Professional Biography & ExperienceDr. Davis is the author of The Making of James Agee (2008) and editor of The Works of James Agee, Volume 3: Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (2015). He has served on the Faculty Senate and General Education Committee and is the faculty advisor for the film club. His teaching and research interests include Modernist and avant-garde literature and art; Southern and Appalachian literature and culture; photography and film; the grotesque; documentary form and expression; and literary theory.
“‘As If Admonished from Another World’: Wordsworth’s Prelude, Schopenhauer, and Let Us Now Praise Famous Men,” in Let Us Now Praise Famous Men at 75: Anniversary Essays (University of Tennessee Press, 2016), 95–112.
“‘Some Are Born to Endless Night’: The Blakean Vision of Jim Jarmusch’s Dead Man,” in Verse, Voice, and Vision: Poetry and the Cinema (Scarecrow Press, 2013), 81–94.
“‘Drinking at Wells Sunk beneath Privies’: Agee and Surrealism,” in Agee Agonistes: Essays on the Life, Legend, and Works of James Agee (University of Tennessee Press, 2007), 85–104.
“‘How Do You Sniff?’: Havelock Ellis and Olfactory Imagery in ‘Nausicaa,’” James Joyce Quarterly 41.3 (Spring 2004): 421–40.
“‘Else (Take Heed) the Sweet Flesh Slips’: Polysexual Self-Fashioning in Agee’s Letters,” American Literature Association Annual Convention, James Agee Society Panel, San Francisco, California: May 25, 2018
“T. S. Eliot: Werewolf of London,” Popular Culture in the South Annual Convention, Savannah, Georgia: October 5, 2017
“Curse of the Lesbian Vampire Novel: Val Lewton and Carmilla,” Popular Culture in the South Annual Convention, Wilmington, North Carolina: October 3, 2015
“Dystopian Future as Utopian Past in Jean Renoir’s Sur un Air de Charleston,” Popular Culture in the South Annual Convention, New Orleans, Louisiana: October 4, 2014
“‘Now the World Was All Chimeras’: Metaphor and Monstrosity in China Miéville’s Embassytown,” South Atlantic Modern Language Association Annual Convention, Special Session: “Cacophony and Communication in the Postmodern Novel,” Atlanta, Georgia: November 9, 2013
Panelist, “James Agee’s Cotton Tenants,” Jimmy Carter Library and Museum, Atlanta, Georgia, June 17, 2013. Broadcast on C-SPAN2’s BookTV, July 14, 2013
“Nietzsche’s ‘Three Metamorphoses’ and Little Miss Sunshine,” Popular Culture in the South Annual Convention, New Orleans, Louisiana: October 7, 2011
“‘Living without Masks’: The Appalachian Photography of Shelby Lee Adams,” Religion in Appalachia Conference, Athens, Georgia: February 19-20, 2010
“James Agee, André Gide, and the Limits of Primitivist Discourse,” Modern Language Association Annual Convention, Special Session: “Text and Context: Let Us Now Praise Famous Men at Sixty-Five,” Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: December 27, 2006
“‘She Rock’: A ‘New’ Story by Zora Neale Hurston,” Zora Neale Hurston Society Conference, Baltimore, Maryland: June 3, 2004
“‘Passed beyond Desire’: Symbolist Influence on Eugene O’Neill’s Strange Interlude and Susan Glaspell’s The Verge,” Comparative Drama Conference, Columbus, Ohio: April 25, 2002