Faculty & Staff

Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison (2014)

Dr. Jack Davis earned his B.A. (2003), M.A. (2007) and Ph.D. (2014) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. During his undergraduate and graduate work, he also attended the Humboldt Universität Berlin (2001-2002) and the Freie Universität Berlin (2010-2011), where he was a Fulbright Fellow at the Theaterwissenschaftliches Institut. From 2003 to 2005, he was an English Language Teaching Assistant at schools in Klagenfurt and Vienna, Austria.

Dr. Davis joined the Truman Faculty in 2015. He enjoys teaching German language courses at all levels, as well as courses on German culture, theater, film and literature in both English and German. He has also developed two JINS (Junior Interdisciplinary Seminar) courses, which he teaches on a regular basis: JINS 300. Cultural Crossroads: Vienna 1900 and JINS 306. Rock Generation: Krautrock.

Dr. Davis also serves as the German language Program Coordinator at Truman, and as the faculty advisor for the German honor society Delta Phi Alpha. He is also primary Fulbright Program Advisor for the university, and serves as co-editor of Communications of the International Brecht Society.

Dr. Davis is active as a scholar and translator from German to English, with a focus on 20th and 21st century German-language literature, theater and film. His publications on Thomas Bernhard, Christoph Schlingensief, Bertolt Brecht and George Tabori have appeared in international scholarly venues in English and German. His fields of scholarly interest include theater, performance, and film studies, ecocriticism and psychoanalysis.


Selected Awards and Grants:

First Place, Ernst Jünger Translation Competition. University of Bristol, 2013.

Fulbright Graduate Research Fellow, Freie Universität Berlin, Theaterwissenschaftliches Institut. Faculty Supervisor: Prof. Erika Fischer-Lichte, 2010-2011.

DAAD German Studies Research Grant, for pre-dissertation research in Berlin, Summer 2009.


Selected Publications:

“‘Who’s Afraid of Kommissar Rex?’ Postdramatic Ecology and the Theater of the Holocaust in René Pollesch’s Cappucetto Rosso.” Open Wounds: Holocaust Theater and the Legacy of George Tabori. Eds. Martin Kagel and David Saltz. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press. 2022. 125-138.

“Two against Nature? Brecht, Morton and Contradiction.” Colloquia Germanica 53:2-3 (2021): 215-232.

“Excess, Failure, Over-identification: the Influence of Camp on Schlingensief’s Making of Transcultural Theater.” Postdramatisches Theater als transkulturelles Theater. Eds. Teresa Kovacs and Koku Nonoa. Tübingen: Forum Modernes Theater, Narr Franke Attempto. 2018. 221-235.

“Schlingensief plays Parsifal: Melancholy, Community and the German past in Mea Culpa. Eine ReadyMadeOper.” Art of Wagnis. Christoph Schlingensief's Crossing of Wagner and Africa. Wien: Verlag für Moderne Kunst, 2017. Ed. Fabian Lehmann et al. 45-54.

“Through performance to social justice: Schlingensief’s narcissistic sociality.” Envisioning Social Justice. Eds. Axel Hildebrandt and Jill Twark. Rochester: Camden House, 2015. 205-226.

“Pathogenic Polemics: Heldenplatz and the ‘Bernhard virus.’” Journal of Austrian Studies 46:1 (Spring 2013): 47-70.

“Gift spritzen: Der Heldenplatz -Skandal als mediale Ansteckung.” Thomas Bernhard. Zur gesellschaftlichen und politischen Bedeutung der Literatur.  Hrsg. Johann Lughofer. Wien: Böhlau Verlag, 2012: 137-151.

“Belated Apocalyptic Visions: Bruscon and his Austrian Roots.” Essay commissioned by the Sydney Theatre Company for the program booklet accompanying Thomas Bernhard’s The Histrionic.  July 2012: 17-21.


Selected Translations:

Plays and short prose (selection):

Rimini Protokoll (Helgard Haug und Daniel Wetzel). Three plays in Everything and other Performance Texts from Germany. Ed. Matt Cornish. Seagull Books, 2019.

Bertolt Brecht. Excerpts from Brecht on Theatre (2015, Bloomsbury [Methuen Drama]). Eds. Marc Silberman, Steve Giles, and Tom Kuhn.