my Masters degree; my MA thesis in geomorphology, directed by Professor Jacques Besançon, was intitled "Cartographie géomorphologique au 1/20 000 de la Béqaa centrale (Liban)" [1/20 000 Geomorphological mapping of the Central Bekaa (Lebanon)]. I was awarded my PhD doctorate from Louis-Pasteur University in Strasbourg (France) in 1975, having presented my thesis on "Cartographie géomorphologique au 1/20 000 du Plateau de Koura-Zgharta (Liban)" [1/20 000 Geomorphological mapping of the Koura-Zgharta Plateau (Lebanon)]. My supervisor was Professor René Raynal.
Between 1975 and 1977, I taught at the Institut des Sciences de la Terre in Constantine (Algeria); then between 1977 and 1990, I taught at the 2nd Branch of the Lebanese University and at Université Saint-Joseph, in Beirut. In this institution, as Professor, I was head of the Departments of Geography, History and Archaeology. I founded and directed the "Annales de Géographie" and the "Annales d'Histoire et d'Archéologie", as well as a cartography centre and a meteorological station.
I am currently at Université François-Rabelais de Tours since September 1990, firstly as Maître de Conférences, then as Professor (1994) after obtaing my "Habilitation à Diriger des recherches". Between 1996 and 2001, I was head of the doctoral section "Espaces, sociétés et villes dans le Monde arabe" [Space, Societies and Cities in the Arab World], teaching and conducting my research at "URBAMA, a research unit, in which I also directed the DEA and supervised theses on the Machreq and the Maghreb. In the Department of Geography of Tours University, I supervise Masters theses on France and the Arab World.
I have been an elected of University's Scientific Council, and am an active participant of several French and foreign cultural and professional associations. I am also currently active in research projects conducted in cooperation with European and Arab universities, such as the ARPOA survey.
Since 2004, I'm a member of UMR "Espaces, Nature et Culture at the Sorbonne (Université Paris 4). It's at this University, (in the "Ecole doctorale de Géographie de Paris") that I supervise PhD theses and conduct most of my research. The main focus of this research is on the urbanization processes in the Arab World (in both the Machreq and the Maghreb), the effects of globalization on spaces, public space, environmental questions, geopolitics and mapping. The supervised theses are mainly centred on the religious and socio-cultural identities of various neighbourhoods in Beirut, and geopolitical logics present in the organization of territories in the Arab Middle East, urban heritage questions in Syria, Lebanon and Palestine, as well as the terrotorialization of religious minorities.
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