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Cathy N. Davidson

Senior Advisor on Transformation to the Chancellor and Distinguished Professor of English, Digital Humanities, and Data Analysis and Visualization
Graduate Center, City University of New York (CUNY)

Cathy N. Davidson is the Senior Advisor on Transformation to the Chancellor of the City University of New York (CUNY). She is also Founding Director of the Futures Initiative and Distinguished Professor of English, as well as the M.A. in Digital Humanities and the M.S. in Data Analysis and Visualization programs at the Graduate Center (CUNY). The author or editor of over twenty books, she has taught at a range of institutions, from community college to the Ivy League. She held two distinguished professorships at Duke University, where she taught for twenty-five years, and also became the university’s (and the nation’s) first Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies. She is cofounder and codirector of the Humanities, Arts, Science, and Technology Alliance and Collaboratory (, known as “Haystack”), the “world’s first and oldest academic social network,” founded in 2002. Davidson’s many prizewinning books include the classics Revolution and the Word: The Rise of the Novel in America and Closing: The Life and Death of an American Factory (with photographer Bill Bamberger). Most recently, she has concentrated on the science of learning in the “How We Know” Trilogy: Now You See It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn (Viking 2011); The New Education: How to Revolutionize the University to Prepare Students for a World in Flux (Basic Books, 2017 and 2022); and, co-authored with Christina Katopodis, The New College Classroom (Harvard UP, 2022). Davidson has won many awards and grants including from the Guggenheim Foundation, ACLS, NEH, NSF, and the MacArthur Foundation. Most recently, the Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences presented Davidson with its annual Advocacy Award. She has served on the board of directors of Mozilla, was appointed by President Barack Obama to the National Council on the Humanities, and has twice keynoted the Nobel Prize Committee’s Forum on the Future of Learning.

Personal pronouns: She/her


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