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University Distinguished Teaching Professor of American Studies, The University of Texas at Austin College of Liberal Arts

JANET M. DAVIS is Distinguished Teaching Professor of American Studies and History at the University of Texas at Austin. Davis is the author of The Gospel of Kindness: Animal Welfare and the Making of Modern America (Oxford University Press, 2016), the winner of the inaugural Presidents’ Book Prize from the Society for Historians of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era in 2018, as well as an Outstanding Title Award from Choice in 2017. She is also the editor of Circus Queen and Tinker Bell: The Life of Tiny Kline (University of Illinois Press, 2008); and the author of the prize-winning book, The Circus Age: Culture and Society under the American Big Top (UNC Press, 2002). Davis’s article, “Cockfight Nationalism: Blood Sport and the Moral Politics of American Empire and Nation Building,” won the 2014 Constance Rourke Prize from the American Studies Association for the best article published in American Quarterly. Her opinion pieces have been published in the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, and other media outlets. Davis regularly serves as a public humanities consultant, most recently for the award-winning two-part series, The Circus, which aired nationally on American Experience on PBS in 2018 and is now on Netflix. Davis has received fellowships from FLAS VI in Hindi, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Association of University Women, and the University of Texas at Austin. In July 2019, she lectured at the University of Auckland as a Hood Fellow. Davis has won multiple teaching awards and was inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Teachers at UT-Austin in Fall 2017. Her current book project is tentatively titled "Sharkmania: A Transnational Cultural History of an American Obsession."

Experience

  • –present
    University Distinguished Teaching Professor of American Studies, The University of Texas at Austin College of Liberal Arts