Mary Ann Davis

Mary Ann Davis

Lecturer in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and the Writing Program

Department: Writing


Academic History

  • PhD in English Literature and Gender Studies (University of Southern California)
  • MFA in Creative Writing (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor)
  • BA in English Writing (Denison University)

Areas of Expertise

  • Queer theory and studies
  • American and cultural studies
  • Victorian literature and culture
  • Creative writing
  • Representations of sadomasochism, kink, and BDSM in literature and culture
  • Sexualities and rhetoric
  • Victorian narrative and Neo-Victorian culture

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; essay in OCHO.

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 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, are forthcoming in 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. She has presented on kink and BDSM at UC Riverside and the Claremont Colleges. She spent her formative years in Louisville, Kentucky, and now lives in Pasadena, plays in Los Angeles, and teaches in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Writing at Scripps College.

Courses Taught

  • FGSS 026, Introduction to Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies (Spring 2013-Present)
  • FGSS 036, Introduction to Queer Studies (Fall 2014)
  • FGSS 188, Advanced Topics in Queer Studies (Fall-2014 - Spring 2015)
  • WRIT 50, "Forms of Voice in Social Movements" (Fall 2013); "The Body Rhetoric" (Fall 2015)