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Mary Ann Davis

Contact Information

Office: 314 South Hall

Phone: 937-319-0142


Assistant Professor of Western Literature

Mary Ann Davis (pronouns she/her/herself) is a poet, lyrical essayist, and scholar with varied interests across the disciplines of literary, feminist, sexuality, and queer studies.

Her critical scholarship explores literary, cultural, and theoretical engagements with erotic power in Great Britain and the United States from the mid-nineteenth century through the present, especially in the forms of sadomasochism, kink, and BDSM. Her monograph in-progress, Mundane Erotics, offers a genealogy of sadomasochism that moves beyond stereotypes of extremity, focusing rather on the banal and the everyday. Reading select nineteenth-century sexologists; Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre and The Professor; Anne Rice’s Beauty trilogy; and a number of nonfiction blogs and manuals written by kink practitioners, Mundane Erotics investigates what it means that blatant forms of erotic power operate not through eroticizing violence or extremity but rather through eroticizing the everyday.  

Mary Ann’s poems have appeared in In Posse Review and Crab Orchard Review, and have won the 2011 Prism Review Poetry Prize. An essay published in OCHO: A Journal of Queer Arts explores her interest in bridging the divide between critical and lyrical thinking, especially as a process of healing. A poetry manuscript entitled Portrait of a Voice is currently under review with several presses, while another manuscript entitled Valedictions is in progress.

In addition to these scholarly passions, Mary Ann brings to Antioch over a decade of experience teaching writing and feminist, gender, and sexuality studies at a range of institutions. Committed to the liberal arts principle of intentionality in education, she works to create feminist, queer, and intersectional courses and classrooms. Although she has pursued being a professor from her first day of college, she has held a number of service-oriented positions, including grocery clerk, nursing home receptionist, restaurant server, and barista.

Born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, she also considers herself to be a Californian at heart. When not teaching or writing, she is reading long fantasy novels, practicing kundalini yoga, traveling in search of sublime crema (espresso), building queer and kink community, and ruminating on erotic ethics.


  • Ph.D. in English Literature and Gender Studies, University of Southern California, 2012

  • M.F.A. in Poetry Writing, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2003

  • B.A. in English and Creative Writing, Denison University, 2000


  • Literature 250: Creative Writing 1: Lyrical Truth in Poetry and Nonfiction

  • Literature 370: Special Topics: Queer Reading




  • “Boredom, Pleasure, Narrative.” Guest Editor with Alex Wescott. Special issue of Papers on Language and Literature. Forthcoming in 2017.

  • “‘On the Extreme Brink’ with Charlotte Brontë: Revisiting Jane Eyre’s Erotics of Power.” Papers on Language and Literature 52.2 (Spring 2016): 115-148. Print.

  • “A Certain Simultaneity: On Lyricism, Criticism, and Healing Divides Between and Within.” OCHO: A Journal of Queer Arts. Issue 33 (Sept. 2014): 78-82. Print.

  • “‘New Elemental Force’: The Necessity of an Engaged Poetry.” Denison Journal of Religion. Volume I (2001). Print.


  • “City of Ends.” Crab Orchard Review, 20.1 (May 2015): 62-3. Print.

  • “First Place in Poetry: ‘From the Sublunary Year.’” Prism Review 13 (May 2011): 131-7. Print.

  • “Phantasia.” In Posse Review 13 (2002): n. pag. Web.