Professor of Sociology and Anthropology
Nancy Davis teaches courses in sociology, including "Sexuality, Culture, and Power” that is cross-listed with Women’s Studies. Her course “Protest, Activism, and Change” highlights feminist activism as one of seven major movements considered, as well as the role of women in other movements for change. In previous years, she has taught “Gender & Society” and a senior seminar in sociology focused on cultural conflict, including struggles between feminists and anti-feminists over issues of reproductive rights, sexuality, and school curriculum.
One of the founding mothers of the Women's Studies program at DePauw, she has chaired and served on the Women's Studies committee and worked in Greencastle to reduce domestic violence and establish services for abused women and their children.
Her research includes publications in The American Journal of Sociology, The American Sociological Review, and other journals on incorporating women into sociological conceptions of class; perceptions of gender inequality and support for government intervention to reduce it; and, the connections between religious orthodoxy and gender attitudes in Western Europe and the U.S. Her most recent scholarship, a book with Rob Robinson entitled Claiming Society for God will be published in June. It chronicles four religiously orthodox movements—the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Shas in Israel, Comunione e Liberazione in Italy, and the Salvation Army in the U.S.--as they struggle to sacralize their respective societies; the role and treatment of women in these movements is discussed, though not the primary focus of the book.
Nancy Davis has spent sabbaticals in Argentina, Australia, Austria, Germany, Italy, and France working on these research projects.