Mary Ann Davis

Mary Ann Davis

Visiting Lecturer in Writing and the Core Program

Department: Writing

Office Address: Miller 103

Office Phone: (909) 607-8220


Academic History

  • Ph.D. in English Literature and Gender Studies, University of Southern California
  • M.F.A. in Creative Writing, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • B.A. in English and Writing, Denison University

Areas of Expertise

  • Study and teaching of writing as a process and as epistemic, from a social constructionist and cultural rhetorics framework.
  • Study of sexualities from a humanities perspective, especially representations of sadomasochism and BDSM in U.S. literature and culture.
  • Queer theory, feminisms, and critical race studies.
  • Creative writing and hybrid academic texts.

Personal Interests

Books, dark chocolate, crema, anything feline-related, yoga, walks, and writing, writing, writing.

Selected Research and Publications

Poems in In Posse Review, Prism Review, Crab Orchard Review; essays in OCHO: A Journal of Queer Art and forthcoming in Papers on Language and Literature.


Awards and Honors

  • LGBTQ Faculty Award for Leadership and Mentoring, The Claremont Colleges (2015)
  • Mellon Undergraduate Research Fellowship, Faculty Mentor, Scripps College (2014-2015)
  • Prism Review Poetry Prize, first place (2011)
  • Anna Bing Arnold Fellowship, University of Southern California (2010-2011)
  • USC Parents’ Association Teaching Award (2010)
  • Nicholas F. Delbanco Prize in Creative Writing, University of Michigan (2003)
  • Hopwood Award in Poetry, University of Michigan, Hopwood Program (2003)
  • Cowden Fellowship in Creative Writing, University of Michigan (2002)


Mary Ann Davis earned an M.F.A. in Poetry from the University of Michigan – where she was awarded a Hopwood Award – before completing a Ph.D. in English Literature and Gender Studies at the University of Southern California. Her current critical book project, Useful Dangers, explores U.S. and European representations of sadomasochism, BDSM, and kink from nineteenth-century sexology through yesterday’s blogposts on "Sugarbutch" or the "Perverted Negress," tracing a queer narrative erotics of form across texts and practices. Her poems have appeared in In Posse Review, and Crab Orchard Review, and have won the 2011 Prism Review Poetry Prize. An essay published in OCHO: A Journal of Queer Arts explores her consistent interest in bridging critical and lyrical thinking, and ethical and erotic living. Another essay on Western feminist erotic individualism and Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre is forthcoming in Papers on Language and Literature. She has presented on kink and BDSM at UC Riverside, Mira Costa College, and the Claremont Colleges. She spent her formative years in Louisville, Kentucky, and now lives in Pasadena, plays in Los Angeles, and teaches in Writing and the CORE program at Scripps College.

Courses Taught

  • Writing 50: "The Body Rhetoric" and "Forms of Voice in Social Movements"
  • CORE 2: "Doing Queer Histories"
  • FGSS 026 and FGSS 188