Thadious M. Davis, Geraldine R. Segal Professor of American Social Thought and Professor of English, received her Ph.D. from Boston University. Her teaching areas include African American literature and Southern literature with an emphasis on issue of race, region, and gender. Her research interests are interdisciplinary: geography and African American writers; photography and Southern women; film and literary modernism; visual culture and the Harlem Renaissance; civil rights law and narrative fiction.
She is the author of Southscapes: Geographies of Race, Region, and Literature (2011), Games of Property: Law, Race, Gender, and Faulkner’s Go Down, Moses (2003), Nella Larsen, Novelist of the Harlem Renaissance (1994; paper 1996) and Faulkner’s “Negro”: Art and the Southern Context (1982), and the editor of numerous reference texts, including the Penguin Classic editions of Nella Larsen’s Passing (1997) and Quicksand (2002), and the co-edited Satire or Evasion: Black Perspectives on Huckleberry Finn (1992). She is currently writing a monograph on Alice Walker for the Understnding Contemporary Authors Series, and serves as co-editor of the Gender and American Culture Series, University of North Carolina Press.
Active in American Studies and Southern Studies, she has taught and lectured in Europe and Asia; most recently, she delivered papers in Tokyo, Japan, at Chuo University and at International Faulkner Symposium, sponsored by the Faulkner Society of Japan. As the Walt Whitman Chair in American Civilization, a Fulbright Distinguished Chair, at the University of Leiden in the Netherlands, she participated in American Studies programs throughout Western and Central Europe. She has also held tenured professorships at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Brown University, and Vanderbilt University where she was the Gertrude Conway Vanderbilt Professor of English.
Invested in contemporary archival work, she has been a fellow at the Newberry Library in Chicago, the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, and the Huntington Library in California where she held the R. Stanton Avery Distinguished Fellowship.