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Guy Davidson Associate Professor

Associate Professor

  • Faculty of the Arts, Social Science 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


  • Guy has supervised numerous Honours theses across literary and cultural studies on topics including: crime fiction; Henry James; Don DeLillo; Kathy Acker; George Eliot; H.P.Lovecraft; Anne Rice; the Norma Khouri scandal; online gendered identities; commodification, resistance, and subcultures online. 

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

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


  • Guy has supervised numerous Honours theses across literary and cultural studies on topics including: crime fiction; Henry James; Don DeLillo; Kathy Acker; George Eliot; H.P.Lovecraft; Anne Rice; the Norma Khouri scandal; online gendered identities; commodification, resistance, and subcultures online. 

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
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Research Areas