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Chair and Professor of English

Professor Davis’s current book project, Attachment Styles, is an interdisciplinary work connecting attachment theory and literary studies. It looks at matters of dissociation, relationality, cybernetic theory, and attunement in figures in psychology including Pierre Janet, John Bowlby, Mary Ainsworth, Patricia Crittenden, Daniel Stern, Peter Fonagy, and Allan Schore. Exploring the field’s interest to humanities scholars, it suggests the power here of a new sense of attuned, relational presence.

  • Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship 2018-2019
  • “Ornamental Aesthetics” chosen 2017 Outstanding Academic Title, “Choice”
  • Education

    PhD in English and American Literature, 2002, Johns Hopkins University

  • Contact

  • Address

    407 Lake Hall
    360 Huntington Avenue
    Boston, MA 02115

  • Office Hours

    By appointment


Course catalog
  • Proseminar

    ENGL 5103

    Introduces the history and current scholarly practices of English studies. Surveys theoretical, methodological, and institutional issues in the development of the discipline; introduces students to the research of the English department’s graduate faculty; and offers opportunities for the practice of key components of scholarly production, including formulating research questions, using databases, conducting literature reviews, and writing and presenting scholarship in common formats other than the long research paper, such as conference proposals, oral presentations, and book reviews.

  • Studies the nineteenth-century development of an American national literary tradition in the context of democratic and romantic attitudes toward experience, nation formation, and national crisis. Includes such writers as Emerson, Thoreau, Hawthorne, Fuller, and Melville.