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Dána-Ain Davis

Dána-Ain Davis is Professor of Urban Studies at Queens College and on the faculty of the PhD Programs in Anthropology and Critical Psychology. She is the director of the Center for the Study of Women and Society at the Graduate Center.

In the last decade, Davis has focused her attention on reproduction, race and the technologies that assist in reproduction. She has written several highly-regarded articles addressing issues of reproduction and racism including, “Obstetric Racism: The Racial Politics of Pregnancy, Labor, and Birthing,” (2019); “Trump, Race, and Reproduction in the Afterlife of Slavery” (2019); “Feminist Politics, Racialized Imagery, and Social Control: Reproductive Injustice in the Age of Obama” with Beth E. Richie and LaTosha Traylor (2017); “The Bone Collectors” (2016); and, “The Politics of Reproduction: The Troubling Case of Nadya Suleman” (2009). She is the author, co-author, or co-editor of five books, most recently Reproductive Injustice: Racism, Pregnancy, and Premature Birth (NYU Press 2019). The book was recently named a Finalist for the 2020 PROSE Award in the Sociology, Anthropology and Criminology category, given by the Association of American Publishers

In Reproductive Injustice, Davis examines medical racism in the lives of professional Black women who have given birth prematurely. The book shows that race confounds the perception that class is the root of adverse birth outcomes and lifts up the role that birth workers—midwives, doulas, and birth advocates—play in addressing Black women’s birth outcomes. Davis is the recipient of several awards the most recent being the Brocher Foundation Residency Fellowship in Switzerland for one month in 2021 and the Association of Marquette University Women Chair in Humanistic Studies at Marquette University, in Wisconsin. She will assume the one semester positon of Visiting Chair for the Fall 2021 semester. Davis is also doula and co-founded the Art of Childbirth with doula/midwife Nubia Earth-Martin, that offers free birth education workshops that incorporate artistic expressions in Yonkers.

Davis has been engaged in social justice, particularly reproductive justice and racial justice. Over the last 30 years she has worked with a number of national reproductive justice organizations including; the New York City Department of Health’s Sexual and Reproductive Justice initiative; and Scholars for Social Justice, Civil Liberties Public Policy (Amherst, MA); National Institute for Reproductive Health; National Network of Abortion Funds, and most recently served on the New York State Governor’s Task Force on Maternal Mortality and Disparate Racial Outcomes and currently serves on the Birth Equity Collaborative in San Francisco, CA.

She is the author, co-author, or co-editor of five books including: Battered Black Women and Welfare Reform: Between a Rock and Hard Place (2006); Black Genders and Sexualities with Shaka McGlotten (2012); Feminist Activist Ethnography: Counterpoints to Neoliberalism in North America with Christa Craven (2013); Feminist Ethnography: Thinking Through Methodologies, Challenges and Possibilities with Christa Craven (First Edition 2016; Second Edition Forthcoming)