Champions Series: Cathy Davidson

February 24, 2021
2:00 pm
- 3:00 pm EST


Please join us for a conversation with Dr. Cathy Davidson moderated by Dr. Beth Harville, provost of Drury University. Dr. Davidson will discuss why and how institutions and faculty can put students’ lives at the center of course planning and she offers practical, easy, and inspiring ways to engage students in designing their own learning that best prepare them for their future.

This event is available only to NACU campuses. A registration link will be sent to campuses. If you would like to register but do not have the link, please contact Michelle Apuzzio.

About Cathy Davidson

Cathy N. Davidson is a renowned scholar of cultural history and technology, including the history of the book, the history of industrialism and postindustrialism, digital humanities, and the impact of new technologies on culture, cognition, learning, and the workplace.  She is the Founding Director of the Futures Initiative and a Distinguished Professor in the Ph.D. Program in English at the Graduate Center, CUNY and in the MA Program in Digital Humanities and the MS Program in Data Analysis and Visualization.

Currently, her scholarship focuses on the future of higher education and the best ways to transform higher education while yet supporting its crucial educational and social mission. Her most recent book is The New Education: How To Revolutionize the University to Prepare Students for a World in Flux (Basic Books). The New Education was awarded the 2019 AAC&U Frederic W. Ness Book Award.  Her forthcoming book, coauthored with Christina Katopodis, is “Transforming Every Classroom: A Practical Guide” (under contract to Harvard University Press).

From 2015-2019, Davidson co-directed the CUNY Humanities Alliance, a program in partnership with LaGuardia Community College, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and dedicated to preparing graduate students for careers teaching in community colleges and served as co-PI of the Teagle Foundation-supported CUNY-wide Undergraduate Peer Leadership and Mentoring Program.  She is the Cofounding Director  (2002-2017) and, currently, Co-Director (with Prof Jacqueline Wernimont of Dartmouth College) of HASTAC, the Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory (, the world’s first and oldest academic social network.  HASTAC has over 17,300 network members “Changing the Way We Teach and Learn” under the HASTAC motto: “Difference is our operating system.” She was co-PI of Digital Media and Learning Competitions, administered by HASTAC and supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. These competitions awarded more than $13 million in grant funding to over one hundred innovative learning projects operating in twenty countries.

Davidson previously taught at Duke University for more than two decades, where she was the Ruth F. DeVarney Professor of English and the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies. From 1998 to 2006, she also served as Duke University’s (and the nation’s) first Vice Provost of Interdisciplinary Studies, working with administrators, faculty, and students to design more than seventy pioneering new cross-campus programs, technologies, and institutes.

She has published more than twenty books, including Revolution and the Word: The Rise of the Novel in America (Oxford University Press, expanded edition, 2004); Closing: The Life and Death of an American Factory (with documentary photographer Bill Bamberger); The Future of Thinking: Learning Institutions in a Digital Age, with David Theo Goldberg (MIT Press, 2010), and Now You See It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn (Viking, 2011). A frequent speaker and consultant on institutional change at universities, corporations, nonprofits, and other organizations, she writes for the New York Times, Harvard Business Review, Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, Washington Post, and Times Higher Ed, among others.

President Obama appointed her to the National Council on the Humanities (2011-2017). In 2012, Davidson was named the first educator to serve on the board of directors of Mozilla, and, in 2012, she received the Educator of the Year Award (with HASTAC cofounder David Theo Goldberg) from the World Technology Network. She is the 2016 recipient of the Ernest J. Boyer Award for Significant Contributions to Higher Education.  In 2019, she keynoted the Nobel Prize Committee Forum on the Future of Education, in Santiago, Chile.


Twitter: @CathyNDavidson