Denise Davis earned her PhD in Comparative Literature from Brown University and studied political theory as an undergraduate at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is a senior lecturer in Gender and Sexuality Studies and a coeditor of differences: A Journal of Feminist Cultural Theory. She holds the office of treasurer for the Brown chapter of the American Association of University Professors.
Dr. Davis teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in Gender and Sexuality Studies and is the Director of the Graduate Certificate Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies. Her training in comparative literature informs her interests in cultural, aesthetic, and literary theory as well as feminist, queer, and trans studies.
Dr. Davis taught "Introduction to Gender and Sexuality Studies" in fall 2021 and will teach "Method, Evidence, Critique: Gender and Sexuality Studies across the Disciplines" in the spring 2022 semester. The former is essential to the GNSS concentration, and the latter is taken by all PhD students pursuing the graduate certificate in GNSS.
About the courses:
"Introduction to Gender and Sexuality Studies" explores the interdisciplinary field of Gender and Sexuality Studies, considering the relation between the formation of gender and sexuality across a range of historical and theoretical contexts. Throughout the course, students explore how sexuality and gender are shaped in relation to race and ethnicity, economic inequality, and the postcolonial legacy.
"Method, Evidence, Critique: Gender and Sexuality Studies across the Disciplines" posits that gender and sexuality studies is by its very nature interdisciplinary. How can scholars working on gender and/or sexuality respect disciplinary training while reaching, in sometimes undisciplined ways, across academic boundaries? In this graduate seminar, students start from the premise that studies in gender and sexuality are tied together by critique, which questions foundational assumptions and takes account of one’s own position within a given field of knowledge. By studying canonical theoretical texts alongside disciplinary studies characterized by a feminist, queer, or trans focus, students investigate how critique operates and how standards of evidence are marshaled in various disciplines.