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Davidson, Guy Associate Professor

Associate Professor

  • Faculty of the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities
  • Colloquium for Research into Texts, Identities and Cultures
  • School of the Arts, English and Media

Overview


Guy Davidson researches the interconnections of literature and sexuality, with a primary focus on American literature. 

Top Publications


Research Overview


  • I began my research career investigating interconnections between sexuality, consumer culture, and literature in late nineteenth century Britain. In subsequent research, I retained this nexus of concerns but shifted historical and national focus  to 20th and 21st-century America. My first book, Queer Commodities: Contemporary US Fiction, Consumer Capitalism, and Gay and Lesbian Subcultures (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012)  is the first substantial analysis of same-sexuality and consumer capitalism in contemporary US fiction. It moves beyond  critical tendencies to identify gay and lesbian subcultures as either hopelessly immersed in consumer capitalism or heroically resistant to it,  arguing that while these subcultures are necessarily commodified, they also provide means of subversively negotiating aspects of life under capitalism.

    My second book, Categorically Famous: Literary Celebrity and Sexual Liberation in 1960s America (Stanford University Press, 2019) was supported by an Australia Research Council Discovery Project grant (DP150102562). It was the winner of the Australian Universities Heads of English Prize for Literary Scholarship (2019). In this book I argue that the work and public images of three famous authors, James Baldwin, Susan Sontag, and Gore Vidal, significantly contributed to the greater openness about homosexuality that characterised the 1960s and that was an important precondition of gay and lesbian liberation. Consideration of these three writers’ careers, I contend, makes it necessary to rethink the anti-liberationist bias within queer studies, whereby gay and lesbian visibility is understood as a form of social control.​

Available as Research Supervisor

Selected Publications


Available as Research Supervisor

Potential Supervision Topics


  • I welcome potential HDR candidates in the following broad areas:

    Sexuality and literature/culture
    Gender and literature/culture
    American literature

Advisees


  • Graduate Advising Relationship

    Degree Research Title Advisee
    Doctor of Philosophy The Primordial Lost Object: Melancholia and the Politics of Eleanor Dark Gaffney, Alicia
    Doctor of Philosophy "Make Them Laugh, and They're Not Afraid': the 'Love of the Monster' Narrative in Terry Pratchett's Discworld" Soulsby, Samson
    Doctor of Philosophy Rethinking Bisexual Erasure: Non-monosexuality, Compulsory Monogamy and Queer Temporality Davis, Dylan
    Doctor of Philosophy Henri J.M. Nouwen, disponibilit, the body-subject, and same-sex attraction: A critique of Roman Catholic moral teaching in the light of Phenomenological and Existentialist Psychology and its methods. Bewley, Philip
    Doctor of Creative Arts Shout, Silence, Whisper and the Genuine Women's Voice: Mapping a Landscape of Latin American Women's Agency Through Language and Contemporary Arts Practice; an Ekphrasis Perspective. Braithwaite, Flor

Outreach Overview


  • My research, which is centrally concerned with the status of sexual minorities, is driven by commitments to equity, diversity and inclusion, commitments also realised in my community outreach and engagement activities, including writing for non-specialist publications and speaking engagements at community and activist events.

    Examples of outreach include publication in Public Books, an American book review website that publishes accessible reviews written by academics and public intellectuals (2021); speaking appearances at literary events and student/activist conferences and meetings, e.g. Sydney Memoir Club (2014), Queer Collaborations (2010).

    My professional service includes  a term as the Chair of the Research Committee, Australian Universities Heads of English (2017-19) and assessment of Excellence in Research Australia, Discovery Project and Discovery Early Career Researcher Award submissions for the Australian Research council.

    I am a member of the editorial board of Australian Humanities Review. I have  reviewed manuscripts for numerous leading journals, including Contemporary Literature, Modern Fiction Studies, Celebrity Studies, JASAL, Australian Literary Studies, GLQ, Journal of Gender Studies, Journal of Homosexuality, Hypatia, Twentieth-Century Literature, Science-Fiction Studies.

Teaching Overview


  • Since beginning at UOW in 2000 I have designed, convened, and taught in a wide range of subjects, ranging from first-year to postgraduate (MA coursework). My teaching philosophy stresses the fostering in students of critical thinking that will serve them in their intellectual and professional lives, realised through the development of practical skills such as the construction of arguments and effective written and oral expression. My subject design and formulation of assessment tasks promotes the independent, nuanced approach to analysis and problem solving that I believe characterises my own teaching and
    research.

    The subjects I currently convene are ENGL275: US Literature; ENGL 379: Desiring Bodies: Gender and Sexuality in Literature and Film: English and Creative Writing Capstone; ENGL385: Literature and Critical Thought.

Keywords


  • American literature
    Queer theory
    Sexuality studies
    Celebrity studies

Full Name


  • Guy Davidson

Top Publications


Research Overview


  • I began my research career investigating interconnections between sexuality, consumer culture, and literature in late nineteenth century Britain. In subsequent research, I retained this nexus of concerns but shifted historical and national focus  to 20th and 21st-century America. My first book, Queer Commodities: Contemporary US Fiction, Consumer Capitalism, and Gay and Lesbian Subcultures (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012)  is the first substantial analysis of same-sexuality and consumer capitalism in contemporary US fiction. It moves beyond  critical tendencies to identify gay and lesbian subcultures as either hopelessly immersed in consumer capitalism or heroically resistant to it,  arguing that while these subcultures are necessarily commodified, they also provide means of subversively negotiating aspects of life under capitalism.

    My second book, Categorically Famous: Literary Celebrity and Sexual Liberation in 1960s America (Stanford University Press, 2019) was supported by an Australia Research Council Discovery Project grant (DP150102562). It was the winner of the Australian Universities Heads of English Prize for Literary Scholarship (2019). In this book I argue that the work and public images of three famous authors, James Baldwin, Susan Sontag, and Gore Vidal, significantly contributed to the greater openness about homosexuality that characterised the 1960s and that was an important precondition of gay and lesbian liberation. Consideration of these three writers’ careers, I contend, makes it necessary to rethink the anti-liberationist bias within queer studies, whereby gay and lesbian visibility is understood as a form of social control.​

Selected Publications


Potential Supervision Topics


  • I welcome potential HDR candidates in the following broad areas:

    Sexuality and literature/culture
    Gender and literature/culture
    American literature

Advisees


  • Graduate Advising Relationship

    Degree Research Title Advisee
    Doctor of Philosophy The Primordial Lost Object: Melancholia and the Politics of Eleanor Dark Gaffney, Alicia
    Doctor of Philosophy "Make Them Laugh, and They're Not Afraid': the 'Love of the Monster' Narrative in Terry Pratchett's Discworld" Soulsby, Samson
    Doctor of Philosophy Rethinking Bisexual Erasure: Non-monosexuality, Compulsory Monogamy and Queer Temporality Davis, Dylan
    Doctor of Philosophy Henri J.M. Nouwen, disponibilit, the body-subject, and same-sex attraction: A critique of Roman Catholic moral teaching in the light of Phenomenological and Existentialist Psychology and its methods. Bewley, Philip
    Doctor of Creative Arts Shout, Silence, Whisper and the Genuine Women's Voice: Mapping a Landscape of Latin American Women's Agency Through Language and Contemporary Arts Practice; an Ekphrasis Perspective. Braithwaite, Flor

Outreach Overview


  • My research, which is centrally concerned with the status of sexual minorities, is driven by commitments to equity, diversity and inclusion, commitments also realised in my community outreach and engagement activities, including writing for non-specialist publications and speaking engagements at community and activist events.

    Examples of outreach include publication in Public Books, an American book review website that publishes accessible reviews written by academics and public intellectuals (2021); speaking appearances at literary events and student/activist conferences and meetings, e.g. Sydney Memoir Club (2014), Queer Collaborations (2010).

    My professional service includes  a term as the Chair of the Research Committee, Australian Universities Heads of English (2017-19) and assessment of Excellence in Research Australia, Discovery Project and Discovery Early Career Researcher Award submissions for the Australian Research council.

    I am a member of the editorial board of Australian Humanities Review. I have  reviewed manuscripts for numerous leading journals, including Contemporary Literature, Modern Fiction Studies, Celebrity Studies, JASAL, Australian Literary Studies, GLQ, Journal of Gender Studies, Journal of Homosexuality, Hypatia, Twentieth-Century Literature, Science-Fiction Studies.

Teaching Overview


  • Since beginning at UOW in 2000 I have designed, convened, and taught in a wide range of subjects, ranging from first-year to postgraduate (MA coursework). My teaching philosophy stresses the fostering in students of critical thinking that will serve them in their intellectual and professional lives, realised through the development of practical skills such as the construction of arguments and effective written and oral expression. My subject design and formulation of assessment tasks promotes the independent, nuanced approach to analysis and problem solving that I believe characterises my own teaching and
    research.

    The subjects I currently convene are ENGL275: US Literature; ENGL 379: Desiring Bodies: Gender and Sexuality in Literature and Film: English and Creative Writing Capstone; ENGL385: Literature and Critical Thought.

Keywords


  • American literature
    Queer theory
    Sexuality studies
    Celebrity studies

Full Name


  • Guy Davidson

Research Areas

Geographic Focus