Ian Davis

Ian joined the department in 2013. His teaching & writing’s about stateside literature & cultures from the 19th to the 21st century; transnational modernisms; race, gender, sexuality, & capital; mass incarceration; pedagogy & institutions of learning; and critical theory & cultural politics.

His dissertation, Lengths, intimacies, talks through some 20th-century writers’ rhetorics about the ethics, affects, & effects of long attachments, the ways & things intimacy silts up as in the long-term. The idea’s to get at the strains those writers––among others, Djuna Barnes, Nathaniel Mackey, Henry James, Lauren Berlant, David Eng, Jacques Derrida––put on certain notions of intimacy as being where good sociality will’ve been possible & as what’d reparatively exceed the differends & disconnects of public-political life. Which is to say, really, mostly, I want to know what the ethical questions are when staying close’s repetitive overdetermined affective cathectic thinking work accumulates, confusingly, in the too-muchness of a long togetherness.

Ian’s been teaching composition and literary critical courses with the Prison Teaching Initiative since 2014. He’s also precepted for Princeton introductory classes on things like reading fiction & gender & sexuality studies. He spent a year & a bit as a University Administrative Fellow, serving as PTI’s Humanities Personnel Coordinator. He’s an encoder for the digital humanities project Mapping Expatriate Paris: The Shakespeare and Company Lending Library Project. Ian’s also co-directed the 20th-Century Colloquium.