Information Science & Information Studies

    Cathy N. Davidson
  • Cathy N. Davidson

  • Ruth F. Devarney Professor of English and HASTAC Co-Director
  • Information Science + Information Studies
  • Bay 12 Room 103
  • Campus Box 90403
  • Phone: 919-684-8471; or 919 668-1910
  • Fax: 919-684-8749
  • Office Hours: Wednesdays 11:30am-1:00pm
    and by appointment
  • Homepage
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Overview

    Cathy N. Davidson's main contributions have been in the areas of history and theory of technology, including history of the book, history of industrialism and postindustrialism, and history of new technologies and society. As Vice Provost of Interdisciplinary Studies, innovative new cross-campus technologies for research and teaching were part of charge and she has had an impact in this area both at Duke and nationally, including as a leader in national policy on digital media and learning. Her interest in issues of race, gender, and sexuality cross all her work, from eighteenth-century literature to envisioning the future of digital media and learning institutions in a digital age.
  • Specialties

    • Science and Literature
    • Critical Theory
    • Other
  • Research Summary

    New Media, History of Technology, American Literature
  • Research Description

    Cathy Davidson has published numerous books, including Now You See It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn (Viking, 2011); The Future of Thinking: Learning Institutions in a Digital Age (with David Theo Goldberg, MIT Press, 2010) ; Revolution and the Word: The Rise of the Novel in America (Oxford, 1986; Expanded Edition 2004), Reading in America: Literature and Social History (Hopkins, 1989), The Book of Love: Writers and Their Love Letters (Pocket/Simon and Schuster, 1992), Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji: On Finding Myself in Japan (Dutton/Penguin, 1993; New Edition with Afterword, 2006, Duke U Press), and, with Linda Wagner-Martin, The Oxford Companion to Women's Writing in the United States (1995) and The Oxford Book of Women's Writing in the United States (1995). In collaboration with documentary photographer Bill Bamberger, she also wrote Closing: The Life and Death of an American Factory (Norton, 1998). She is General Editor of the Oxford University Press Early American Women Writers series, past President of the American Studies Association, and past editor of American Literature. She was Duke University (and the nation's) first Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies from 1999-2006, and is co-founder of the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute at Duke. She is also the co-founder of HASTAC ("haystack"), the Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Advanced Collaboratory, an 8000+ network of digital visionaries committed to new forms of learning and education. She serves on the Board of Advisors to the John D. and Catherine MacArthur Foundation "Digital Media and Learning" initiative. Her current research interests include Olaudah Equiano and the controversy over origins, a MacArthur Foundation monograph and collaborative online publication on "The Future of Learning Institutions in a Digital Age" (with David Theo Goldberg), and a study of the culture and neurobiology of "knowing" and attention. With Goldberg, Davidson is co-PI of the HASTAC/MacArthur Digital Media and Learning Competition. She is also the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies. President Barack Obama nominated her for a six-year term on the National Council on the Humanities, which began in July 2011, after confirmation by the U. S. Senate.
  • Current Projects

    Now You See It: on the Science of Attention, Essay on Olaudah Equiano, MacArthur paper on Learning Institutions in a Digital Age, Theoretical and methodological study of the culture and neurobiology of "knowing"
  • Areas of Interest

    American Literature
    19th Century Literature
    18th Century literature
    technology
    digital media and learning
    history of the book
  • Education

      • Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters,
      • Northwestern University,
      • 2005
      • Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters,
      • Elmhurst College,
      • 1989
      • Postdoctoral study,
      • Linguistics and literary theory,
      • The University of Chicago,
      • 1975
      • Ph.D.,
      • English,
      • State University of New York at Binghamton,
      • 1974
      • M.A.,
      • English,
      • State University of New York at Binghamton,
      • 1973
      • B.A.,
      • Philosophy and English,
      • Elmhurst College,
      • 1970
  • Awards, Honors and Distinctions

      • Educator of the Year Award, 2012,
      • World Technology Network,
      • November, 2012
      • National Council on the Humanities, Council Member,
      • U. S. Senate, nominated by President Barack Obama,
      • June, 2011
      • President Obama's Intended Nominee to the National Council on the Humanities,
      • President Barack Obama,
      • 12-07-2010
      • Co-PI, "Expanding Cyber-Communitie: Developing New Models for the Natural, Social, and Human Sciences",
      • National Science Foundation,
      • November, 2005
      • Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters,
      • Northwestern University,
      • June, 2005
      • Lifetime Achievement for Distinguished Contribution to Early American Studies,
      • Society of Early Americanists,
      • April, 2005
      • Distinguished Retiring Editor,
      • Council of Editors of Learned Journals,
      • December, 1999
      • Finalist, Robert F. Kennedy Book Award (for Closing),
      • 1998
      • Mayflower Cup Award for Nonfiction (for Closing: The Life and Death of an American Factory),
      • 1998
      • American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship,
      • 1995
      • American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship, Grant Award,
      • 1995 and 1986
      • National Humanities Center Fellowship,
      • 1995
      • Outstanding Book (for Oxford Companion to Women's Writing in the US),
      • Library Journal,
      • 1995
      • Fulbright Senior Visiting Lecturer in American Studies, Australia,
      • November, 1994
      • Fulbright Senior Visiting Lecturer in American Studies, Australia,
      • June 1994
      • NY Times Notable Book (for 36 Views of Mt Fuji),
      • New York Times,
      • 1993
      • Outstanding Book (for Revolution and the Word),
      • Choice,
      • 1987
      • John Simon Guggenhem Fellowship,
      • November, 1986
  • Recent Publications

      • Davidson.
      • 2013.
      • Why Education Demands a Paradigm Shift.
      • Public Culture
      • .
      • C.N. Davidson.
      • 2013.
      • “Changing Higher Education to Change the World,” Series of 8 Articles,.
      • Fast Company
      • .
      • C.N. Davidson.
      • 2013.
      • “Strangers on a Train: A Chance Encounter Provides a Lesson in Complicity and the Never- Ending Crisis in the Humanities,.
      • Academe: Magazine of the American Association of University Professors
      • .
      • C.N. Davidson.
      • 2013.
      • “Humanities and Technology in the Information Age,”.
      • .
      • C.N. Davidson.
      • 2012.
      • Now You See It: How Technology and Brain Science Will Transform Schools and Business in the 21st Century (Penguin Paperback, 2012).
  • View All Publications
  • Postdoctoral Students

    • David Sparks
      • 2013 - present
    • Patrick Jagoda
      • 2009 - present
  • PhD Students

    • Clare E. Callahan
    • Brenna M. Casey
    • Brenna M. Casey
    • Ashon T Crawley
    • Mary C. Lingold
    • Whitney A. Trettien
  • Teaching

    • ISIS 640.01
      • HISTORY/FUTURE HIGHER EDUCATIO
      • Smith C106
      • W 03:20 PM-05:20 PM
  • NMC Symposium On New Media & Learning