Interdisciplinary General Education – Cal Poly Pomona

Doc Davis currently teaches in the Interdisciplinary General Education Department at Cal Poly Pomona. The program is set up as a sequence of eight thematically-based courses that satisfies students’ lower-division general education requirements

Dr. Davis has taught freshman- and sophomore-level courses that included the following:

Consciousness and Community (Fall 2010-Present). Explored the development of earliest civilizations and the mythology of the near East and Americas.

Rationalism, Revelation and Enlightenment: The Ancient World (Winter 2011-Present). Explored the establishment of the major world religions of Europe and Asia during the classical age of antiquity

Authority and Faith: The Medieval and Renaissance Worlds (Spring 2010-Present). Explored challenges to traditional religious and kingly authority in the later medieval and early Renaissance

Ways of Knowing: Culture and Contact (Fall 2007-Present). Explored themes of self and other, cultural collisions and the construction of difference through historical exploration of colonial encounters.

Ways of Coexisting: Reform and Revolution (Winter 2007-Present). Explored the meaning of coexistence, crossing borders, domination and resistance, and negotiating difference in the American revolutionary and Constitutional periods.

Ways of Doing: Technology and Human Purpose (Spring 2007-Present). Explored technology and science from a social science perspective, observing the relation of scientific inquiry to questions of race, class and gender. Historically grounded in the Industrial Age of American history.


Cultural Studies – Otis College of Art and Design

From 2003 to 2013, Dr. Davis taught in the Liberal Studies Department at Otis College of Art and Design where he was a member of the Cultural Studies faculty.

Dr. Davis also developed and taught courses on:

Festival (Spring 2004 – Spring 2008). Students learned how festivals communicate community values and traditions by attending and documenting parades, fairs and festivals taking place in and around Los Angeles. Students in the class helped to run a Storytelling Festival run on the Otis campus.

The Creative Process (Fall 2004 – Present). An interdisciplinary exploration of human creativity, examining theories of human creativity from a social science perspectives and the lives and personality traits of the world’s greatest innovators.

Cultural Anthropology (Fall 2009, Spring 2011). General introduction to concepts, issues and research methods in cultural anthropology.

Masks and Masquerades (Fall 2006). Cross-cultural investigation of masks and masking traditions from a performance studies perspective.

History of Toys (Spring 2006). Historical look at toys, their design and use from ancient times to the present day. Geared for students in Otis’ Toy Design Program.

Performance Art and Theory (Fall 2005, Fall 2007). Surveyed the use of performance by visual artists from Futurism and dada to the present day.


Integrated Learning Program – Otis College of Art and Design

In Fall of 2008, Otis College initiated an Integrated Learning Program with courses designed to provide students with real-world experience by collaborating with local non-profits. Dr. Davis adapted his Festival course from a course studying festivals to one in which students helped to produce festivals for the community surrounding the College.

It began as an annual window-painting contest in which Otis students helped plan an carry out a Halloween Window Painting competition on store windows in the Westchester Town Center. The event was sponsored by the LAX/Coastal Chamber of Commerce and the Westchester Town Center Business Improvement District.

The following year, with financial and logistical support from the Chamber of Commerce and the Westchester Town Center Business Improvement District, it was expanded into a full-day event featuring carnival rides, games, a chili cook-off by local fire departments, booths sponsored by local businesses and community organizations, etc.

The Halloween Town Fair was an annual event until Dr. Davis left Otis College in 2013.


Departments of Theatre – Cal Poly Pomona and New York University

While he primarily teaches in Interdisciplinary programs, he has also taught for theatre departments. At Cal Poly Pomona, Dr. Davis covered the following courses in the Theatre Department.

Introduction to Theatre (Spring 2009). General introduction to the practice of theatre largely for non-majors.

History of Theatre (Fall 2005-Spring 2006). General history of world theatre for drama majors. A year-long sequence of three courses covered ancient and medieval theatre, Renaissance through 19th century drama, and modern theatre history.

While completing his doctoral dissertation, Dr. Davis had the opportunity to teach several courses in the Undergraduate Drama Department at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. They included:

Popular Performance (Fall 2000). A history of American popular entertainments from folk plays to stand-up comedy clubs. Examined the development of circus, minstrelsy, vaudeville, burlesque, and relationship to larger historical, demographic and cultural trends.

Doing Theatrical Research in New York City (Fall 1998). An introduction to engaging in primary research on the theatre using research books and internet, and archival collections available in New York City.


Cooper Union

At Cooper-Union, I developed a course on ethnography based on attending and documenting festivals taking place in New York City. Students got the opportunity to engage in ethnographic fieldwork at the San Gennaro Festival in Little Italy and the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade – treating these events as small-scale communities that were enacting the cultural values of that community.

When the tragedy occurred at the World Trade Center one week into the fall semester of 2001, the class shifted its focus into documenting the public displays of mourning and solidarity.

Materials were donated to the New-York Historical Society for their archives, and a vial of dust that I gave them was featured in their Spring 2003 New-York Journal of American History, and subsequently selected as one of the 50 objects that told the history of New York City (New York Times, 9/2/2012 , p. 27 – #48 Dust, 2001.).