Adrienne Davis

John Hope Franklin Visiting Professor of American Legal History


Adrienne Davis is visiting Duke Law in the fall 2013 semester from Washington University in St. Louis, where she is Vice Provost and the William M. Van Cleve Professor of Law.

Professor Davis is renowned for her scholarship and teaching on gender and race relations; theories of justice and reparations; feminist legal theory; and law and popular culture. She has written extensively on the gendered and private law dimensions of American slavery and is the co-editor of the book, Privilege Revealed: How Invisible Preference Undermines America (NYU Press), as well as numerous articles and book chapters.

A Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians, Professor Davis directs the Black Sexual Economies Project at the law school’s Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Work and Social Capital. She also founded and co-directs the Law, Identity & Culture Initiative.

Professor Davis is the past recipient of a Bellagio Fellowship from the Rockefeller Foundation and two research grants from the Ford Foundation on such topics as black women and labor, and women, slavery, sexuality, and religion. In addition to her research and teaching, she is past chair of the Law and Humanities Section of the Association of American Law Schools and served on the editorial boards of several prestigious journals. Professor Davis clerked for Judge A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr., of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.