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Mershon Center for International Security Studies

Thomas DavisAssociate Professor
462 Denney Hall
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B.A., English Literature, University of South Carolna (1998)
M.A., English Literature, Boston College (2001)
Ph.D., English Literature, University of Notre Dame (2008)

Thomas Davis is an associate professor of English at The Ohio State University. His research and teaching interests are transnational modernism, late modernism and visual culture, aesthetics and politics, and environmental humanities.

Davis has published or forthcoming articles on oil aesthetics and insecurity, Virginia Woolf, Elizabeth Bowen, Henri Lefebvre, Maurice Blanchot, and various aspects of late modernism and midcentury culture. His book, The Extinct Scene: Late Modernism and Everyday Life (Columbia University Press, 2015), supported by a grant from the Mershon Center, unfolds the relationship between late modernism's various forms of attention to everyday life and the upheavals in the British world-system during its final decades.

Davis is beginning a second project, tentatively titled The Aesthetic World Republic: Geopolitics and Cultural Internationalism, that explores the ways European, African, Caribbean, and North American writers, artists, and intellectuals were enjoined to conduct political work adjacent to, and sometimes in place of, official state and inter-state channels.

Over the next year he will be conducting archival research on a number of groups and organizations: The Congress for Cultural Freedom, Transcription Centre, PEN International, Caribbean Artists Movement, and Amnesty International. Spanning the 20th century, this project will help us understand how and when cultural production serves political ends and why that process is unpredictable and so fiercely contested.

Davis is also interested in the environmental humanities. He is part of an interdisciplinary team exploring the cultures of oil around the Bakken region in North Dakota. He conducted fieldwork in Williston, N.D., during the summer of 2015 and published work is forthcoming. He is also collaborating with two photographers on a book about North American extraction zones and everyday life.

Faculty Links
Curriculum Vitae (pdf)
Department web page
Professional website
High-resolution photo

Media Links
Arts and Sciences: Arts and Sciences Launches New Environmental Humanities Program (2016)

Mershon Project
The Aesthetic World Republic: Geopolitics and Cultures of Internationalism (2015-16)
Late Modernism and the War State (2011-12)