Retirement Date: 06-30-2020


Ph.D., Vanderbilt University
M.A., Vanderbilt University
B.A., The University of Texas at Austin

Research Interests

Gender and Sexuality; Twentieth Century and Contemporary Literature; Twentieth Century and Contemporary Poetry

Biographical Notes

A tenured member of the Departments of English and Women’s and Gender Studies and of the Program in Comparative Literature, Dr. Davidson is a widely recognized scholar-critic working in literary modernism, contemporary poetry, and feminist theory.

Joining Rutgers in 1984 as an Assistant Professor of English, she has taught forty different undergraduate and graduate courses, including Poetry and Feminism, Art and Activism, and Literature and Culture of the American Fifties. Her teaching has earned her Rutgers’ top awards: the Warren Susman Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Graduate School Award for Excellence in Graduate Teaching.

Her first book focused on T. S. Eliot, and she is at work on a new study, Out of Breath: Poetry, Gender and the Public Sphere. She has published on contemporary poetry, especially by Adrienne Rich, Audre Lorde and Gloria Anzaldua, and has organized two major poetry conferences at Rutgers. She has been a Fellow at both the Institute for Research on Women and the Center for the Critical Analysis of Contemporary Culture.

Dr. Davidson has also been an inexhaustible campus leader, serving on numerous university and Douglass committees and most recently directing the Department of English’s undergraduate Honors Program. Chair of the Women’s Studies Program from 1995 to 2001, she was instrumental in leading the unit toward departmental status and in establishing its Ph.D. program. In 2006, she served as co-chair of the Douglass Residential College Task Force and from 2008 to 2010 she was appointed Interim Dean of Douglass Residential College and the Douglass Campus.


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Courses Offered


  • Contemporary American Poetry
  • Feminist Theory
  • Introduction to Literary Theory
  • Modern Poetry
  • Poetry by Women


  • Close Reading
  • Critical Theory
  • Introduction to Literary Theory
  • Introduction to Twentieth-Century Studies
  • Later Twentieth-Century Poetry
  • Poetry and Postmodernism
  • The Criticism of Poetry