Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology, Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, School of Foreign Service
Dr. Davis’ research focuses on refugees and conflict. Her book, Palestinian Village Histories: Geographies of the Displaced (Stanford University Press), was co-winner of the Middle East Studies Association’s Albert Hourani Book Award to recognize outstanding publishing in Middle East studies. The book addresses how Palestinian refugees today write histories of their villages that were destroyed in the 1948 war, and the stories and commemorations of village life that are circulated and enacted in the diaspora.
Professor Davis’ current research focuses on the role of culture in the U.S. military in the war in Iraq. She examines the cultural training material produced by military institutions and contractors about Iraqis, Arabs, and Islam. Through interviews with U.S. soldiers and marines, Dr. Davis’ research discusses how the servicemen and women assess the cultural training they received, their experiences with Iraqi culture and society. Dr. Davis has presented this research at the TRADOC Culture Summit IV, two University of Chicago conferences, the Middle East Studies Association annual meeting in 2008, the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations, and the American Studies Association. Her past research has explored Arab and Arab American identity and Palestinian social and cultural life prior to 1948. She has also collected over fifty oral histories of Palestinian Jerusalemites about their lives in the twentieth century.