Dr. Adam J. Davis
Adam Davis is Associate Professor and the William T. Utter/Clyde E. Williams, Jr. Professor of History at Denison. A historian of medieval Europe, Dr. Davis has interests in medieval church reform and religious life, ecclesiastical administration, preaching, medieval universities, and the history of charity and medieval hospitals. He teaches survey courses on late antiquity and medieval Europe, as well as upper-level courses on religion and society in medieval Europe; the Crusades; Jews and Christians in the Middle Ages; the Renaissance/Reformation of the twelfth century; the history of the university; and Renaissance Italy.
Dr. Davis's research explores the interplay between medieval ideas and institutions, social values and practices. His first book, The Holy Bureaucrat: Eudes Rigaud and Religious Reform in Thirteenth-Century Normandy (Cornell University Press, 2006), explored the impact of a learned elite on the daily life of the medieval church. The book brought together the intellectual and theological world of the University of Paris with the administrative and moral challenges a Franciscan archbishop faced while trying to reform the French clergy and laity. Dr. Davis is currently working on a book on the rise of the hospital and the formation of a charitable society in 12th and 13th-century Champagne. He has received a year-long Fellowship (2014-15) from the National Endowment for the Humanities to complete this book. His recent publications include an essay on the economic power of a 13th-century hospital, in Center and Periphery: Studies on Power in the Medieval World in Honor of William Chester Jordan (Brill, 2013); a special issue of French Historical Studies he co-edited (with Bertrand Taithe), “Towards a French History of Universal Values: Charity, Human Rights and Humanitarianism” (2011); and an article in the Journal of Medieval History on “Preaching in Thirteenth-Century Hospitals” (2010). He recently completed a cultural history of medieval compassion, forthcoming in an edited collection on The Medieval Culture of Compassion and Its Demise. Dr. Davis has been the recipient of a Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities, a Bourse Chateaubriand (given by the French Embassy), a Robert C. Good Fellowship, as well as grants from the Mellon Foundation and the Lilly Endowment.
Adam Davis received his B.A. from Yale University (1995) and his Ph.D. (2001) from Princeton University. Prior to coming to Denison in 2003, he taught as a Lecturer in the History Department at Yale.