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Faculty and Staff

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Office: Kirby Hall

Room: 302

Phone: 5704084548

Email: helen.davis@wilkes.edu

Dr. Helen H. Davis

Assistant Professor

English and Philosophy


Dr. Helen H. Davis is an Assistant Professor of English. She earned her Ph.D. in English and a Certificate in Women’s Studies from the CUNY Graduate Center, her M.A. from Wake Forest University, and her B.A. from Duke University.


Dr. Davis’s teaching and research interests include nineteenth-century British Literature, Gender Studies, Narrative Theory, and Composition and Rhetoric. She brings innovative teaching to the classroom through the integration of technology and experiential learning opportunities. Her goals are to foster her students’ abilities to think critically, communicate effectively, and engage actively in the world around them. She teaches classes in English Composition (Eng 101), Introduction to Literature (Eng 120), British Literature (Eng 234), Romantic Literature (Eng 335), Victorian Literature (Eng 336), Rhetoric (Eng 308), and specialized courses. Dr. Davis was pleased to join the Wilkes faculty because of the university’s commitment to mentoring. She enjoys getting to know her students and working with them individually as well as in the classroom. She was awarded the Multicultural Teaching Award for the 2011-2012 academic year, which “celebrates outstanding, creative guidance of students in support of multicultural education.” She also received the “Diversity Leader Faculty Award” from the Wilkes Center for Global Education and Diversity in 2011.


Dr. Davis is an active member of the Wilkes community. She is the faculty advisor for the Gay-Straight Alliance, serves as a coordinator for the campus Safe Space program, facilitates a Facebook page for LGBT Wilkes alumni. Within the English Department, she serves as co-editor of The Kirby Canon, which recognizes the best essays written in Wilkes English courses. She also serves as the CAHSS faculty representative on the IT Committee and chairs the subcommittee that focuses on instructional technology support. She also serves on the Academic Planning Committee and the Women and Gender Studies minor committee.

Dr. Davis is also active in the community, serving as an Assistant Soccer coach for the Mountain Top Youth Soccer Association, as an active member of the Rice Elementary PTA, as a member of the Luzerne County Anti-bullying Coalition, and as a member of the NEPA Rainbow Alliance.


Dr. Davis’s article, “‘I seemed to hold two lives’: Disclosing Circumnarration in Villette and The Picture of Dorian Gray is forthcoming in the May 2013 issue of Narrative.

Her manuscript in progress, “I am my own mistress”: Narrating Autonomy and Love in Charlotte Brontë’s Novels, utilizes feminist narratology to examine the narrative strategies Charlotte Brontë employed to create autonomous female selves that have both professional lives and personal relationships.

Dr. Davis regularly presents at national and international conferences:

“’Vive l’Angleterre’: How Villette constructs a British Implied Reader via Belgium.” Presentation. International Conference on Narrative. Las Vegas, NV, March 2012.

“‘Ruled by espionage’: Repetition of the Directress character in Brontë’s The Professor and Villette” International Conference on Narrative. St. Louis, MO, April 2011.

“‘A touch of manhood’: Gender Performativity, Focalization, and Narrative Power in Charlotte Brontë’s Shirley.” Presentation. International Conference on Narrative. Cleveland, OH, April 2010.

“‘Quite a woman and something more’: Focalization Patterns, Gender Performativity, and Transgressive Women.” Panel organizer and Moderator. International Conference on Narrative. Cleveland, OH, April 2010.

 “Gendered Madness: Male Recuperation versus Female Sublimation in The Woman in White.” Under Review. Nineteenth-Century Gender Studies.

“New Feminist Narratologies.” Roundatble presenter. International Conference on Narrative, Birmingham, England, June 2009.

 “How Technology Can Redesign the College Composition Classroom.”Presentation. College English Association Conference. Pittsburgh, PA, March 2009.

“‘I seemed to hold two lives’: Disclosing the Unnarratable in Villette. Presentation. International Conference on Narrative, Austin, TX, May 2008.

Double Vision: Split First Person Focalization in Jane Eyre.” Presentation. International Conference on Narrative, Austin, TX, May 2008.

 “Instructing Technology Pedagogy.” Presentation. CUNY’s 6th Annual IT Conference, New York, NY, November 2007.

 “Bi-gendered and Doubled: The Dual Focalizers of Shirley.” Presentation. International Conference on Narrative, Washington, D.C., March 2007.

“Love’s Madness: Male Recuperation versus Female Sublimation in The Woman in White.” Presentation. NEMLA (Northeast Modern Language Association), Baltimore, MD, March 2007.

“‘I Seemed to Possess Two Wives’: The Professor’s Implied Narrative.” International Conference on Narrative, Ottawa, Ontario, April 2006.

Awards And Fellowships

Outstanding designation, Wilkes University, 2011-2012.

Multicultural Teaching award. Wilkes University, 2011-2012.

Diversity Leader Faculty Award, Wilkes University, 2011.

Type II Research Grant. Wilkes University, 2010, 2011, 2012.

Type I Research Grant. Wilkes University, 2009-2010.

CUNY Graduate Center Doctoral Student Research Grant, 2008.

The Lynn Kadison Dissertation Year Award, CUNY Graduate Center, 2006-2007.

Instructional Technology Fellowship, CUNY Honors College, Queens Campus, 2005-2008.

University Fellowship, CUNY Graduate Center, 2005-2008.

Program Representative, Dickens Universe, University of California at Santa Cruz, 2005.

Writing Fellowship, LaGuardia Community College, 2003-2005.

University Fellowship, CUNY Graduate Center, 2001-2002.

Presidential Teaching Award Nominee, Baruch College, Fall 2001.

English Department Fellowship, Wake Forest University, 2000-2001.

Information Systems Assistantship, Wake Forest University, 2000-2001.

Academic Scholarship, Wake Forest University, 1999-2001.

Graduation with high distinction in the English Major, Duke University, 1999.

Benjamin N. Duke Scholar, Duke University, 1995-1999.


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