Biography

Dr. Davis completed a master’s research thesis comparing migration rates to thirty metropolitan areas in the U.S. South. He briefly worked in research for Lowe's Home Centers then went off to Urbana, Illinois, to earn his doctorate. While there he studied cultural, political and social theory, and completed his dissertation on Americans’ perceptions of foreign countries. While at the University of Illinois, his advisor was the renowned political geographer John O’Loughlin, and his committee included leading historical geographer John Jakle and prominent sociologist Norman Denzin.   Having completed his dissertation, he taught at William Paterson College in New Jersey and Concord College in West Virginia, before settling into his favorite place: Emory & Henry College. Since graduate school he has learned to speak Spanish, has traveled to several countries on field research, and supports important sustainability projects in Virginia.  He has won the College's Hope Award and three other awards for his teaching and service to the college.

Research:

Dr. Davis has studied geographic theory and the cultural and political geography of three regions: the U.S. South, Central America, and Western Europe. He has co-authored three books: A Virginia Creeper Trail Companion, An Oral History of Konnarock, Virginia, and Collards: A Southern Tradition from Seed to Table. He has authored and co-authored several articles, mostly on rural conditions and rural change, and presents at national and regional conferences every year.  He has been invted to speak by the Southern Foodways Alliance (University of Mississippi) and State of the Plate (University of North Carolina).

Student Research:

Dr. Davis and his students map environmental and social change.  He and his student Derek Larimer recently published an article on the spread of the climate protection movement within the United States.  More recently he and his students have been building the first map of the home gardens of Virginia.

Upcoming Research: 

Dr. Davis continues a multi-year exploration for southern seed savers, as well as an analysis of changing landscape of home gardening in the US.

Educational Background

  • B.A., UNC-Chapel Hill
  • M.A.,, UNC-Charlotte
  • Ph.D., University of Illinois