Roberta Davidson

Professor of English
Olin Hall 216
(509) 527-5289 (phone), 527-5039 (fax)


Professor Davidson received her B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College in 1975. After graduation, she spent several years working in publishing in New York City and studying Archaeology at Columbia University and the University of Pennsylvania. She received a Ph.D. in English Literature with a specialization in the Medieval period from Princeton University in 1986. Before accepting a position at Whitman, she taught for two years at Kenyon College.

Roberta Davidson

WRITER, Giovanni Boccacio. Le livre des femmes nobles et renommees. MS. Fr. 598, f. 43r, French, fifteenth century, Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris.

Her major interests in teaching are early period literature (especially medieval and sixteenth century works), gender studies and film. She also frequently teaches Special Topics courses. These have included seminars on Travel, Quest and Romance, Critical Theory from 1968 to the Present, Images of Women in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and Senior Seminars on Friendship, Performing Gender, The Magician as Creative Artist, and on Jane Austen and the Brontes. A frequent participant in and co-founder of Whitman's Gender Studies Minor, in 1998 she taught her first course in the area of Men's Studies.

She has published on Medieval cross-dressing and Sir Thomas Malory's Le Morte Darthur and has been a contributor to Arthuriana. Her book, Macbeth for Murderers, co-authored with John Kerwin and based upon her experiences teaching Shakespeare to prisoners at a maximum security prison was published in 2005.

Other campus and community interests: Professor Davidson has participated in the making of two video documentaries. Her documentary "Dreamers," on the I Have a Dream program at Whitman, was aired on PBS. She has also participated in the IHAD program as a teacher.