Mary E. Davis is an undergraduate capstone faculty member at the Jackson School of Global Affairs (2023-2024).
Davis is a cultural historian whose work focuses on fashion and its connections to music, sport, and society. She has written and lectured extensively on these topics and is the author of the books Classic Chic: Music, Fashion, and Modernism (2006), Erik Satie (2008), Waiting For A Train: Jimmie Rodgers’s America (2009), Ballets Russes Style: Diaghilev’s Dancers and Paris Fashion (2010), and Paul Poiret and the Idea of the Luxury Brand (forthcoming 2023).
Davis has worked to forge international collaborations with educational institutions including the Institut Français de la Mode, the Milan Fashion Institute, and Centro (Mexico City). She has developed partnerships with global brands and industry associates to explore issues ranging from sustainability and ethical labor practices to cultural capital and gender equality. Her essays and articles have appeared in scholarly journals, specialist publications, and the mainstream press, and she has lectured and taught nationally and internationally on a range of interdisciplinary topics.
Davis taught most recently at Barnard College and was previously on the faculty at Case Western Reserve University, where she was Chair of the Music Department, Associate Director of the Baker-Nord Center for the Humanities, and University Liaison to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. From 2012-2020 she served as Dean of the School of Graduate Studies at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Davis holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University, master’s degrees from the New England Conservatory of Music and the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University, and a bachelor’s degree in music from St. Mary’s College, Notre Dame.