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Amira Rose Davis, Ph.D.

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Amira Rose Davis, Ph.D.

Johns Hopkins University, 2016


Amira Rose Davis is a 20th century U.S. historian with a particular interest in race, gender, sports and politics. She is currently working on her first book manuscript entitled, “Can’t Eat a Medal”: The Lives and Labors of Black Women Athletes in the Age of Jim Crow which traces the long history of Black women’s athletic labor and symbolic representation in the United States. Using black newspapers and magazines, advertisements, institutional records of black colleges and social organizations, yearbooks, scorecards, Olympic reports, personal and family correspondence, and oral histories, her work demonstrates the ways in which black women’s athletics impacted negotiations of modern and respectable black womanhood, concepts of racial destiny and struggles for civil rights. While highlighting women who used athletics to gain social mobility or assert new notions of black womanhood, this project ultimately argues that black institutions, sporting organizations and state apparatuses routinely used black women’s athletic bodies to advance their respective social, political and financial interests.  Dr. Davis is currently an Assistant Professor in the Departments of History and Women’s Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Penn State.

Recent Publications

"No League of Their Own: Baseball, Black Women and the Politics of Representation," Radical History Review, Issue 125, May 2016

“On the Courts of Druid Hill: Lucy Diggs Slowe and the Rise of Organized Black Tennis” in Baltimore Sports History: Stories from Charm City, ed. Daniel Nathan. Sport, Culture, and Society Series, University of Arkansas Press, August 2016