Dr. Davis completed a master’s research thesis comparing migration rates to thirty metropolitan areas in the U.S. South. He 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.


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 two books: A Virginia Creeper Trail Companion, and An Oral History of Konnarock, Virginia. He has authored and co-authored several articles, mostly on rural conditions and rural change.

Student Research:

Dr. Davis and his students map environmental change.  He and a student recently published an article on the spread of the climate protection movement.

Upcoming Research: 

He has co-authored a book with John T. Morgan, entitled, Collards: A Southern Tradition from Seed to Table, which will be out in April, published by the University of Alabama Press.  He continues a multi-year exploration for southern seed savers.

Educational Background

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