University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Urbana, Illinois 61801
Jenny L. Davis is a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation and an Associate Professor of Anthropology and American Indian Studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign where she is the director of the American Indian Studies Program.
After earning undergraduate degrees from Oklahoma State University, she obtained a MA and PhD in Linguistics University of Colorado, Boulder. Before coming to UIUC, she was a Henry Roe Cloud Fellow in American Indian Studies at Yale University, and a Lyman T. Johnson Postdoctoral Fellow in Linguistics at the University of Kentucky.
She is the 2019-2023 Chancellor's Fellow of Indigenous Research & Ethics. In this role, she is working to develop campus initiatives, including a campus-wide NAGPRA office, to ensure that the University is knowledgeable about and in compliance with U.S. and tribal government policies and protocols through collaborating with faculty, the NAGPRA Officer, campus and tribal leaders, and advising the Chancellor and Vice Chancellors on issues involving ethical research of Indigenous people, histories, and cultures. She also serves as the co-chair of the campus NAGPRA Advisory Committee.
Her research focuses on contemporary Indigenous language revitalization; Indigenous gender and sexuality; and collaborative methods, ethics, and repatriation in Indigenous research. Her research has been published in the Annual Review of Anthropology, American Anthropologist, Gender & Language, Language & Communication, and the Review of International American Studies (RIAS), among others. She is the recipient of two book prizes: the 2019 Beatrice Medicine Award from the Association for the Study of American Indian Literatures for Talking Indian: Identity and Language Revitalization in the Chickasaw Renaissance (University of Arizona Press, 2018) and the 2014 Ruth Benedict Book Prize from the Association for Queer Anthropology and the American Anthropological Association for her co-edited volume Queer Excursions: Retheorizing Binaries in Language, Gender, and Sexuality (Oxford University Press, 2014).
Her poetry manuscript, Trickster Academy, is forthcoming from the University of Arizona Press Sun Tracks Series, and her creative work has most recently been published in Transmotion; Anomaly; Santa Ana River Review; Broadsided; North Dakota Quarterly; Yellow Medicine Review; As/Us; Raven Chronicles; and Resist Much/Obey Little: Inaugural Poems to the Resistance and exhibited at the Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture & Lifeways and the Minnesota Center for Book Arts.
Indigenous Language and Identity; Language Revitalization & Documentation; Gender/Sexuality; Ethnographic and Research Methods; Native American and Indigenous Studies
PhD Linguistics, University of Colorado 2013
MA Linguistics, University of Colorado 2007
BA English, Oklahoma State University 2005
BA Spanish, Oklahoma State University 2005
2021-2022 Co-PI: Bethany Anderson, Christopher Prom, and Jenny L. Davis. “Doris Duke Oral History Program Archives: Revitalization and Community Building.” Doris Duke Foundation and the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, & Museums. $196,000.00
2015-2016 IPRH Research Cluster, with Dr. Ryan Shosted, “Indigenous Languages in Diaspora”. Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities (IPRH). University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
Awards and Honors
2020-2021 Helen Corley Petit Scholar, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
2019-2023 Chancellor's Fellow of Indigenous Research & Ethics, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
2019 The Beatrice Medicine Award for Best Monograph in American Indian Studies from the Association for the Study of American Indian Literatures and the Native American Literature Symposium
2017-2019 Lincoln Excellence for Assistant Professors (LEAP) Scholar, College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
2017-2018 Faculty Fellow, Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities (IPRH), University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
2014 Ruth Benedict Book Prize for Queer Excursions: Retheorizing Binaries in Language, Gender, and Sexuality
AIS 101: Intro to American Indian Studies
AIS 285: Indigenous Thinkers
AIS/ANTH 165: Lang & Culture in Native N. America
ANTH 270: Language in Culture
ANTH 372: Social Media & Digital Communication
ANTH 374: Anthropology of Science & Technology
ANTH 471: Ethnography through Language
ANTH 499: NAGPRA & Ethics
ANTH 515: NAGPRA & Repatriation in US Context
ANTH 515: Queer Anthropology
Additional Campus Affiliations
Faculty Fellow, Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation
Associate Professor, Anthropology
Associate Professor, Gender and Women's Studies
Associate Professor, Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory
Davis, J. L. (2018). Talking Indian: Identity and Language Revitalization in the Chickasaw Renaissance. University of Arizona Press. https://muse.jhu.edu/book/57739
Zimman, L., Davis, J. L., & Raclaw, J. (Eds.) (2014). Queer Excursions: Retheorizing Binaries in Language, Gender, and Sexuality. (Studies in Language and Gender). Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199937295.001.0001
Davis, J. L., & Hall, K. (2021). Ethnography and the Shifting Semiotics of Gender and Sexuality: Practice, Ideology, Theory. In J. Angouri, & J. Baxter (Eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Language, Gender and Sexuality Routledge.
Davis, J. L. (2021). Famous Last Speakers: Celebrity and Erasure in Media Coverage of Language Endangerment. In J. Adese, & R. A. Innes (Eds.), Indigenous Celebrity: Entanglements with Fame University of Manitoba.
Davis, J. L. (2020). Good Neighbors and Supportive Grandfathers: Contextualizing Nonheritage Learners of Chickasaw. American Anthropologist, 122(1), 170-174. https://doi.org/10.1111/aman.13373
Clancy, K. B. H., & Davis, J. L. (2019). Soylent Is People, and WEIRD Is White: Biological Anthropology, Whiteness, and the Limits of the WEIRD. Annual Review of Anthropology, 48, 169-186. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-anthro-102218-011133
Davis, J. L. (2019). Refusing (Mis)Recognition: Navigating Multiple Marginalization in the U.S. Two Spirit Movement. Review of International American Studies, 12(1), 65-86. https://doi.org/10.31261/RIAS.7328