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Dr. Janet Davis joins Plan II as Associate Director

Wed, August 23, 2017
Dr. Janet Davis joins Plan II as Associate Director

Plan II is pleased to announce Dr. Janet M. Davis as new Associate Director, taking over the role Dr. Alexandra Wettlaufer (now Director) held the past several years, partnering with Assistant Director Dr. Richard Reddick in overseeing the Plan II senior thesis course.

Janet Davis was born in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1964, three days after a devastating Alaskan earthquake triggered tsunami warnings across the Hawaiian Islands and beyond. She spent the majority of her childhood and young adulthood in the Upper Midwest—with intermediate stops on study abroad programs in Germany and India. From 1986-1989, Professor Davis worked as a flight attendant for Northwest Airlines. She finished her Ph.D. in U.S. History in 1998 and landed at the University of Texas that fall.

Dr. Davis is the author of The Gospel of Kindness: Animal Welfare and the Making of Modern America (Oxford University Press, 2016). Dr. Davis is also the author of The Circus Age: Culture and Society under the American Big Top (University of North Carolina Press, 2002), the winner of a Choice Outstanding Academic Title Award; the Robert W. Hamilton Book Award; and a finalist for the George Freedley Memorial Award from the Theatre Library Association. Dr. Davis is also the editor of Circus Queen and Tinker Bell: The Life of Tiny Kline (University of Illinois Press, 2008), by Tiny Kline. Dr. Davis is currently researching and writing a book-length cultural and environmental history of human/shark entanglements, tentatively titled, “’Jawsmania’: A History,” as well as a transnational history of American humane education. Dr. Davis works regularly as a consultant for museum exhibitions and documentary films, including American Experience on PBS and the Smithsonian’s 2017 American Folklife Festival. She 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. Dr. Davis's article, "Cockfight Nationalism: Blood Sport and the Moral Politics of Empire and Nation Building," won the 2014 Constance M. Rourke Prize for the best article published in American Quarterly.

Dr. Davis is the winner of the 2016 Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award. She also has won the Dad’s Association Centennial Teaching Fellowship (2015-2016); the Silver Spurs Centennial Teaching Fellowship (2015); the President’s Associates Teaching Excellence Award (2004), as well as the Eyes of Texas Excellence Award (2000). She is currently developing a service learning initiative as a Provost Teaching Fellow. In 2017 she became a member of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers.

Dr. Davis has taught a Plan II first-year signature course, “American Animals: A History” for several semesters.


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